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Archive for August, 2012

Absurd On Its Face

Yes, it’s about this big. At least that’s what my replacement wife tells everyone.

If you have been following the NFL preseason then you have noticed a major change in the quality of refereeing.  This is because the real NFL referees are on strike with contract negotiations while the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell and the buffoons around him have implemented “replacement” refs to start the season.  Negotiations and bickering have been going back and forth for months with the real officials demanding minimal per game pay raises to compensate for the NFL’s new rules and regulations.  It’s an obvious truth that the NFL cares way more about money that the actual integrity of the game with their unwillingness to cater to the minimal demands from the professionals that keep the games in order.  If you have ever watched a regular season NFL game, you would see and know the amount of pressure and work it takes to be a referee.  With the NFL Referees Association yet to reach an agreement, Goodell has stated that the 2012-13 NFL season can feasibly start with the current replacement refs.

No, it’s about this big when fully inflated and stretched with wires. It’s his ego that he was estimating.

The main argument being used by the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and the NFLRA (NFL Referees Association) is that Goodell and his cohorts have been preaching player safety as their number one concern.  I, as well as many others, find it crazy that the people who have been trained their entire career to protect the players and maintain a safe and healthy competitive environment to play football are the ones whom Goodell thinks are expendable.  The NFLPA executive director, DeMaurice Smith, claims that Goodell is further endangering the players by letting these replacement refs be in charge of these NFL games.  Smith, in an interview with SI.com, stated “In America it is the employer’s obligation to provide as safe a working environment as possible.  We believe that if the National Football League fails in that obligation, we reserve the right to seek any relief that we believe is appropriate. The NFL has chosen to prevent the very officials that they have trained, championed and cultivated for decades to be on the field to protect players and — by their own admission — further our goal of enhanced safety. That is absurd on its face.”

Dammit – which ones are the X’s and which ones are the O’s?! How do they expect us to make a call if we don’t know that!

Let me just start by saying that “absurd on its face” is now my go-to phrase for this NFL season.  Having said that, Smith is spot on with his accusations.  I feel that every player on the field has their safety at jeopardy because if you have watched these replacement refs in action, you would know they are nowhere near prepared to handle the intensity that the professional football level has to offer.  I mean in the few preseason games I have watched, I’ve seen more botched calls and official huddle ups then I had ever seen in my life.  When the head official during the Jets-Panthers game this past Sunday night was announcing calls, it seemed as if he was trembling so bad that I can only assume he was soiling himself throughout the game.  The coaches and players haven’t been speaking out too much on their own about the replacement refs during the preseason, but I can assure you that the second the regular season starts, every loss will be blamed on the sub-par reffing and every game will have an asterisks on it because of Goodell’s moronic negotiation tactics.

Great movie.  So was the original Longest Yard, but I don’t see anyone saying we should hire convicts the next time the players strike!

Roger Goodell is a hypocritical moron.  He preaches on and on about how much he values player safety and how he is a players’ commissioner.  Well Roger, we are calling you out on your BS.  You are completely making a mockery of the NFL by putting replacement referees in charge of the games to start the regular season.  Unless you are trying to make a sequel to the classic Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman movie, “The Replacements,” then you should take some money from your annual $11 million salary and spread it between the officials that actually do something for the sport that we all love so much.  The first NFL game has its kickoff in about a week, which is plenty of time to fix what you have nearly screwed up for every football fan in the world.  Fix this now and all is forgiven, but if you don’t, you can expect my next article to not be so friendly.


Don’t Call it a Comeback

Please Roger, over and out!

It looks like we might have another Brett Favre situation on our hands.  For the next month or so through the entire next season, there will be speculation on whether Roger Clemens should or will make a comeback to the majors at 50 years of age.  Clemens stirred this theory up by making his debut with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League and pitched fairly well.  Now the whole sports world is in awe with the fact that Clemens might make a comeback to the majors and become the legendary pitcher he once was.  While he says that’s not on his mind yet, we have all heard this story before and we never believed Favre when he told it.  Will a comeback be a good idea for Clemens, or better yet for baseball?

Oh I see the connection – Skeeters inject venom to suck blood and then we itch; Clemens injects steroids and we itch to see him suck.

It amazes me how so many people are on board with a Clemens comeback.  This is a man who spent the last decade defending his honor and name in a trial that might have ended in his favor, but we all know the truth.  Everyone remembers when Roger was accused by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, in the Mitchell Report, for using performance enhancing drugs like steroids and HGH.  It was a long and grueling trial that culminated in 2010 with Clemens being charged with 2 counts of perjury, 3 counts of making false statements and 1 count of obstructing Congress.  Recently, on June 19th, 2012, Clemens was acquitted of all charges after a 10-week trial and now his name has been cleared…or has it?

I cannot tell a lie – this is my right hand.

There is no way anyone in their right mind can honestly think that Clemens did not use steroids or HGH.  He might have been proven innocent but he is definitely guilty.  Now this man wants to make comeback, get out on that diamond and play ball with the boys again.  That is an absolute joke.  If you watched what was actually an impressive performance yesterday, you would’ve seen a former 7-time Cy Young winner who looks like a bloated version of his old self.  After the game he complained of soreness in his arm and claimed that he would be spending the next few days icing and rehabbing his shoulder.  I don’t want to take anything away from a man who is arguably the best pitcher of all time, but there is absolutely no way that he should even be considering taking the mound again.

Roger and the Astros, a match made in … well I would guess in a bar over 5 or 10 doubles.

While he proved to be able to pitch in the independent league, for a measly 31 pitches, Clemens has no chance of being successful ever again at the major league level.  He is an extremely emotional man who has just suffered through 3 years of grueling trials that would drain anyone.  His emotions are one thing but his health is another.  He is just too damn old to take the mound again.  This isn’t a Disney movie, so there will be no miraculous recovery for him to thrive off of as he saves some desperate team from complete failure.  Right now the only team honestly interested in bringing The Rocket back to the majors is his hometown Houston Astros.  Since they are the worst team in baseball and have absolutely no pitching, he might be a good fit for them.  But if he does make that comeback than I hope Mike Piazza makes one too and throws a bat back at Clemens.

Roger do us all a favor and just hang up your cleats and your steroids for good.


The Best Team in Baseball…On Paper

Gonzo gone and Beckett waiting for to go.
[Warning – literary allusion might take some study here!]

A massive trade rumor has arose between the disappointing Boston Red Sox and the Championship hungry Los Angeles Dodgers.  This trade is a clear indication of which directions each team is heading, or trying to head.  The Boston Red Sox are in the midst of a complete collapse at the end of the year for a second straight season and look to be dumping as much payroll as possible to help with their future plans.  The Dodgers on the other hand have been trying to build a playoff caliber team all season long and seem to have their final pieces coming together.  The Dodgers have already acquired both Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino to help improve a lineup that finds itself 20th in the league in Batting Average.  The trade between these two juggernaut franchises will definitely shake things up in both the American and National leagues.  The proposed trade is Boston shipping the massive contracts of Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers for James Loney and three no-name’s.  Yes you read that correctly.

Baseball in LA is like summer Kemp.

Right now LA has some money and they seem to be willing to spend it all to bring a Championship back to a city that hasn’t won the World Series since 1988.  The Dodgers season thus far has been quite an anomaly with their lineup not producing runs with all-star names and their starting pitching, basically filled with under-achieving veterans outside of Clayton Kershaw, completely dominating anyone they face.  Currently, the Dodgers pitching staff is third in all of baseball with a team ERA of 3.37 and opponents BA of .237.  LA has seemed to have struck gold with career years by Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Chad Billingsley.  Now if you add a proven winner, Josh Beckett, to the mix you have one of the scariest starting rotations the game has to offer.  I know a lot of people think that Beckett’s career is coming to an end but when you have that winning pedigree like he does you should never count him out.  With Kenley Jensen making a name for himself as one of the more reliable closer’s in baseball, the Dodgers seem to be completely set when it comes to their pitching.

Clayton Kershaw can pitch!

While the Dodger pitching has been stellar, their hitting has been abysmal.  Last year, Matt Kemp had a season that most people thought should have ended with him winning the NL MVP.  That honor went to Ryan Braun, but the deserving Kemp didn’t let that get him down and he came out of the gates this season like Katniss Everdeen…on fire.  Through the first month and half to two months, Kemp was once again the front-runner for the MVP award but he suffered a couple of injuries that set him back.  His right hand man, Andre Ethier helped to carry the load for a while, but the truth of the matter is that these two great hitters were not near enough to make the Dodgers a formidable team.  Before the trade deadline rolled around this season, the Dodgers knew they had to fix their lineup and put some pieces both in front and behind Kemp and Ethier.  The acquisitions of the scrappy and fast gold glove center fielder, Shane Victorino, and the power hitting but currently struggling, Hanley Ramirez, were two steps in the right direction.  While 4 quality bats in the lineup is better than 2, it still wasn’t enough to separate the Dodgers from the rest of the pack.

You can’t spell victory without Victorino. And you can’t spell Ramirez without spellcheck.

At the beginning of this week, the Dodgers had a pivotal 3 game series against their rivals, the San Francisco Giants.  These two teams have been neck and neck for majority of the season, fighting for that coveted NL West title.  The Giants ended up sweeping the Dodgers and now hold a 3 games lead over their rivals.  Some consider their rivalry the best in baseball while other’s, including NYBobby (https://sports-debaters.com/2012/08/15/second-best-rivalry-in-baseball-heats-up/), find it behind the rivalry of the Yanks and Sox.  With the Giants pulling away in the West and the Dodgers trailing the Cardinals for the final wildcard slot, LA had to make some moves.  Well Dodger fans, the moves have been made and now it looks like your team is the best in baseball…on paper.  With Adrian Gonzalez at first and Carl Crawford as a utility outfielder, the Dodgers now have a lineup that looks more like the Yankees and Rangers.

Oh Donny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling!

While they look like the best team on paper, will that translate to them being the best team in baseball?  I honestly think so.  I can see the Dodgers making a strong push towards the end of this season which will either lead to them winning the West or getting them one of the two wildcard spots.  Either way, if this team makes the playoffs with their current roster healthy, they will be the most feared team in the playoffs.  While my man Donny Baseball never won that coveted ring when playing for the Yankees, it sure looks like he is poised to win one now as the Dodgers head coach.


Is Fantasy Football More Popular Than Pro Football?

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You want to talk Fantasy Football? I’m a Jets fan and hope they have a Superbowl season some day.


There are millions of different addictions that people suffer with throughout the world.  From cigarettes to cars to coin collecting and more, what starts as merely hobbies and habits turns into full-blown addictions that begin to alter one’s way of life.  My addiction, as well as millions of other people  happens to be Fantasy Football.  With the NFL season around the corner, I’m starting to get that addictive itch that tells me my fantasy draft is coming near and I have to start prepping for that hour and a half that will determine if my football season will be successful or not.  That’s right, I said my football season.  Playing Fantasy Football puts you in charge of your own team, making you a pseudo-manager of a made up NFL team.  I know that this all sounds like a jock’s version of Dungeons and Dragons, but it is way more than that.  Some might say that people are more invested in Fantasy Football over the real deal.

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Hey, I’ve got the FF-God underwear and sheet set too!

It’s every sports fans dream to be a professional team’s owner, and playing Fantasy Football gives you a slight insight to what that might feel like.  I’ve been playing Fantasy Football for over 12 years and every season it seems to get a little more intense and a lot more important to me.  While I am a die-hard Jets fan through and through, I find myself paying more attention to my fantasy teams and league rather than what the Jets and the actual NFL is doing.  Wins and losses have become secondary to me, because as long as my individual players are doing well I’m happy.  Now don’t get me wrong, if I had a choice of the Jets winning the Superbowl or myself winning my fantasy league, I choose the Jets every time.  Since there is absolutely no chance in that actually happening, I have to find solace with my fantasy team.

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When reality is not enough…

Reports show that when fall rolls around, there are nearly 40 million people who participate in some form of Fantasy Football around the world.  From head-to-head, Rotisserie, Pick-em’ and straight up game by game betting, there are tons of ways to participate in Fantasy Football.  The most conventional and popular form is Head-to-Head, which is what I play.  There are some people who take Fantasy Football a lot less serious than the true die-hard’s out there, but for those people like me, we know how truly important the Fantasy season is.

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It is so much more fun to blame hundreds of variables for losing instead of just one team full of shitty players.

From bragging rights to the monetary gain, every week of the NFL season becomes more and more important as you get invested in a fantasy league.  Your NFL knowledge alone multiplies by 300% when playing FF because of how much information you need to be good at it.  From waiver wires to injuries and trades, you have a nonstop stream of information that you have to retain just to stay in contention throughout the season.  Fantasy Football has completely changed the way that football fans enjoy Sundays.

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Don’t look here for a connection. We’re talking fantasy, right?

What used to be a day where you sat back and watched your favorite team play for the normal 3 hours has now turned into a day where you feel like you are in the boiler room following every stock carefully with your life depending on it.  I for one have 3 fantasy teams and anyone who plays knows how hectic that could be.  It has gotten to the point where I don’t even take phone calls on Sunday’s because there is just too much to do.  That’s what makes FF an addiction.  As if my watching the game will have any effect on the outcome, I still stand there and refuse to look away because of the possible ramifications.

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Fantasy fantasy football. If SNL does a parody of The League, will the universe implode because of the layers of fantasy involved?

The addiction that is Fantasy Football has spawned an extremely popular television show, “The League,” which is a surprisingly good look into how a group of friends dynamics change during the fantasy season.  With my group of friends, we try to gather for the most part on Sunday’s and while we can all never agree on what game to watch, we will sit there with multiple electronic devises watching and following every moment of every game possible.  When having multiple teams, you often find yourself with conflicts of interest, like when your teams players are playing your favorite team or you have one player on your team playing another player on one of  your other teams or if you need your player to do well in one league but in another league that same player is against you.  That sentence probably didn’t make sense to most, but for those of you who understood what I was saying, you know what I meant.

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I’ll bet you were tired of X’s and O’s, right?

The amazing part of Fantasy Football is that the intensity starts weeks before the actual season does.  Every league has their own draft day and when that day comes there is no more kidding around.  Everyone thinks they have their own sleepers and surprise picks that will have the rest of the league kissing their asses in amazement that they were able to make such an incredible move.  The truth of the matter is that every season will bring their busts and unknown surprises that no one saw coming.  There is a true art behind drafting the perfect team and I swear that someday I will figure it out.  When the draft order is chosen the true trash talking starts.  Once the teams are completely picked then everyone goes back and forth with how their fantasy team will reign supreme above all.

With the amount of time and dedication that people put into their own fantasy teams, there is no disputing that Fantasy Football has an appeal that most real sports can only dream of having.  I am sure that any real Football fan would put the team they root for in front of any of their fantasy teams, but that fantasy team will be a close second.  Good luck to everyone in their respective drafts and if you don’t plan on playing Fantasy Football this season, I strongly suggest you reconsider.


More Pain For Mets Fans

Hey Santana, guess what? Johan the disabled list!

It feels like just yesterday that Johan Santana pitched the first ever no hitter in New York Mets history.  It was a day that no Mets fan will ever forget, but it seems as if that no-hitter was the apex of the Mets season and it has all been pretty much downhill since then.  Even the Mets head coach, Terry Collins, thinks that his players have lost their flare and that the Cinderella story that so many fans were in love with through May has fizzled out and now they are just the same old Mets.  Since the all-star break, the Mets are an embarrassing 11-26 and have gone from .5 a game out of the wildcard to an insurmountable 10 games back.  The Mets woes have just become worse with the news that their Ace, Johan Santana, will be sidelined for the rest of the season with yet another injury.  Johan’s most recent ailment was diagnosed as lower back inflammation and can be placed on Santana’s long list of disappointing Disabled List visits as a New York Met.

Well at least the Mets got some history. Looking on the bright side, this season will be history soon too.

Since being signed to one of the biggest contracts in baseball history back in 2008, Johan has had some extreme highs and lows while wearing the orange and blue.  His best season was his first with the Mets where he was 16-7 with a 2.53 ERA and 206 strikeouts.  2009 and 2010 got progressively worse and then Johan was sidelined for the entire 2011 season because of a shoulder surgery that a lot of people thought would end his career.  There’s no denying that Johan is a fighter because he was ready to go once the 2012 season rolled around and it looked as if he had found the skills that won him 2 Cy Young awards back with the Minnesota Twins.  The Venezuelan was throwing his change up and fastball with such confidence that it looked like his talents combined with the Mets knuckler, RA Dickey, were going to lead the Mets to their first playoff appearance with Johan on the roster.  During a stretch where the Mets seemed absolutely unbeatable, Johan took the mound on what seemed to be just a regular Friday night.

Remember the no-hitter? Mets batters seem to remember, only they remember the wrong side of the equation.

I know that I will never forget that June 1st night where Johan Santana pitched the first ever New York Mets no-hitter, but I also won’t forget how abysmal Johan’s stats were for the rest of season after it.  In his 10 starts since the no no, Johan had an ugly 3-7 record with an astronomical 8.27 ERA.  His opponents were batting .327 against him and he was giving up more than a homer a game.  It was even uglier in the final five games where he was 0-5 and had a disgusting 15.63 ERA (worst in baseball during that stretch).  It seemed like something was off and everyone was pointing fingers at injuries that hadn’t even been diagnosed yet.  If you are a Mets fan than you know that if Johan is not pitching well it is because he is injured, because when he is healthy there is no one in the game better than him.  Unfortunately for the Mets, he is injured more often than not.

You see, if they would just make the balls about this big, we could probably hit a lot more!

Just two weeks ago, Terry Collins announced that he was going to play a 6 man starting rotation and that the only starter who was going to pitch on regular rest was RA.  Now with Johan done for the year he is going to have to rethink things.  The Mets season seems to be over for the most part but the real question is whether Johan’s career is over.  If Johan returns, will he return as a Met?  The Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson seems to think so.

“I’m very confident he’ll be back next season ready to go, hopefully in a stronger position coming into this season, if you look back at this season and what we reasonably would’ve expected at the beginning of the year, he’s accomplished quite a lot,” Alderson said.

$66 million for #44 at age 33. Works out to about $287,000 per .001 batting average this year.

Regardless of what Sandy Alderson, the worst GM in all of baseball thinks, Johan will never be good again.  This injury is just a cherry on the top of what has been sheer and utter disappointment from Johan as a New York Met.  I know that his 2008 season was pretty damn good, but when you make the type of money that Johan has, over 23 million a year, you better have more that just a pretty good season.  I should have expected that he would never prove to be anything more than a flash in the pan because that’s what the Mets produce…right Jason Bay.  We give these exorbitant contracts to players who look great with someone else and then we turn them into people who will end up on the Bleacher Report as one of the most overpaid players in sports.  It makes me sick that no matter what direction the Mets have tried to go it is always seems to be the wrong direction.  Every team in baseball wanted to sign Johan, but the Mets were lucky enough, or unlucky enough depending on how you look at it, to acquire him.  But the second he put on the jersey that leads to nothing more than mediocrity, his career was doomed.

McHugh-ge expectations now on rookie pitching.

Now I have been a Mets fan my whole life and that’s not going to change.  I always try to look for the silver lining in all things related to the sports teams I root for.  The departure of Johan will make way for another Mets prospect, Right-hander Collin McHugh, who will look to build on the Mets other rookie starting pitcher, Matt Harvey.  It doesn’t look like the Mets are too far away from putting together a solid young rotation, but for the time being the Mets suck again and now I’m just waiting for my Jets to come around and help me forget about them.  The sad thing is that the Jets are looking pretty awful so I might be waiting until late October so my Knicks can give me hope of winning a championship…but they probably won’t.


A Lot of Pressure For a Rookie

You’re damn tootin’ we like Cam Newton!

The NFL regular season is around the corner and teams are getting their rosters in order.  It is never easy to succeed as a rookie in the NFL and it is even harder to do so as a Quarterback.  Last season was proof that you really can rebuild a team around a rookie QB, as was evident with how Cam Newton took the football world by storm and brought the Carolina Panthers back to relevancy.  As of noon this morning, 4 different teams have announced that they will be starting a rookie quarterback during week 1 of the NFL season.  Andrew Luck (Colts), Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Brandon Weeden (Browns), and most recently Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) were all named opening day starters for their respective teams and all the pressures of the NFL world have been placed on their shoulders.  A fifth rookie, Russell Wilson (Seahawks), is slated to start for the first time in Seattle’s third preseason game, but I feel that when the regular season roles around, the Seahawks Free Agent pickup, Matt Flynn, will be their starter.  In this article, I will break down how each of the 4 starting rookies will pan out over their freshman season.

and as Luck would have it, a rookie is Manning the QB spot for Indie

Andrew Luck:

Never has the expression “big shoes to fill,” rang more true than it does for Andrew Luck and the man he is replacing.  Former Indianapolis QB, Peyton Manning, is one of the best of all time and now Luck has the unfortunate privilege of following his legacy.  Luck was drafted as the number 1 overall pick of the NFL draft and is off to a sizzling start to his first ever preseason.  Just 2 games into the preseason and Luck already has a couple of passing touchdowns along with a rushing TD which definitely is not his forte.  If you’re counting, that’s 3 more touchdowns than the entire Jets team this preseason.  While he has already been picked off twice, the poise and comfort he shows on the field has been impressing everyone.  With the former Stanford star player so well in preseason and at training camp, NFL analysts are picking his beneficiaries in the receiver positions as some of the better fantasy options for the new season.  With Reggie Wayne looking healthy and determined to prove he can succeed without Peyton and Austin Collie trying to make the 2012-13 season a healthy and improved one, Luck has options to help him along the way.  Andrew’s former college teammate, Tight End Coby Fleener, was also drafted by the Colts and is looking like he can be a formidable option for Luck to build stats off of.  Luck’s got the size, skills and fortitude to succeed right away in this league and I think he will do just that.

Predicted Stats:  28 Touchdowns, 12 Interceptions, 3,600 Passing Yards

So if III can put a lot between the II, the Redskins could be number I

Robert Griffin III:

Unlike Luck, RG3 doesn’t have a predecessor that is even worth mentioning.  What Griffin does have though is the comparison of last season’s break out rookie sensation Cam Newton weighing down on him.  I have said from the get go that while Luck is without question the better prototypical QB between him and Griffin, I feel that RG3 will lead his team to more wins this season.  RG3 not only won a Heisman Trophy with Baylor, he absolutely demolished all of their school’s records with his ridiculous athleticism.  While Griffin is significantly faster than Newton, his lack of size can cause him some trouble at the professional level.  The Washington Redskins coach, Mike Shanahan, seems to have the perfect offense for RG3 to excel in and since Griffin has a better arm than Newton does, expectations coming into this rookie campaign are uncomfortably high.  Griffin has 3 great targets for him to choose from with veteran Santana Moss, free agent acquisition Pierre Garcon, and feisty Tight End Chris Cooley spreading the field.  Since Shanahan still hasn’t confirmed who will be the staring tailback for the Skins this year, it’s feasible to think the RG3 can lead his team in rushing for the season.  Having said that, I am a huge fan of Running Back Roy Helu, and I feel that this could be a breakout season for the second year man out of Nebraska.  I think Luck will win rookie of the year but I don’t think he will run away with it because Griffin is going to have a brilliant freshman campaign as well.

 Predicted Stats:  16 Passing Touchdowns, 10 Rushing Touchdowns, 14 Interceptions, 2,300 Passing Yards, 600 Rushing Yards

Browns’ gardening plans for this season: Weeden out the bad to focus on the good.

Brandon Weeden:

Weeden is probably the least known of the 4 quarterbacks I am talking about today but that doesn’t make him the worst…although in this case it’s arguable.  I say that with respect because all four of these rookies are going to have above average season’s for newbies.  Brandon is replacing Colt McCoy who just never really got his game to the level that we all expected him too.  Weeden is taking over a team that has been in the gutter for most of their existence, so he is probably entering the season with the least pressure out of all the rookie QB’s.  Weeden does have the luxury of being the second most important rookie on his team since the #3 overall pick, Trent Richardson, will be where all eyes are looking for the beginning of the season.  Richardson will be Weeden’s get out of jail free card because all of the teams failures will most likely be pointed at Trent rather than Brandon.  The Cleveland Browns have one of the worst Offensive lines in the NFL and Weeden will be under constant pressure.  Richardson has great hands and since there really isn’t a quality receiving option other that Greg Little on the Browns, you can expect Trent to be Weeden’s go to guy.  Unlike Luck and Griffin, Weeden will be replaced if he doesn’t show signs of progression early on in the season.  McCoy remains on the team and will be the Browns starting QB if Weeden doesn’t find a way to make his offense work.  If veteran Tight End, Benjamin Watson, can remain healthy throughout the year then he can help Brandon stack up yards on short plays over the middle.  The Browns are going to be terrible once again but I feel Brandon Weeden will show signs of a quality QB in the making.

Predicted Stats:  18 Touchdowns, 13 Interceptions, 2,800 Passing Yards

Can Dolphins swim up (Tanne)hill with their rookie?

 

Ryan Tannehill:

With Matt Moore playing absolutely awful last season, the door was open for Ryan Tannehill to take over the QB role for the Fins.  The Miami Dolphins have never started a rookie QB in week 1, but their new coach, Joe Philbin, thinks Tannehill is the man to break that streak.  Not even Dan Marino or Bob Griese had to deal with those pressures, but the 6’4″ gunner out of Texas A&M is ready for the rodeo.  Tannehill is the first Dolphin QB drafted in the opening round since they drafted Marino in 1983.  Since 83′, the Dolphins have started more QB’s than any other team in the NFL (17).  While Ryan is working with one of the better Offensive lines the NFL has to offer, he is without a real quality receiving option which will make his rookie campaign a tough one.  It doesn’t help Tannehill that he plays in the AFC East where there are 3 of the better defenses coming at him 6 times a season.  I think that Tannehill will have a favorite target in Anthony Fasano and the two of them will connect as one of the better QB-TE combinations in the league.  While Reggie Bush is an amazing athlete in the backfield, his blocking is extremely below par and could cause Tannehill to taste a lot of dirt throughout the season.  Miami will not be a winning team this season but I think that starting Tannehill behind center is a good step in the right direction.

Predicted Stats:  16 Touchdowns, 11 Interceptions, 2,900 Passing Yards

Even though I feel that all four of these rookies will become successful QB’s in the NFL, I do not feel that any of them will lead their respective teams to the playoffs this season.  I love to watch rookies play in the spotlight and I will be following these four young guns throughout the year.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Now THIS is how to do the Cottoneye Joe dance!

With every team roughly 120 games into the MLB season, we prepare ourselves for the final push for the playoffs in baseball’s last quarter of games.  This season has provided fans with some great surprises as well as the normal predictable monsters on the diamond.  We’ve had our good, our bad and our ugly and the Sports Debaters are here to tell you all about it.  There have been a record of no hitters and perfect games while some new faces have emerged on top of the baseball world.  From the Yankees being the Yankees all the way to Pittsburgh trying to end two decades of utter failure, I for one am thrilled and excited to watch the final month and a half of baseball.

The Good

The only thing happening in Washington that reduces a deficit.

The Washington Nationals Pitching Staff:  The Nationals have the best record in baseball and it’s not hard to see why.  They lead all of baseball in ERA (3.26), BAA (.231), WHIP (1.20) and Quality Starts (78) and it’s not just the starters performing at this top-level.  The Nats bullpen has been lights out when they have been needed all season long and combined with quality start after quality start Washington has been nearly unbeatable.  The obvious hot topic to talk about is the monitored innings of the Nats ace Stephen Strasburg and whether or not Davey Johnson and crew will actually bench him during a Cy Young caliber season.  As a die-hard Mets fan, it pains me to see a division foe play so well but you can’t help but be amazed with what Washington has done all season long.  All year skeptics have said that it won’t last and the fire will eventually burn out, but as the season has progressed so has the skill level of the Washington Nationals.  Look to see them making some noise in this year’s playoffs.

Cutch is clutch and Cabrera is … well, good.

M.V.P Front Runners Andrew McCutchen and Miguel Cabrera:  Only 3 years into his Major League career, the Pittsburgh Pirates Andrew McCutchen has made a name for himself as one of the best players the game has to offer.  McCutchen leads all of baseball in BA (.356) and OBP (.422).  Andrew is without question the sole reason that Pittsburgh is looking at their first winning season in 20 years.  McCutchen, also known as ‘Cutch’, has his Pirates 12 games over .500 and currently holding onto a slim .5 game lead for the second National League Wild Card spot.  In the American League, Miguel Cabrera is having a career year.  In his 10 seasons in MLB, Cabrera is on pace to set personal bests in every major batting category.  His .332 BA is second in the American League and his 104 RBI’s is first in all of baseball.  When the Detroit Tigers started the season they were one of the bigger disappointments in the league but since Miguel has turned on the jets, Detroit finds themselves only a game and a half out of the AL Central lead.  You can lock in my votes right now for the AL and NL MVP’s because to me it’s a no-brainer.

Power Rangers strike, but not out!

The Texas Rangers Offense:  After back-to-back years of dominating the American League and making the World Series, there were a lot of people who thought that the Texas Rangers were going to come back down to reality.  Well it seems as if the opposite has happened as they are on pace to have a record-breaking offensive year.  The Rangers lead all of baseball in team BA (.275), runs (596) and are second in OBP (.338), making this team any pitchers nightmare.  They literally do not have a weak bat in their entire lineup. Lead by everyone’s favorite born again drug addict, Josh Hamilton, the Rangers have smacked around any pitcher to come their way.  Adrian Beltre is having an amazing season with his .305 BA and he has already accumulated 136 hits.  The crazy thing is I don’t even rank Beltre in the Rangers top 4 hitters.  From Hamilton to Kinsler the Rangers have a lineup poised to not only make the World Series for a third straight year, but they are definitely one of the favorites to win the whole damn thing.  The one thing they have to focus on is fixing what has been a very inconsistent pitching staff.

The Bad

Melky* Cabrera* M*V*P*
*denotes maybe could be

Melky Cabrera:  It’s been just a week since my PIC, NYBobby, praised Melky for his remarkable season and even picked Melky’s Giants to win the NL West because of his excellence.  Well a lot has gone on since then and Melky finds himself suspended for the rest of the season because he got caught using PED’s.  I’m trying not to laugh while writing this but I find it remarkable that in this day in age when we are testing everyone and their mothers on a regular basis to keep the integrity in the game of baseball, Melky really thought he could get away with cheating.  Just a week ago, you could argue that Melky was only trailing McCutchen in the NL MVP race and now he is considered one of the more hated players in the game.  I mean this guy won the All Star Game MVP for Christ’s sake.  This was a career defining year for Melky and now it is all just an asterisks on what has been just an average to below average career.

The Adventures of Ozzie and Idiot

Ozzie Guillen and His Miami Marlins:  Coming into this season, the Miami Marlins were a lot of analysts pick to win one of the NL Wild Card slots.  Now, Miami will fight till the end of the season just to not finish in last place in the NL East.  The Marlins head coach, the brilliant Ozzie Guillen (I’m kidding people), has proven that it wasn’t Chicago that brought worst out of him, it was himself.  Ozzie has to be one of the biggest morons the game of baseball has ever produced and for some reason he continues to be employed.  After his praising of Fidel Castro, Ozzie was suspended for 5 games and had to submit multiple apologies.  The backlash that came from the Miami faithful, mainly Cuban, put Ozzie through hell and made him the most hated coach in sports.  I guess the one positive that came from the Guillen protesters was that it brought an extra 200 players to a stadium that struggles in attendance on a nightly basis.  New stadium, new team, new coach, same old problems.  Miami still sucks and Ozzie is the main reason why.

The Ugly

You some Assholes

The Houston Astros:  Just one year removed from a franchise worst 56 win season, the Houston Astros are trying to break that feat by being the worst team in baseball once again.  Yesterday, the Astros fired head coach Brad Mills, which I can only imagine is a good thing for Mills because coaching this team of misfits has got to take years off of someone’s life.  The Astros are ranked in the bottom 5 in all of baseball in every major batting and pitching category.  The one bright spot of the season has been the emergence rookie second baseman, Jose Altuve, but don’t get too excited Astros fans because I can assure you that he will be traded for some no talent ass clowns within the next season or two.  If you consider yourself a big baseball fan, I challenge you to try to name two Houston Astros starting pitchers.  It’s tough isn’t it?  While I did predict the Astros will finish this season with the worst record in baseball once again, I did say they would get 60 wins.  I would like to change that right now and predict that they will finish with less than 55 wins, making this their worst season ever.

Phillies making Mets look good, and that takes some doing!

The Philadelphia Phillies:  While the Phillies do not even come close to the embarrassingly bad Houston Astros, in terms of underachieving for the current season they probably finish as the worst.  When the season started, the Phillies were without perennial all-stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.  Even with those injuries, the Phillies were still considered the favorite to win the NL East, the same way they have for over half a decade.  Well we are half way through August and the Phillies find themselves with only a .5 game lead over the Marlins for last place in the NL East.  Their once perfect pitching staff has been nothing more than average and it took former Cy Young winner, Cliff Lee, more than half the season just to pick up his first victory.  It seems as if Philly has shipped it in for the season since they have traded away fan favorites Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino while receiving nothing in return.  Cole Hamels is having his best season ever and just signed a contract that should prevent the Phillies from being able to afford any talent in the near future.  I would like to welcome all Philadelphia Phillies fans back to the bottom of the NL East with my Mets which both teams will be enjoying for years to come.

There you have it.  I have given you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly through the first 3 quarters on the MLB season.  I hope there are things you don’t agree with because I always love a good debate!


Don’t Forget to Study

J-E-T-S! A good online education will help you to spell too!

Anyone who has ever been to an NFL game knows that there is always at least one or two jerks that try to ruin the game for everyone else.  The hope is that these boisterous jerks will get thrown out of the stadium as the annoyed fans around them applaud their departure.  The NFL has just initiated a rule that will make life even worse for these morons that get themselves thrown out of a game.  Starting this season, any person who is thrown out of an NFL game will have to take a 4-hour online course if they ever hope to return to their respective stadium.  I promise that I am not kidding.  This might be the single funniest rule I have ever heard of in all of sports.

No shoes. No shirt. No fun. Novick.

This ridiculous course was designed by psychotherapist Dr. Ari Novick, who will now become on of the most hated men among football fans.  Statistics show that approximately 7,000 fans were ejected from football stadiums last season.  That means that the Dr. Novick will have 7,000 different angry football fans gunning for him in this upcoming season.  The most preposterous thing about this online course is that not only will these fans have to sit through a grueling 4 hours of lectures and questions mainly focusing on alcohol abuse, anger management and crude behavior, but they will have to pay for it as well.  I’m not talking about paying for it emotionally either, I’m talking cash money people.

Please remain calm. Stay in your seats. This is no way to behave while watching 3 tons of men slam into each other.

Is the NFL serious?  The prices for this course will range anywhere from $50-$100 based on which stadium the ejection occurs in.  Does the NFL and this Dr. Novick really think that anyone in their right mind will pay money to take a class online after being ejected from a game that they just went to see?  Dr. No’dick’ seems to think so and he also assumes that this will make the atmosphere at a football game more zen-like.  While this rule has already been tried in New York since 2010, the success rate is very low.  Even when someone sits through the 4 hours they still have to take a test at the end and will have to retake the course if they score less than 70%.

Do we really want these guys on the Internet? Aren’t there enough weirdos there already?

“For decades, some fans have believed that when they put on the jersey of their favorite player on their favorite team and they enter a stadium, they can behave any way they want,” Novick said. “This program was designed to say to people, ‘We want you to have fun when you come to a game, but you have to understand that your actions can affect people and there are rules to abide by.”

An educated consumer is our best customer. Oh, alright. A consumer is our best customer.

Novick has said that now when a fan gets ejected from a game he will send them a letter and ask them to apologize to the team and complete the online course.  If they refuse to do this and they are caught showing up to the stadium they were ejected from then they can be arrested for trespassing.  Every team will monitor their ejected fans differently but there is a rumor saying that facial recognition technology can be making an appearance in the near future.  Is anyone else laughing their ass off right now?

So near to Berkley, and yet sooooo far away.

Is it me or does it seem like Dr. Novick was that asshole in school that reminded the teacher that they forget to assign homework for that night?  I don’t know if Ari Novick has ever been to an Oakland Raiders game before but their fans are without question the meanest and most bad ass fans the NFL has to offer.  Raiders fans are so rowdy that Oakland had to initiate a lot of their own rules and regulations that other stadiums don’t enforce, like a no tolerance smoking rule.  Ray DiNunzio, the NFL’s director of strategic security, even went as far as saying that the Raiders eject upwards of 300 fans a game for sparking up.  Good luck getting those guys to take your dumb ass course.

All I can say at this point is that I hope Dr. Novick has a good life insurance plan because there are going to be a lot of irate NFL fans looking for his head.  For anyone who would like to take this course here is the link, http://www.fanconductclass.com.  Good Luck!