Sunday, December 22, 2013

Booooo!

The Lions finished their catastrophic collapse this evening by losing to the awful Giants in OT, which means they went from first in the division to out of the playoffs in less than a week. Awesome. Jim Schwartz ended the fourth quarter by running out the clock and then swearing at the fans when they booed his decision. Apparently he thought it would motivate his team, not that Schwartz has shown any indication that he knows how to motivate players to play the game. He has to be gone, right? Maybe not tomorrow morning, though that would be a nice Christmas present to fans, but after the season for sure. Even if they owe him $12 million, it's a move they have to make.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cold Weather Super Bowl

For those that think playing the Super Bowl at a cold weather site will be home field advantage for a team, I'm done hearing it. I love the idea. I actually thought they were doing this for Super Bowl 50 as something special, not SB 48. It would be easier to remember what SB used the first ever outdoor, cold weather location if it was SB 50. No one will remember some random number of 48, but they'll remember the game, no doubt.

Back to my beef, just because a "player" (and we all know they are referring to Peyton Manning) may not perform as well in cold weather conditions as another "player" (and we all know they are referring to Tom Brady) doesn't mean it's home field advantage for one player over another. It's called: you and your team do not play as well in cold weather conditions. Welcome to the NFL.

If they put the game indoors or at a warm site, technically you are favoring the Peyton Manning's and hurting the Tom Brady's. Is it an "advantage" for Tom Brady to play outdoor's in cold weather? No, he just plays better in those conditions than most quarterbacks. Just like another QB (Drew Brees) might play better indoors than Tom Brady.

Nobody has a problem with New Orleans playing the NFC Championship game at the Green Bay Packers for a chance at the Super Bowl, but it's terrible if the SB is held outdoors at a cold weather site because it might favor a team. I'm pretty sure playing in Miami favors Jacksonville more than Green Bay if those types of teams met up. After playing half your season in cold weather conditions, playing in Miami is NOT what you are used to. Therefore, advantage goes to a team from a warm location or indoor stadium.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coffee is for Closers

The Lions are not drinking coffee today because they are certainly not closers. We knew that before the Monday night game but they went out and definitively proved it on national television. I could write a lot, but my favorite NFL analyst, Trent Dilfer, summed it up pretty well on SportsCenter:

You can't trust the Detroit Lions because of games like this. It was all there for them, and they threw up on themselves.

The consensus today is pretty clear: Megatron dropped too many balls, the Lions made some really dumb plays, Stafford makes too many bad decisions with the ball, and Schwartz needs to go because many of the issues can be traced back to him. What else is there to say?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Breaking News

Have any of you heard there is a new "Anchorman" movie coming out? I think it hits theaters this Friday (tomorrow).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Good

Flacco said he doesn't consider the use of the Wildcat as a slap in the face.



"...I'm all for us doing things to get better but we're not going to be good if we just can't get good at the basics of what we do 90 percent of the time. We have to be good at those things or we're not going to be good no matter what. I just want to make sure that we're focusing on getting good at those things."

Monday, November 18, 2013

?

How much closer do you think Jim Schwartz is to being fired after the debacle in Pittsburgh in general and the fake field goal in particular? He was mentioned as potentially being on the hot seat before, do you think it changes now?

At least we know he's not scared.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Raise You Hand...

...if you will NOT be shocked if the Lions lose on Sunday at Pittsburgh.

These are classic Lion games. Games they are supposed to win, but nobody would be surprised if they lost. The Lions rarely win the games they are supposed to win. That's what makes them the Lions.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quote of the Day

College basketball game of the month tonight: #1 Kentucky v #2 MSU.

"Kentucky has a bunch of freshman, Michigan State has guys that have been there FOREVER. I think there are some guys on the team that played with Magic Johnson they've been there so long."

 - Mike Greenberg on Tuesday mornings "Mike and Mike Show."


Is tonights game good for the sport? What is better: A college football game in August between #1 and #2 that could determine National Championship opportunities, or a college basketball game in November between #1 and #2 that won't mean ANYTHING at the end of the year?

Sounds Good, But Are They?

I really haven't seen the Pistons play and NBA basketball is boring in general, but it appears the Pistons are either playing well (and still losing) or have some decent talent this year. They are 2-4, but I feel they've played solid competition and aren't getting blown out. Many close loses, some on the road. They made a few moves in the summer that showed they are serious about competing again. In my opinion, I see the Pistons finishing 5th or 6th in the league and could advance to the second round.

For example: They have SIX players averaging double-digits! That sounds great, but is it? Then, they have another three players who average 20 points combined. I think that's pretty good to have too. They are averaging 102 points/game! I remember when the 2004 team could win a game 80-79. They were lucky to score 90. Then again, if you are averaging 102 points and have a 2-4 record, defense is an issue.

Monday, November 11, 2013

LIONS!!!

If the Lions DON'T win the division, will they make the playoffs? The NFC South and West look like they will or should grab two spots. That leaves just one spot for the North and East. I think Detriot has to win the division to get to the post-season.

They could go 10-6 and not make it. If they lose to Green Bay on Thanksgiving, I say they won't win the division and won't qualify for the playoffs, and could still be 10-6.

On paper, the schedule sets up great, except for tough games at Pittsburgh and Philly.


On another note, Michigan sucks.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

DD on Netflix

Marvel and Netflix have announced a deal to bring five live action series to Netflix starting in 2015. The characters involved are Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones. There will also be a "The Defenders" series, presumably involving the other four characters together though that isn't completely clear from the announcement.

If you're a fan of what Marvel has been doing lately then this is great news. None of these characters would fit terribly well with the Avengers and are much better suited to the format of a series. They are all also street level characters (with a bit of an exception for Iron Fist) which won't require the kind of resources to film that the blockbuster movies (or Agents of SHIELD for that matter) do. There's also a lot of material to draw from that would make for good stories and the characters are interrelated to a degree where one show should help support another even if they aren't actually crossing over.

A quick rundown on the characters:

Daredevil: A blind guy with heightened senses who is a martial arts expert. And a lawyer. Previously portrayed in a 2003 movie by Ben Affleck.

Iron Fist: An American who is orphaned in an unnamed mountain range and finds himself in the mystical city of K'un L'un. He is adopted, taught martial arts, and gains some superpowers related to the ability to channel his chi, most notably the ability to make his fist "like unto a thing of iron." Eventually teams up with Luke Cage as the Heroes for Hire.

Luke Cage: An inmate (wrongly convicted) who volunteers to undergo a procedure that makes his skin nearly indestructible and gives him super strength. Eventually marries Jessica Jones.

Jessica Jones: A former superhero who later works as a detective and newspaper correspondent.

I've been saying (largely to myself) for a while that Daredevil and Iron Fist in particular are well-suited to the small screen treatment and could potentially make for some fantastic entertainment. If Marvel can play this right they could have something really special.

TAKE COVER!!!

I noticed on Netflix "Reservoir Dogs" is available. I was pretty sure this wasn't a movie for my wife (based on the cast and movie genre it was located in), so I started watching it by myself late last night. I had never seen one minute of the movie, nor did I know anything about it. I didn't even research it on the IMDB.

Needless to say, the first two minutes of the movie (and seeing Quentin Tarantino) told me all I needed to know...there's going to be a lot of F-bombs.

DUCK!

Just how many do you ask? Well, according to the Parents Guide to view content, there are "272 F-words." Gee, is that all? I lost count after 38 in the first 5 minutes. Did someone actually count?

I found myself wondering how this movie could EVER be on cable television. Every word starts with F. Maybe that is why I've never seen it on any regular cable channel...the editors are STILL bleeping out words. Or, they've given up trying to dub all the F-words "Die Hard 2" style. You know, "Yippee-ki-yay Mr. Falcon."

All in all, if you can get past all the expletives, the plot is pretty good. I feel asleep during the movie, so I'll finish it tonight.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Aflac Trivia Question

When is the last time the Detroit Lions were in first place in November? I don't care if they are tied with two other teams or the fact there are only four teams in the Division compared to seasons that used to have five teams. Those things are out of their control. First place, is first place!


Side Note: There are four teams in the NFC North Division. Bears, Packers, Vikings, Lions. The Bears and Packers have both suffered QB injuries this year, resulting in sitting of games. The Vikings have their QB issues. I don't want to jinx anything, but are the Lions next? If so, terrible timing.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Home WEATHER Advantage

I agree that the SEC is by far better than the Big Ten in college football. Just look at the hardware and the results of non-conference Head-to-head matchups and bowl games.

However, here's what I'd like to see: Yes, the Big Ten and SEC play each other in cute September games and meet again in bowl contests. But where do they play those games? All those games are played indoors or in weather that is above 60 degrees. Hey Alabama, why don't you come visit Ohio State in November. LSU, care to reschedule a game at Wisconsin this month? Georgia, want a piece of MSU in late November? Didn't think so.

Peyton Manning is a stud...indoors or warm temps. What is his record in New England? What is his record in January? What is success when playing outdoors in cold weather situations? Enough said.

There is a reason the Green Bay packers rarely lose at home after Oct. 31.

Put your money where your mouth is SEC and come outside like a man. Or is it too cold for you?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Thoughts on the Game

A few thoughts on yesterday's game:

-I don't think I've ever seen a team so thoroughly punish an opponent the way MSU did yesterday. That's a performance that will get them some national talk this week.

-Gardner especially looked ready to be done; he was obviously really beat up.

-Actually, I think he just got sacked again.

-And Fritz Toussaint is probably not his favorite person right now.

-Taylor Lewan doesn't have a leg to stand on complaining about dirty play. You'd think he actually had facemasks attached to his hands.

-I get why he's wearing 98, but Gardner looks stupid wearing that number.

-Speaking of looking stupid, can someone tell Hoke that "soggy fat guy" really isn't a good look on the sideline?

-Though his numbers weren't great, this was the first game where I thought Connor Cook might turn into a good quarterback.

-While MSU did pull out green pants, which I wasn't a big fan of, I'm surprised neither team had a flashy alternate helmet or something else exciting. I think it's a good thing though, because they don't really seem to fit the character of either team.

-How hard do you think the Buckeyes are rooting for the Spartans now?

-So, my prediction about the losing team feeling like they could have won the game? I don't think that's the case here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

RE: World Series - Lions - UM/MSU Game

World Series: I wasn't rooting for the Sox, but it doesn't bother me too much either that they won. They're generally pretty likeable, though Victorino really bugs me for some reason, and they deserved it. I also don't know that the Tigers would have been able to pull it off with the bullpen injuries and Cabrera's injury and seeming them lose the series to the Cardinals might have been worse that the loss to the Sox.

Lions: I heard on the radio that when the Lions got the ball at the end of the game they only had a 1% chance of winning, yet I wasn't surprised at all when they managed it. I said earlier in the season to my Dad that there was no outcome to a Lions game that could shock me. They're so talented and so inconsistent that anything is possible.

The Game: On paper MSU should win this one. The offense has improved from utterly pathetic to just very poor and the defense is legitimately good. However, they have a tendency to give up the big play, and Gardner is good at that, but you'd also think there's a good chance he throws a pick six. Whatever the outcome, I'm pretty sure the loser is going to feel like they should have come out on top.

?

Would anyone else feel a lot better if they knew David Ortiz had passed a drug test in the past week? Besides Colin Cowherd I haven't heard anyone mention this, but it seems worth considering. Sports writers like to point out how foolish "we" all were to take McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds at face value just because it was a great story in the moment. Now a 37-year-old hitter, who has been good, even great, but definitely seemed to be declining, starts performing Ruthian feats and no one is suspicious? I want it all to be true, but I've got this nagging feeling that it might not be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

World Series - Lions - UM/MSU Game

It's gotten a little easier to watch the World Series after the Tigers blew it. But, I'll stick with my personal thought: Watching Boston in the WS is like seeing your ex-girlfriend with the guy you hate the most. By the way, when Boston wins this WS, does it make the Tiger choke job hurt more? Just think, that could have been us winning the title this year!


Lions, what an unbelievable win. The HUGE Show Monday question: Where does Sunday's victory rank in Lions history? That's a great question. Some would say "no where, because it didn't mean anything." And that's just it, the Lions don't play any meaningful games, and if they do, they lose. The only meaningful games they've had are playoff games and Lambeau Field and they lose. So, if you are a franchise that doesn't win many games, let alone a come-from-behind win with 1:02 remaining, no timeouts, and needing a touchdown, then Sunday's win has to be ranked pretty high. And, it DID mean something: the difference between being 5-3 and 4-4. 5-3 is playoff bound. 4-4...forces you to go 5-3 in the second half of the season for a shot at the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

So, the fact they played a meaningful game and won in dramatic fashion has to be one of their all-time greatest wins.


Saturday's game at East Lansing: As a UM fan, I'm nervous. Very nervous. Game is at MSU. Advantage: MSU. MSU has by far the better defense. Advantage: MSU. MSU has gotten better lately. UM has the better overall offense, but MSU appears to have the better running game. Advantage: MSU. MSU is favored by 6.5 points. I'd like to have seen this game played in September and November. It would probably be two different results. All I know is the game will come down to turnovers...and Devin Gardner is a TO machine.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Just Get Me to Verlander

Boston definately played last night like it was a Game 7. They do NOT want to see JV in Boston in a Game 7. I'll still take my chances on the road with Scherzer and JV. Detroit, although it would have been spectacular to win game 5, did not have to win that game. They still have two aces up their sleeve.

"Home field advantage" probably means the most in Football and Basketball and arguably not an issue at all in Hockey. I've heard home field equals about a 3 point advantage in the NFL. I am curious what, if any, advantage there is in baseball. There's obviously some type of gain to playing at home.

So, Scherzer, just get us to Verlander!

Other Notes:
Did you know Boston Manager John Farrell last played/pitched for the Detroit Tigers (May 1996)?

This is Manager John Farrell's second stint (3rd year total) as an MLB manager. It's his first year with the Red Sox. Also, the Red Sox finished 2012 in dead last in the AL East (3rd worst record in the AL). Halfway through the season they traded half their team to the Dodgers, which helps explain why the Dodgers did well in the 2nd half of the 2012 season and why they are successful this year. Probably also explains why the Red Sox did so poorly in 2012. Boston, however, has completely turned things around in one year to finish with the best record in the entire MLB (tied with St. Louis).

Here's my point: We've certainly heard the expression "Worst to First." It happens. But how often does it happen with a new manager/coach in ANY of the "Big 4" (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL)? I realize many times when a team finishes in last place, with definately higher expectations than finishing .500, that the manager/coach usually gets fired so the next season the team will have a new manager/coach. But still, how often does THAT happen? Worst to first, with a first year manager, and not only first place, but one win from the Championship Series.

However, John Farrell didn't exactly inherit a bad team, just under-performing/motivated players. They were still good. But, he's also not playing the KC Royals, with NO playoff experience, for a chance at the World Series. He's playing the Detroit Tigers, where 75% of the team has been to the ALCS three years in a row and last years World Series! He's beating experience.

How often do you see a first year coach/manager take a last place team and beat a talented, experienced team to advance to the Championship round? Never. And not this year either!

That's why I'm sticking with the Tigers!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Know How This Movie Ends...

...and it doesn't end well.

I'm pretty sure we've all seen this movie before:

2006 - Great year, great team, and got HOT going into the playoffs. World Series comes and they get embarrassed

2009 - Great year, choke the final 10 days, fail to make playoffs in Game 163 at Minnesota

2011 - Great year, unbelievable team, slammed by Texas in ALCS

2012 - Underachieving year until September 15 when they finally pull ahead to win Division. Get HOTT in the playoffs. World Series comes and they get embarrassed.

2013 - Basically in 1st place all year, yet never pulled away and then nearly gave it away in the final two weeks. (Were in sole possession of 1st place since July 3.) September 15 comes and they forget how to hit. Advance to ALCS and still can't hit.

I know how this movie ends.

By the way, will anyone EVER see playoff pitching like we've seen in the last four Tiger games, let alone the ALCS, again? Verlander...One ER in the last 23 IP and the Tigers are 1-2.

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? The Tigers were down 1-2 with game #4 at Detroit in a 5 game series with a hot Oakland. Tigers are down 1-2 with game #4 at Detroit in a 7 game series with a Boston team that can't hit.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

!

Anyone have Dave Dombrowski's number? I'd be willing to be fat and strike out on three pitches for much less than what Prince Fielder makes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Bad Luck

I was doing homework last night during the game and would randomly come upstairs to check on the game. I'm 100% sure that every time I checked the game, the Tigers were either always batting or it was a commercial break. I am pretty sure I never saw Scherzer throw one pitch...until the 6th inning I took a homework break and the very first pitch I saw broke up the no-hitter. (I did know he had a no-hitter going, though.) The very next batter broke up the shutout.

I came upstairs in the 5th inning to help put the kids to bed and Cabrera was batting. I thought I'd watch for a second...DINGER! Fielder is up. I think I'll watch for a second...Double off the monster! Wife is now mad, so I come back later, score is 5-0 Tigers!!!

It's now the 8th inning. My wife had been asleep with the girls. I decided I would wake her up to watch the Tigers win game 2 and go up 2-0 in the series. Things got dicey so I waited until 2 outs with the bases loaded during a pitching change. She comes out...GRAND SLAM!

Detroit, MY BAD

About Last Night

Going into the ALCS, I told myself the Tigers have to win 2 out of the first 3 games. If they do that, they'll be fine. JV is dealing tomorrow in Detroit and can still accomplish that goal. But after last night, is that good enough? Now it's just greed. They HAD the game. The only positives are the Tigers get today off, play game 3 in Detroit, JV is pitching, and it's a day game. Those four things should help keep the momentum from swinging to Bean Town. If last night had happened and Detroit had to play the next night back in Boston, they'd be mentally screwed.

Hey Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter...ANY TIME NOW BOYS! Time to start showing up! Please come to Detroit!

Hey Don Kelly: Is it too much to ask you at least put wood on the ball in the 8th or 9th inning?  You've seen the closer two nights in a row and he tops out at 88 mph. Please tell me you can see that! I've made as much contact off the Boston closer (Koji Uehara) as you, zero. The only pine you are holding is the bench.

Speaking of closers, it's time for Benoit to go. Actually, that moment passed a long time ago. Why not walk David Ortiz? The worst thing he can do is hit a grand slam...AND HE DID! Look at their line-up. There's David Ortiz and everyone else is smaller than ME. Just walk him. Make ANYONE ELSE beat you. Or, don't give him ANYTHING he can hit 500 feet! Do the ol' unintentional-intentional walk. I know the bases were loaded, but there are two outs in the 8th. One more out and the runners disappear and then you only need 3 more outs in the 9th, starting from scratch with no runners on base. The game plan should have been this: "If you walk him, THAT'S OKAY." Instead, you gave him one pitch to hit; the one that goes 500 feet.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Who wants to watch football?

I'm glad Fox can get in all the commercials they need during the second game this Sunday, even if it means missing a few unimportant plays like first down.

?

What's the etiquette for a baseball announcer dealing with a no-hitter? I assume he shouldn't actually say "no-hitter" but can he mention pitcher X has not allowed a hit? Or do you just let the box score do the job for you?

Monday, October 07, 2013

"NFL tried to nix no-huddle"

If even half of this story is true, you have to wonder how often this type of behind-the-scenes activity goes on. Unbelievable.

Friday, October 04, 2013

"I've got a lot of apologies to make..."

I think I owe Brian Hoyer, and Cleveland Browns fans, an apology. You see, my fantasy team is struggling and I needed to do something crazy to keep myself interested so I picked up Hoyer and started him at QB this week, thinking my usual starter, Russell Wilson, might not score many points this week and Hoyer might just come up big again. Plus, if I could win with the former Spartan QB it would pretty much make my season. Within six hours Hoyer's season was over.

Sorry.

"The greatest hitter living..."

The WSJ has a fantastic article today about Miguel Cabrera and hitting in baseball. It has a number of interesting facts and great quotes, but the section below is my favorite:
"The greatest hitter living can't hit bad balls well," [Ted] Williams wrote. "A good hitter can hit a pitch that is over the plate better than a great batter can hit a questionable ball."

Unless the great batter is Cabrera. This season his slugging percentage (total bases divided by at-bats) is a frightening .590 on pitches that pass between him and the inside edge of the plate. That is, inside pitches that shouldn't be swung at, never mind hit.
The downside? You're not going to learn much that will help your players hit better because the big takeaway is that Cabrera is a freak.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Quote of the Day

You feed a lineman a cookie, he's happy, you know?

-USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron on changes he's made after Lane Kiffin was fired

Awesome!

Step aside Jeff Dunham. Move over Melissa Joan Hart. See ya, Conan! I just found out Miguel Cabrera shares my birthday. You are now in 2nd place of most famous people sharing my day...right behind Suri Cruise. Miggy jumped ahead of Eric Robers and Rick Moranis.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Postseason Predictions

There is an interesting article on espn.com about what all the "experts" think will happen in the MLB playoffs. One thing that stood out to me (besides the fact it seemed ESPN had polled 1000 "experts") was that MANY of them picked Oakland over Detroit in the first round. However, I also noticed that if anyone picked Detroit to win the AL Pennant, then they also picked them to win the World Series. No one had the Tigers LOSING in the World Series, which is kind of weird since they are 1-8 in their last 9 WS games.

So, I agree with them. I believe, if the Tigers make it back to the WS, they will win it all. I can't see them losing in the Series again.

It's all about pitching, pitching, and pitching. If you have to go through Scherzer, Verlander, and Sanchez...good luck to you. Oh, and some guy named Fister isn't so bad either. But, I don't care who you have, if you go 1-5 against two last place teams to finish the season, scoring 3 runs in the final 3 games...I'm nervous.

They beat Oakland last year when Oakland had home-field advantage, just like this year. I believe they can do it again, just like they eliminated the Yanks in 2011 and 2012. Even if you lose in the WS, you have to be pretty darn good to do that.

I predict the Tigers in 6 games over the Dodgers for the Championship.

Monday, September 30, 2013

?

Does the fact that Brian Hoyer is potentially a viable fantasy quarterback make anyone else feel like they're living in some sort of alternate universe?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Extremely Loud, "Silent" Snap Counts

Is there an unwritten code in College/NFL football about the silent snap count? Is it only obvious to the TV viewer when the ball will be snapped because of our angle but the defensive players can't see it because of the huge linemen in their vision?

How long has the silent snap count been around? Forever? 25 years? Teams have been doing no-huddle, hurry-up-offenses, 2-minute drills for over 25 years, so they've had to rely on a silent snap count. The "12th Man" has been a big reason as well. Stadiums with a fan base that are much louder require the silent snap (or maybe because the stadium DJ is using artifical noise, which is cheating).

Here's where this is coming from. The QB usually lifts his right foot about one foot off the ground to signal to the center, who is looking between his legs, to snap the ball. It seems it's always about one full second of a delay. But every time, the center lifts his head to get in the ready position before snapping the ball. It's quite clear. So, how are NFL/College players not figuring that out after...one play! "Hey, when the center lifts his head after looking between his legs, that means he's going to snap the ball in one second."

Then I noticed this on Saturday night during the Instant Classic between Michigan and UCONN. The right guard for UM would look for Devin Gardner to lift his leg. He then tapped the center's right hamstring that the QB was ready. And again, one second later, he snapped the ball. The only difference is the center didn't have to lift his head because he was no longer looking between his legs, but the guy right next to him was doing all the pre-snap movements. It still only took one play to figure out when they were going to snap the ball.

So, how are defenses not getting better jumps on the ball because I feel they should clearly know the snap count, even though it's silent. It's actually a lot "louder" than it should be. I understand you can't move until the ball moves, but no one seems to be anticipating the ball moving. No one is even jumping offsides. The linebackers should at least be trying to time the blitz. The cornerbacks aren't even trying to sneak in early for a corner-blitz. There's just nothing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ridiculous

Apparently the NBA is considering allowing the Heat and the Nets to wear jerseys with a nickname on the back instead of their last names in at least one of their games against each other this season.  I understand the possible financial incentives of selling additional merchandise, but I'm still a little shocked that professionals would even consider this. Doesn't the NBA already have enough of a reputation as a "Me" league? Doesn't it already get criticized enough for being too much like street ball and not enough like a team game? Maybe each jersey could just say "No Class" on the back just to make it clear to people.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quarterback U?

After a dismal showing by MSU's QB combo of Cook & Maxwell and a shocking three touchdown performance by former Spartan QB Brian Hoyer for the Browns I've been thinking about quarterbacks. During the fantasy draft we all laughed at the commentator doing the Bears preseason game who called MSU "QB U" and I still think it's pretty ridiculous. However, I did some research and came up with a few interesting stats:

-There are currently three former Spartan QBs on NFL rosters (Stanton, Hoyer, Cousins).*

-The last four Spartan QBs who have completed their careers (Smoker, Stanton, Hoyer, Cousins) have gone on to play (some) in the NFL.**

-Six of the last eight Spartan QBs (Miller, Banks, Smoker, Stanton, Hoyer, Cousins) have been drafted or played in the NFL.

That's not exactly like USC having Palmer, Leinart, and Sanchez all drafted in the first round, but it's not actually too bad either. We tend to minimize guys playing backup roles, but being one of the top 96 in the world at your job is still pretty good when you put it in perspective. I wouldn't say MSU is "QB U" but it isn't quite as crazy as I would have thought.

*And since I know you're going to ask, there are two former Wolverines (Henne, Gisele Bündchen's husband). You could stretch that to three if you want to consider Ryan Mallett a Michigan QB, but that's probably not fair to Arkansas.

**Maxwell will surely break this streak.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quote of the (Other) Day

This guy is a rolling ball of butcher knives.

-Chuck Pagano, referring to newly acquired running back Trent Richardson

Friday, September 13, 2013

Doppelgänger

Do you remember Kliff Kingsbury? With a name like that he had to be a quarterback in Texas, so he played for Texas Tech from 1998-2002. You might recall he was the first of the crazy stat Red Raider quarterbacks. Anyway, Kingsbury was in the NFL for a while and eventually went into college coaching and now coaches his alma mater. Also, he apparently looks just like Ryan Gosling, a fact which set Twitter on fire last night when Texas Tech was on ESPN. Red Raider fans even have a hashtag, #OurCoachIsHotterThanYourCoach, which may be the weirdest thing I've ever heard of in sports and will never be applied to Brady Hoke.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

$100,000

The NFL has fined Ndamukong Suh $100,000* for an illegal low block on Sunday. Everyone knew the fine was coming and that it was going to be steep so it's not really a surprise. You know what is surprising to me though? The number of Lions fans defending Suh. There's no question the guy is a dirty player. He's moved well beyond the point where you can give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm surprised any company still has endorsements with him. Cheer for your team, but don't be an idiot.

*If you're scoring at home that's 20,000 $5 footlong sandwiches.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

?

Multiple times this week on ESPN Radio I've heard advertisements for Infinity, Marvel's current comics event. While I applaud Marvel for doing a little advertising to more general audiences, does it work at all? If you're an ESPN listener who never reads comics and you hear this commercial are you going to go buy a copy (or download) of the book? If you liked Avengers is it more likely?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"We're watching one of the greatest right-handed hitters who ever lived."

Jayson Stark of ESPN has a fascinating article from last week comparing Miguel Cabrera to some of the all-time great hitters in baseball. There's a lot of numbers in the article, but the short version is that Cabrera compares well with anyone worth mentioning. It makes me wish I had the chance to see a few more Tigers games.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hypocrisy

With the court cases going on, the Johnny Manziel autograph story, and the beginning of the college football season you're sure to hear plenty of sports writers and personalities (Jay Bilas and Michael Wilbon come to mind) opine on the "hypocrisy" of the NCAA making millions of dollars but not paying the players. I think there's plenty to be said about that, but it strikes me that all of these guys seem to have no problem working for businesses that derive a significant amount of their income from college sports and spend lots of time discussing them. You think Bilas hesitated for a second when he cashed his last paycheck from ESPN? Why not? Doesn't it make him complicit in the whole system he's railing against? It seems like cheap self-righteousness to me if these guys will criticize every chance they get but won't actually take a principled stand.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Still sad...


This is what replaced the Trans Am.

...but this ain't too bad either. Not exactly your typical grandma car.

Men's Devotionals

Does it annoy anyone else when you are looking for a Men's Devotional that it is authored by a woman? I'm sure they have excellent credentials and great writing talent, but come on. Really? I can somewhat cut them a little slack if it's a Boy's Devotional, but not a men's.

Am I a jerk? Am I expecting too much? What am I missing?

Small World

This weekend I met the Kelley family...former Evan Free pastor and wife...who also Baptized much of the Stack family.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Draft Prep Super Megapost

With 26 days until the 2013 fantasy football season starts it's time to start thinking about the draft (And signing up if you haven't yet. Seriously, what is wrong with you people?). Here's few links to help you be successful on draft day:

ESPN Top 300 (I'm thinking we'll use this as the default list.)
Fox Sports Top 200
NFL.com Projections
Eric Karabell's Top 200 (ESPN)
Matthew Berry's Top 200 (ESPN)
ESPN's Sleepers and Busts
NFL.com Rankings based on schedule

And also some advice from FOX Sports on naming your fantasy team.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Redskins.

I just wanted to get that out there. Here's why, if you haven't heard.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Sad Day

The Trans Am has been traded in.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Johnny Football

If you're going to try to follow the 2013 college football season you had better read this article by Wright Thompson of ESPN The Magazine because it's going to be referred to a lot. Thompson obtained some amazing access to the Manziel family and made great use of it. It's worth checking out even if you're sick of hearing about Johnny Football.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel has revealed the title for the sequel to Avengers:


This is the same title as a recently concluded comic series but word is it will not be based on that story, which is just as well as it involves lots of time travel and lot of characters. But it will involve Ultron. Who's Ultron?


That's Ultron. He's a robot created by Avenger Hank Pym, who hasn't been introduced in the movies yet. Ultron, like all evil robots, wants to wipe out humanity. Ultron often makes copies of himself, so there could be lots of robot-smashing action in the film. It also means we should see a version of one of the best Ultron/Avengers scenes:


That will be awesome.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Joey

Presenting the 2013 Cass City Monkies Fantasy Football Championship Trophy:


Friday, July 12, 2013

Play ball?

According to the Wall Street Journal, in the average MLB game, which lasts about three hours, there are 17 minutes and 58 seconds of actual action.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tony Stark will return...

...for Avengers 2 & 3 and he will be played by Robert Downey Jr., who has signed a new agreement with Marvel to appear in both films. No word on compensation, but it's likely in the "more money than you can imagine" range.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Because you demanded it.

Well, no one actually demanded it. Or even responded for that matter. But, being the Commish, I went ahead with a 2013 Cass City Monkie Fantasy Football Trophy anyway. So here it is, before paint:


Yes, that's legendary Lions QB Joey Harrington. If that doesn't make you inspired to compete I really don't know what will.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thoughts on Man of Steel

Some thoughts on Man of Steel:

-Don't know if it was just my theater or not, but the movie was loud. I like to feel the explosions, but not feel like I've been through one myself.

-"Shaky cam" usually doesn't bother me too much in movies, but it was very annoying in the first quarter or so of this one. It did seem better later though.

-Love the soundtrack.

-Henry Cavill is the most ripped Superman ever.

-The movie goes all-out on the action. Easily the best job I've seen done in communicating just how powerful Superman is supposed to be.

-This movie will definitely draw a lot of comparisons to Batman Begins. That's probably fair, the tone and overall approach are similar.

-I found the movie surprisingly emotional. Not sure exactly what it was, but it definitely hit me at times.

-It hits some themes/ideas that should be familiar to comic fans, but not necessarily the public at large. I'll be curious to see how people react.

-I liked it quite a bit. As far as DC films, I'd probably place it ahead of Batman Begins but definitely behind the sequels.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fantasy Football '13

Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football is live. You should all have invites, if you cannot find yours the league ID is 5900 and the password should be the same as always.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hail

There was a bit of a thunderstorm here earlier:


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Trophy Talk

As the 2013 fantasy football season is drawing closer I found myself thinking about trophies. Which brings to mind some questions: Is the Monkie still around? Has it been passed to our current champion? Has it been lost?

The Monkie aside, I was thinking of making a non-traveling trophy for this year in honor of the tenth season of the CC Monkie fantasy football league. I'd plan on providing this myself, so it wouldn't be anything too involved. I was inspired by this trophy (posted by Poe Ghostal):


 That's an old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure (Leonardo to be exact) mounted to a base and painted gold. I think that would be within reach of my artistic abilities. But what sort of figure to use? A few ideas:

-That same TMNT figure. One could probably be acquired on eBay pretty easily.
-A monkey figure. I don't know of a cheap one off the top of my head, but I'm sure something exists.
-A Funko Pop figure. Some of these are bobble heads. They have a large range of figures, but nothing football specific.
-A McFarlane Sportspicks figure. One could probably be picked up cheap as long as you don't care which player it is. This is probably the best bet if you want it to look like a football trophy.
-Just about any figure would work if a certain character appealed to you.
-I suppose it wouldn't be hard to use some sort of plastic/rubber football in place of a figure.

Any thoughts? And would gold be the color to go with, or would silver be better to mimic the Lombardi Trophy?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC has picked up Joss Whedon's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for next season.


As you can see from the photo, the show stars Clark Gregg as a somehow-not-dead Agent Phil Coulson. I think it's safe to mark this down as my most-anticipated show... well, ever.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Thoughts on Iron Man 3

A few thoughts on Iron Man 3:

-I liked it quite a bit. I doubt anything this summer will be better. I would say it's at least as good as the first Iron Man, possibly better than anything but Avengers. I'll probably need to see it again to cement my opinion on the ranking.

-No Thor trailer at my theater. Actually, I don't think there was a Man of Steel trailer either. How can you not run those before this movie?

-It is, however, probably not the movie you're expecting. This is much more about Stark than Iron Man and is totally the Robert Downey Jr. show.

-There's a major twist that has upset some comic fans. I think normal audience members will love it. Actually, I think this is one superhero movie that non-comic fans might like much better than comic fans.

-A kid does play a role which I thought would be groan-inducing, but they played it differently than you might expect and works very well. It's also pretty funny.

-Guy Pearce should be more well-known than he is. He's a terrific actor.

-Still not impressed by most of the suit designs in the movie.

-No AC/DC songs in the movie.

-Probably the best soundtrack of the major Marvel movies so far. Not near as good as a Hanz Zimmer soundtrack, but decent.

-The Rhodey-Stark buddy moments in the film are pretty great. We did need more Iron Patriot though, despite him not being as cool as War Machine.

-The post-credit sequence is more along the lines of the one in Avengers (shawarma joint), it doesn't tease another film. I thought it was worth staying for though.

-The film wraps up Robert Downey Jr.'s contract with Marvel. They need to do whatever it takes to bring him back for at least Avengers 2 and hopefully another film beyond. It's nearly impossible to imagine another actor successfully pulling off Tony Stark.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Prediction

After reading Travis Haney's opinion of the Buckeyes, I have a prediction of my own: Ohio State will absolutely not win the national championship.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Escape from NY

The NY Jets cut Tim Tebow today, ending the drama surrounding one of the oddest personnel decisions in recent NFL history. Why did the Jets sign him in the first place? Because he was popular? To push Mark Sanchez, who still isn't good? It sure wasn't to give him playing time. Whether Tebow has any future as an NFL quarterback or not the Jets come out of this looking like idiots.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Divisions

The Big Ten announced new divisions today. As suspected, they ditched the Legends and Leaders designations and went with a geographical alignment:

East: Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers

West: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin

Thoughts? 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

One way to avoid the Madden curse

So who is on the cover of Madden 2014, marking the series's 25th anniversary?

Barry Sanders.


Friday, April 26, 2013

They will kill football.

While listening to Rush today (The radio commentator, not the Canadian rock band. Have I ever said how much I hate Tom Sawyer? Hate it.) I heard about this article in the Chicago Tribune. The writer claims that football will die soon because of the controversy surrounding concussions. Now people, mostly Progressives (or the Left), have been trying to kill football for over one hundred years. Teddy Roosevelt even had to intervene at one point early in the game's history (see: The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football) to keep football alive. Now football is facing major criticism again and, make no mistake, the game's foes will kill it if they can. Keep an eye on this because you're going to be seeing a lot more of the same kind of talk.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Manning to Welker

Peyton Manning was throwing passes to Wes Welker today. I suppose that means I have my fantasy picks pretty well figured out then.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hanson Retires

Jason Hanson announced his retirement from the NFL today after 21 years in the league. Some stats from the Detroit News article:
Hanson, who will be 43 in June, retires as third-leading scorer in NFL history (2,150) and third in field goals made (495). He made more field goals of 40 or more yards than any player in NFL history.

He also owns the distinction of playing more regular season games with one franchise (327) than any other player and owns every kicking record in the franchise's history.
It's hard to imagine the Lions without Hanson. How will they score?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

2013 Projections

Thought everyone might be interested in Accuscore's 2013 projections. They should make you feel hopeful (which might be a bad thing) because they project the Tigers to win the division and the World Series.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bracketology

Let me get this straight...Wisconsin finished the B1G in 4th place and UM finished #5. Wisconsin defeated UM in the regular season AND the B1G tourney, yet Wisconsin received a #5 seed in the Big Dance and UM got a #4...and Wisconsin is the first one packing their bags (and embarrassing the B1G). I think the committee nailed that one.  VC PU

Go Blue!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

?

Is there any way that the Lions signing sort-of former Heisman winner Reggie Bush doesn't end up disappointing? I certainly don't see it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Sponsor For 'Ship

I'm a fan of this.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/9044578/college-football-new-playoff-format-title-sponsor


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

March Madness

The 2013 Monkies Tourney Pick 'Em group is available now at Yahoo. The group ID is 1416 and you all know the password.

UPDATE: You should also be able to sign up by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why play?

Greenly brought up a great question last week about comments and a story on Jadeveon Clowney. There is also a great article here. What motivation does Clowney have to play his Junior year at South Carolina? He's already a #1 pick if he could enter the draft. He can do nothing more to improve his draft status. All he can do is hurt it or himself. So...why not sit out and train? In the words of T.O., he has 20 million reasons not to play. What would his boy Lattimer have to say?

The rule is you have to be 3 years removed from HS. I understand the physical differences between the NFL and NCAA. Florida playing CMU is not the same as playing the Patriots. But, the government thinks at 18 years old you are mature enough to fight ( and possibly die) for our country. In the NBA, you have to be 1 year removed from HS. What does that do for the argument about fighting for your country right out of HS?

The argument against Clowney sitting out is that "football players play" and that would hurt his character.

I also realize...how often are we talking about guys entering their junior year with the potential of being a top 5 pick? Not very often. So I'd not be in favor of opening up an issue for just 5 guys each year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Realignment

In the Detroit News Bob Wojnowski had an article yesterday about Big Ten realignment following the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. As the conference has said geography will play a major factor in determining the alignment, here are Wojo's proposed divisions:

East: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland
West: Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern

If you're feeling a little fuzzy on the geography, yes, both Indiana schools are to the west of MSU. Not that it necessarily matters, but it's probably worth noting. Here are the current divisions if, like me, you can't keep them straight:

Legends: Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State  
Leaders: Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois

A few thoughts:

-Is there a legitimate need to have UM and OSU separated?
-Will teams in the hypothetical East have a recruiting advantage due to increased exposure?
-How much do you worry about competitive balance, if at all?
-Will they keep the names Legends and Leaders?
-Will there be 16 teams by the time the moves are made?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

?

Hey, remember when Ray Lewis was tried for murder? Most of the media apparently doesn't, but the New York Post has a story on it today (via Right Field). The details are probably much worse than you remember.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

?

Hey, did you guys hear that Jim and John Harbaugh are brothers?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I could watch this all day.

I think I need this on my phone to watch whenever I start to feel down: