Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Quickie:
In Orlando (via Blackberry)

Welcome to my experiment to file a post on the road via Blackberry. I'm in Orlando, and I can't promise how this will turn out. I picked the wrong day to... (Fill in your Lloyd Bridges Airplane refenence here) Try to file my NFL picks... And away we go!

COLTS over Ravens: Now that there are zero expectations, Indy will win, just to spite you.

EAGLES over Saints: Take what I just said about the Colts and multiply it exponentially. (Which is a shame, because I don't know any fans outside of Philly who want to see the Saints lose, including me.)

BEARS over Seahawks: Seattle gets one QB blunder per playoffs season, and they got it last week. Grossman defies the critics with a huge game.

PATS over Chargers: Now, I'm rooting like hell for the Bolts, but this fulfills a vow going back two seasons to pick the Pats in the playoffs until they are eliminated as an option. The bastards...

Three more non-NFL takes:

Beckham to MLS: Is it me or does $50 mil per year for Becks seem like a lot. Presumably, MLS chalks it up as.a marketing expense.

Bonds-Greenies, Day 2: Zzzzz.

Boykins traded to Bucks: Redd-Boykins instantly becomes one of the Top 3 backcourts in the East.

Wow, are my thumbs tired. Hopefully, alittle more later. Use the Comments to break down all the NFL playoff storylines,
intigues and x-factors.
-- D.S.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Brian in Oxford said...

Hey sheldiz and mikepcfl, how's the local hate level building towards the colts? I think it'll rev the crowd into frenzy enough to bring the ravens through in an otherwise-even game.

I'm very wary as a pats fan....probably jaded from last year's clunker in denver. But I did get a freaky "24-3" win vibe suddenly. Believe THAT when I see it, though.

It's too easy to pick the eagles as the hot team....I like the Saints more easily than most.

And then the Bears, probably less easy than the sunday night game this year....but 20-17 sounds believable. And when Rex brings 'em down to win, they'll feel overconfident for next week.

Eric said...

Talking with friends and listening to "experts" about their picks for the four games this weekend leaves me with one conclusion - nobody knows anything about these games. There's no consensus on any single game. Gamblers beware...

CorrND said...

The Bonds using greenies story is clearly a non-starter, but what about the Sweeney aspect? That kind of crap ended Palmeiro's career. Is Bonds' rep already in the dumpster to the point that this can't possibly make it worse? What about the fact that the Giants haven't officially resigned Bonds yet?

Big D said...

Those of you who also read the Deadspin religiously will enjoy this...

WEEI has a weekly Friday morning interview session with Sean Salisbury to talk all things NFL.

Today, on the commercial break leading into his time slot, one of the producers chose a great movie cut to play...

The cut? From that 2006 "new classic" Accepted:

"Ask me about my wiener!!!"

And, in all seriousness, I agree with three of the four picks. Except the Ravens are going to obliterate the Colts, which is a shame - I really wanted the Pats to have the opportunity one more time.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

Sorry I'm late. I was trying to help Mark Sweeney get that knife out of his back....

Colts, Chargers, Bears, Eagles all cover.

Gotta get back to work!

Big Smitty said...

50 million a year for a declining player who lost his starting job on 2 teams and dumped from his National team. What was Pele not available?

Anonymous said...

Good job on the Crackberry, Dan. Talk here has been nothing but how the Pats and Bolts are being mutually-respectful to the Nth degree, but no one seems to be able to figure out how either team will defend the other. Interestingly these teams are near mirror images of each other:
-Front 7 on D that runs the show.
- QBs who are not going to make mistakes.
- Running games that fuel the offense.
- Weak WRs.
- Weak CBs.

So that leaves 1 decisive factor- coaching. And we know who wins that argument (Cough, Marty, cough, 5-12 in playoffs, cough cough).

So does a +1 takeaway ratio win this game?

Best. Divisional. Playoff. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Definitely the best Divisional Round ever.

I have no idea how these games are going to shake out and that's great.

Jason said...

This the first I'm hearing about Boykins to Bucks.

What did the Nuggets get in return.

jkadis said...

"This the first I'm hearing about Boykins to Bucks.

What did the Nuggets get in return."

Nugs got Steve Blake. Julius Hodge was also sent to the Bucks in that trade.

jkadis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BottleRocket said...


I definitely agree there are some similarities but to say Rivers isn't going to make mistakes and the Pats have weak CB's is a little off. Let's not forget that this is Rivers first playoff game and in Schotty's desperation to prove that he is not going to call a conservative game plan, Rivers is going to have to be a factor. We all know what the genius does to inexperienced QB's that have to play well to win games.

As for weak CB's, I'd say its a Pats strength, Samuel is a top 5 DB in the league now. Only place that scares me is over the middle with Rivers against the Pats inexperienced (to be nice) safeties.

Unfortunately, I still think it comes down to the kicking game which scares the living hell out of me as a Pats fan.

eirishis said...

Well, the ND haters will get their wish next season - with Darius Walker declaring for the NFL Draft, ND will have inexperienced players starting at 8/11 positions on both sides of the ball. I don't think anyone will need to worry about the Irish being overrated at any point ... because not even fans like myself would be so foolish.

Anonymous said...

Here is my breakdown for this weekend.

Saturday Games:
Indianapolis at Baltimore - Last weeks performance by the Colts defense was out of this world for them but there offense was mediocore against the Chiefs Defense. I do not think the Colts D can perform that way 2 weeks in a row and I think if the offense continues to make the mistake they made last week the Ravens will take advantage of those mistake unlike Kansas City.

Prediction - Baltimore 24 Indianapolis 13

Philadelphia at New Orleans - The team that is the story of the year versus the team that has probably been playing the best in the NFC over the last month. I think with Philadelphia vetern leadership and solid coaching they will end the storybook run for the Saints.

Prediction - Philadelphia 35 New Orleans 31

Sunday Games:
Seattle at Chicago - Seattle has new life after Romo's blown attempt to hold for the winning field goal but this game really hinges on which Rex Grossman shows up the good Rex or the Bad Rex. I think with the week off and some solid coaching the Good Rex shows up and Chicago rolls.

Prediction - Chicago 27 Seattle 3

New England at San Diego - In what looks like the match up of the week. We have the Coach with a great playoff record versus the coach who does not. An experienced playoff tested QB versus a Qb making there 1st playoffs start. 2 great defenses and the X factor a great rb. And I think this is the game when experience wins out. Belichick finds a way to slow down LdT and the San Diego offense and the patriots squeak out a close game.

Predictions - New England 13 San Diego 10

CorrND said...

eirishis -- in the past 10 years or so of ND football (and you could even go back to the 1993 season), ND has always seemed to play best when nobody had any expectations. Walker was a very, very good RB, but I wouldn't call him irreplaceable. Plus, Weis very wisely got some carries for freshman stud RB Aldridge this year.

Now, I don't expect a BCS bowl berth next year, but the sky is definitely not falling in South Bend.

Boomhauertjs said...

Boykins and Redd Top 3 backcourt? Maybe Top 3 in Giving Up Points to the Opposition.

Anonymous said... had this list on the MLB page and I thought it brings up some intertesting debate.

Top 5 MLB Parks
1. Fenway Park - Boston, MA
2. Oriole Park - Baltimore, MD
3. PNC Park - Pittsburgh, PA
4. Wrigley Field - Chicago, Il
5. AT&T Park - San Francisco, CA

oh and the rated the worst park: Dolphins Stadium - Miami, FL

Mikepcfl said...

I agree that this is the best divisional round at least in my memory.

The excitement is pretty high in Baltimore though. There is still alot of passion when the Colts are brought up. As I said earlier in the week, I am part of the last generation with vivid memories of the Colts (14 when they left). I think the crowd will be the loudest in stadium history. It was pretty ramped up in the 2005 opener that I attended and it should be dwarfed tomorrow.

But the crowd wont be violent or obscene (for the most part) like say an Oakland or Philly crowd. There's no hatred towards the Colt players. Now if they show Irsay on the Jumbotron...

Mikepcfl said...

They are going for the noise though, Cal Ripken will be there as an honorary Ravens captain for the coin toss. That will get the crowd pumped too. (Dont worry no Ripken stats today!)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think it possible that between Dan, and the commenters we could go one day with out the mentioning of Favre, ND, Florida or Ripken? I don't

Big D said...


Asante Samuel is not a top 5 corner in the NFL right now. He's a ball-hawking type who can get burned and has a tendency to get caught napping on double moves.

He's got a great knack for finding the ball and holding on to it (something he didn't do in the past). But he's, at best, in the top 25.

The Pats' secondary still scares the crap out of me - Samuel plays the ball too much rather than playing the man, and Ellis Hobbs is horribly overrated because he likes to make big hits and he's speedy on kick returns. Both can be beat, easily.

The only thing going in their favor is that the Chargers' receiving corps is not exactly great, either. Of course, if Rivers is smart, he'll just flip the ball to LdT out of the backfield and Antonio Gates over the middle with no one capable of covering him (or knocking the snot out of him, with Harrison out).

Natsfan74 said...

I haven't been to AT&T Park yet, but I would agree with the others. Wrigley is my favorite, but as a Cubs fan, I guess it should be (even though I have season tickets to RFK instead). But, I would probably put Citizens Bank Park in Philly up there somewhere. I actually like it better than Camden Yards now, even though CY started the baseball stadium revolution that everyone else copies now. The advantage to CY is the location in a fun atmosphere, vice CBP in with all of the other Philly sports complexes without walking distance to fun bars and restaurants.

Dave said...

I think this is just as relevent as any of the other talking heads are offering. In fact, more so because it is based on common sense and historical fact/stats. Here's TMQ's take:

"Home teams in the NFL divisional round are the surest thing in sports. Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990, home teams in the divisional round are 51-13, a .796 winning figure. Usually the reason the home teams are home in the first place is that they are better than the wild-card teams. Equally important, in the divisional round the home teams have spent a bye week relaxing in hot tubs while their opponents were out in the cold being pounded. Home teams dominate the NFL divisional round....

"A week later in the championship round, the home advantage dissipates. Since 1990, home teams in conference championship games are 18-14, a .562 winning figure. That is nearly identical to the rate at which home teams have won all games in the past decade. In the championship round, nobody's had the previous week off and the Super Bowl is just one W away. Players leave everything on the field in championship contests. So at the next step the home team won't necessarily be the favorite. But this weekend, look homeward."

Dave said...

Someone mentioned Favre?! That's my cue!


The heroin sheik said...

Nice weather here in orlando dan for the wedding. If you find yourself downtown come in to the crooked bayou for a beer on me. Just ask for the fat guy who worships the gators. HA! I think it is great for MLS to get beckham but i think that the amount of money involved is obscene. However good beckham is on set pieces he really sucks at defense which is why he was out at Real. He is great for marketing and I think that this could be the start of something exciting in soccer here in the states. IM somewhat happy though that soccer hasn't taken off in the states though. I like how the only people who really focus on it in the states are akin to hemingway's idea of the afficionado.

This weekend I see baltimore winning only because I don't think peyton will ever win anything. I can't wait to hear who he throws under the bus this year.

The aints since it is pretty apparent that they have all the luck this year on top of being pretty damn good offensively.

The bears because that defense is sick and if rex cant exploit their weak secondary he doesn't deserve to win.

I want the chargers to win so I can have my chargers bears super bowl. This offense reminds me of how potent the chargers were back in the air coryell days. I always loved those teams as a child in so-cal. Even though I am a diehard bucs fan since pretty much birth I have always had a soft spot for the bolts . I just hate the patsies since even though they are clearly the less talented team on paper you can't discount martyball and how Bill the Bum seems to magically make his team play flawlessly in the playoffs. What the hell I will go with the bolts by a fg but I wont lay any money on this.

Bonds and greenies is funny. HOckey players used to always take cold medicine with ephedrine in it so big deal. I could care less if players use roids. I just want to see fun baseball Home run derbies in the AL and close one run defensive battles in the NL. Make all the roiders play as DH's in the Al and that would be pretty cool.

Dan remember that at noon the gators celebration will be on sun sports down here in orlando but I will be in gville before work. Anyone else going?

The heroin sheik said...

When I compare the bolts of now to the coryell bolts I simply mean that they were both fun to watch. Totally different philosophies offensively. Don't want you to think I am cockgoblin.

BottleRocket said...

@big D

Fair assessment. Maybe I went a little overboard in the Top 5 ranking, but I do think out of all the DB's we've had since Law left, he's been the only one to truly step up and shut down #1's. I think our CB's def are as good if not better than the SD WR's. Gates over the middle, on the other hand, having nightmares.

Can't you just see Gostkowski standing over a 45 yarder to win the game with a second remaining. It has to happen at some point this year!

And for all the gamblers, that Eagles, Pats, Colts ML Parlay sure looks enticing.

Jason said...

From the MLB parks piece: Wrigley is older than Fenway, isn't it?

Also, my picks:

Indy def. Baltimore
San Diego def. New England
New Orleans def. Philadelphia
Chicago def. Seattle

Natsfan74 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natsfan74 said...

Beckham coming to the MLS is a great marketing tool, and that's about it. I don't like soccer and have never been to an MLS game, but I would go to see him play when he is in DC.

It's like the World Cup - I don't care about the game, but I like big events! Beckham will be an event.

And Fenway is 2 years older than Wrigley (1912 vs. 1914).

My picks:
Bears, Pats, Saints, Ravens, in order of how sure I am.

Mega said...

Bears over Seahawks
Saints over Eagles
Ravens over Colts
Chargers over Pats

Chargers over Ravens
Bears over Saints

Bears over Chargers

Thats the way I see it, biased as I may be.

Mega said...

As for baseball stadiums, I hate the whole "hokey" feel that CY has or the "cutesy" feel that Wrigley has. Give me something that works, looks decent, and doesn't have stupid extras everywhere. Oh and if the stadium has seats behind poles, it should automatically be disqualified from any "best stadium" arguments.

Sheldiz said...

brian in oxford.... sorry, i'm just gettin in... to respond to your question: i'm actually in DC, but my (non football fan) boyfriend works in baltimore and he's pretty sick of ravens-mania, so it must be pretty good :)

i'm wearing my ED Reed jersey to work today and most people around here just think i'm a Redskins fan who sold out. which couldn't be further from the truth.

W/ Ripken there and the ridiculous hype of the Colts history in Baltimore, i think that the home field advantage is going to be huge.

But that will mean exactly nothing if the Ravens can't convert on offense tomorrow.

And i agree w/ everyone who says these games are impossible to pick. Should be a fantastic weekend of football.

Kevin said...

The Bucks only have a top 3 backcourt when they're healthy. Isn't half the team injured right now? Lucky for them they play in the East.

BottleRocket said...

Didnt the WWL do a summer long tour of baseball parks a couple years ago and have a completely different list. I think they picked the Pirates new park as the best.

Kevin said...

Oh and if the stadium has seats behind poles, it should automatically be disqualified from any "best stadium" arguments.

How about the "Uecker Seats" at Miller Park? I'm not saying Miller Park is a top 5 stadium (it's goo, but not great), but you can't knock $1 tickets to a baseball game, expecially when everyone knows you just find another (better) seat somewhere else in the upper deck once you get in.

kirby077 said...

The 5 year/$250 million is not a contract! It is the maximum Becks can make if all the sponsorship/TV/Licensing etc. money
blows up...and we all know it won't be close to that....the figures are all optics to get people talking...and it's working...ugh

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

K, gotta get on record, I guess.

Colts def Ravens (Peyton's big day)
Chargers def Pats(LDT = too much)
Bears def Seahawks(Defense wins)
Eagles def Saints(Shootout of the week)

Chargers def Colts(We get to see the "Manning Face")
Eagles def Bears(Grossman throws 3 TDs to the Eagles DBs)

Chargers over Eagles(Simply outclassed on both sides of the ball)

Hey, if Cowher got the monkey off his back last year, why not Schottenheimer?

Brian in Oxford said...

hey, does anyone else ever read the page 2 columnists before the page goes up, simply by referring to a previous article by the author and just changing the date to today? i do that with tmq usually by 11 am....and simmons' is already available for the weekend. that's early for him, his are usually 12:30, just ahead of the actual page 2 links being updated.

Brian in Oxford said...

Since the NBA Eastern conference sucks, why don't they just re-do the conferences as north and south to have some semblance of equality?

Mikepcfl said...

Just finished Simmons' column too and he sees the Colts/Ravens game the same as me (or as I hope it will go). Hopefully the Ravens can pound Peyton without letting Rolle get exposed on Wayne.

Fact that may mean the end of the world: The Sports Gal now has a linkable archive on Simmons' column!

Generik said...

I personally think the Colts will win tomorrow in Baltimore. For one thing, the weather is showing it will be around 60 degrees and possible light rain. So nobody can point to the Colts previous woes of playing in cold weather in the playoffs as a potential problem. For another thing, that defense is built to play on the turn in the RCA dome, as it emphasizes their speed. The turf in Baltimore is almost the same (if it isn't) so the Colts defense just might shock some people again this weekend. But let's be honest here, this game comes down to 1 thing: The Colts offense vs the Ravens defense. Something here has to give as the Ravens give up roughly 13 points a game and the Colts score close to 28 / game. I think last week you saw Manning play mediocre, and you really just don't see that happen 2 weeks in a row.

Looking at the offenses and it is night and day. You can make the argument that Addai is a better RB then Lewis. Lewis averages 1.2 yard less per attempt. Recieving corps heavily favors the Colts. Just a lot of weapons that they are going to have to try and stop, and Peyton Manning has finally learned to accept the dink and dunk style if that is all that is presented. Honestly, I think the Colts blow this game out but we will just have to see. A couple turn overs can make a huge impact unlike last weekend.

As to the other games, if the Colts do win, then I am pulling for the Pats to pull off the upset. Who doesn't want to see a Pats - Colts AFC Championship game in Indianapolis? I will admit that many Colts fans point to Pats playoff domination being due to homefield advantage and if this game would be the put up or shut up to end that argument.

I am torn over the Eagles Saints game. Being a Purdue alum, I love seeing Brees in the position he is in.. but there would be nothing but amusement in my mind if the Eagles finally won a SB and it wasn't by McNabb's hands. Which would beg the question.. who would be the starter next year in that case. Hell, I think it is a valid question right now to be honest. Garcia only lost that one game to the Colts, which I think was the first when he was a starter.

Bears win all the way. Seattle just doesn't have what it takes to beat them. Rexy just needs to have a mediocre day this week in my opinion.

Richard said...

Am I the only one that thinks the Sports Gal writes a funnier piece than the Sports Guy?

Generik said...

Clarification.. that first paragraph, the colts defense is built to play on the TURF in the RCA dome.. not turn.. /sigh

Sheldiz said...

hey mike --- can you post the link to that Simmons column?

Thanks :)

Mikepcfl said...

Here is Simmons' column for today

Anonymous said...

My picks before the season started were Chicago and Baltimore and people doubted me. One has the 1 seed in its conference. the other has the 2 seed in its conference.

I love the Bears and even if they lose, my only wish is that neither the puss-, I mean Patriots or the Saints don't win. Why? Because what Sean Peyton did when they were already up on Dallas (onside kick) by a lot, deserves a vicious karma counterpunch. I can't stand the coach or the grandstanding team, and for them to do that to my second favorite team pissed me off. As for the Patriots: i don't care where you are from, Tom Brady is a fucking cry-baby and need to shut the fuck up. I would love to see Sean Merriman with a full dose of uppers, screamers, downers and laughers, and a pint of raw either (courtesy of HST) pile drive Tom Brady into permanent coma.

That being said, I have to stick with my picks and if they DO go to the superbowl, i will be kickin myself in the ass for being against gambling, because those odds would have been through the roof and I would be able to sit back and let my GI Bill pay for a brand new TV as the money collected from the bet got me a new house.

The Bluebird Has Spoken

Anonymous said...

My picks before the season started were Chicago and Baltimore and people doubted me. One has the 1 seed in its conference. the other has the 2 seed in its conference.

I love the Bears and even if they lose, my only wish is that neither the puss-, I mean Patriots or the Saints don't win. Why? Because what Sean Peyton did when they were already up on Dallas (onside kick) by a lot, deserves a vicious karma counterpunch. I can't stand the coach or the grandstanding team, and for them to do that to my second favorite team pissed me off. As for the Patriots: i don't care where you are from, Tom Brady is a fucking cry-baby and need to shut the fuck up. I would love to see Sean Merriman with a full dose of uppers, screamers, downers and laughers, and a pint of raw either (courtesy of HST) pile drive Tom Brady into permanent coma.

That being said, I have to stick with my picks and if they DO go to the superbowl, i will be kickin myself in the ass for being against gambling, because those odds would have been through the roof and I would be able to sit back and let my GI Bill pay for a brand new TV as the money collected from the bet got me a new house.

The Bluebird Has Spoken

Anonymous said...

My picks:

Ravens over Colts: simply because that Defense will pick apart Peyton. They have 2 excellent corners, an imposing front 7, and Ed Reed.

Bears over Seahawks: if Seattle was lucky against the 'Boys, they'll need a heck of a lot more against an imposing Bear D.

Saints over Eagles: the joyride has to end for one of these teams, i just do not see how the eagles can defend drew brees without lito sheppard. drew will pick apart their secondary.

Chargers over Patriots: come to think of it, no one ought to bet against tom brady until they actually lose. then again... i dunno how they can beat them without the old san diego parts (seau and harrison).

Boykins: with the Bucks' injuries (Mo, Redd, Charlie V).. they really do not have much scoring options. Earl can give you that. once the guys become healthy, earl will be a scoring machine off the bench.

also, in denver, his minutes will be totally reduced since A.I will play 40+minutes, jr smilth 30+minutes and melo 35+minutes. they need a role player who will not pout about a reduced role. blake will give you that.

what about julius hodge? we will never know how good he is since he was shot a long time ago... he seems to be not the same since...

beckham: yes, that is a risk... but for MLS, this is an opportunity to raise its profile not just in the US, but worldwide. remember he is virtually worshipped, like in asia (except here in the philippines.. we care about basketball and pretty much basketball). imagine jersey sales and viewing rights... remember, he is a huge draw. they can recoup their investment. as for david, with victoria aadams-beckham (the former spice girl) wanting to enter hollywood, (as seen with her recent chumminess with katie holmes)

Anonymous said...

my apologies for the double post

Mikepcfl said...

I think the Ravens need to get pressure on Peyton without resorting too much to blitzing. I think Addai is held under 50 yds this week as the way to attack the Ravens' D is through the air.

Manning will probably go with alot of quick hitters to draw up the Defensive Backs, then he will go for the bomb. If the Ravens can pressure him enough when he goes downfield, they will win. If not, the Colts get several big plays and probably win.

Jo Fer said...

Re: weekend football picks.

SD over n.e. (Sorry predominantly east coast posters)

N.O. over Phi (Just think the NFL might "tweak" this one a little)

Ind. over BALT (I see Ind as a very legitimate threat to win the SB.)

CHI over Sea. (I mentioned earlier, just curious if it will come out this week, but said that the Bears would be stupid to not use Devin Hester in the backfield on a crucial play or two, a la the 'Reggie Bush distraction strategy')

Re: Beckham signing

So if it is incentive laden and comes through, he makes roughly $1M a week for the next 5 years?! What do I make again?

Re: Stadium rankings

Call me out on my west coast bias, but where's the Chavez ravine love for Dodger stadium on a saturday it.

Re: Bucks trade

Had to do something. They have 4 of their 5 starters injured. (Simmons, Redd, Villanueva, Williams) When 80% of your starters and 80 points a nights are gone you better do something.

Michael said...

Richard, I just read the Sports Gal piece for the first time. She is *much* funnier than Sports Guy. I also read that AM Jump piece and that is completely non-funny but obviously trying to be funny.

Kevin said...

Take the underdogs in the NFC if you're picking spreads - really, all the teams in the NFC suck, so it's just a matter of who's hotter on that day. I have no clue who I'd pick straight up in either game.

AFC I'm taking the Colts straight up, and I guess I'll go with the Chargers (-4.5?), but I don't love that game.

BottleRocket said...

@ferocious bluebird

Tom Brady is a crybaby? Please explain.

Anonymous said...

and yeah... it does not pack the same punch as the quickie...

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

the thing about baseball ratings is the ambiance of it all. i have talked to a few hard core boston fans and they HATE fenway. it's a dump. but if you are visiting for the first time (as with wrigley) you are in awe.

if i had to pick (i've been to quite a few). i'd go 1.) pittsburh 2.) baltimore 3.) colorado 4.) milwaukee 5.) wrigley


Sean said...

Picks (coming from a Steeler fan) in order from most to least confident:

Ravens over Colts (no contest) - Manning plays well but the Ravens play better.

Bears over Seahawks - Seattle should be happy the got this far after last week's entertaining finish.

Eaglers over Saints - against everybody's (except Philly) wishes...the Eagles are last years Steelers.

Chargers over Pats - I have the most trouble with this one. But, to come clsoe to the winninger percentage of divisional home teams based on history, I'll pick the Chargers.

Regarding baseball parks...has anybody been to PNC Park in Pittsburgh? I haven't been to others to compare but PNC is TOP NOTCH.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

I've been to Camden Yards (because I live 10 miles away) and PNC (Pirates fan), and I give the edge to PNC. The center/rightfield view is just awesome.

I've been to Fenway too, and it just didn't do it for me. History, schmistory. It's just an uncomfortable place to sit and watch a game.

Brian in Oxford said...

anyone ever see those old shots (illustrations?) of first world series, and it looks like the fans are on the field? just giving a little halo of room to the outfielders?

now that's an intimate setting!

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a baseball fan, but Safeco is REALLY nice! Plus, $10 bleacher seats if you want them, retractable roof (no rainouts), right downtown next to Pioneer Square (bars) and the waterfront, gorgeous views, comfy seats, and great ammenities.

CHI probably beats SEA, but there is NO WAY they cover -8.5. The 37-6 game was at the peak of CHI's opening run and SEA was w/o Alexander & Stevens: their 2 weapons to attack the middle of the defense. Also, this will be the first time all season that SEA starts the same O-Line 2 weeks in a row.

BAL: Colts won't attack enough (See GB game in 2001).
NO: Too many weapons.
CHI: Dang close, say 30-28.
SD: NE just doesn't have the WRs.

Big D said...

OK. First, The Picks.

There. Now that that is out of the way, onto more pressing issues, like baseball stadiums and meaningless NBA trades...

I've been to one Major League park in my life. Fenway. I love it and hate it all at once.

Obviously, as my moniker shows, I am a big dude. Fenway's 1912 seats (most of which do not face the mound, or even the infield) are not exactly designed for today's modern portly/husky gentleman. Wedging my ass into the cheap chairs, only to be terrified by the sound of plastic snapping beneath me, is not condusive to enjoying a baseball game.

If I had to pick, simply from watching on TV, I would pick Pittsburgh & San Francisco as the nicest looking parks, with Milwaukee & the new Busch Stadium close behind.

See, apparantely only The National League gets it.

And I lied - I really couldn't care less about the NBA trade, so there's no rease to devote valuable typing time to it. Tony Gonzalez' 5-year extension, however, could be a bigger story.

Dave said...

In response to Bluebird:

If you think Sean Payton's onside kick against Dallas needs karmic come-uppenances than you clearly weren't watching the game. It was wild and both teams were going up and down the field. He was just trying to take the wind out of there sails and get all the momentum with two straight scores. After that, the Saints were totally in control.

Furthermore, if he was really looking to run up the score or rub it in at the end, he wouldn't have been kneeling on the 10 yard line with three minutes left.

Anonymous said...

I agree with o fer. The NFL WILL tweak NO to win and I hate them for it.

in response to Bottle Rocket. A couple years ago during a press conference Brady kept whining about how no one respected the team and he sounded like the biggest cry baby ever. I feel like, hey, you got three SB rings and a girlfriend most women would die to have and you are bitchign about respect? STFU. I mean, the guy has it made and he is bitching about respect from the press. And DAMN is he the FIRST one to go the the refs when a call does not go his way. He's a golden boy and he still wants to bitch. His line gets away with more holds then I have EVER seen so he has managed to remain upright and healthy. I would love to see San Diego lay him out. Sure, he is a good quarterback but I don't buy that doofus deer in the headlights look he always has. The guy is well coached and he is a damn good quarterback but I could give a fuck about the respect someone who makes more money that I will ever make thinks he deserves.

Anonymous said...

response to Dave:

Dude, I watched the game. Dallas had basically shit the bed at that point. It was over. It just looked classless from where I am standing. yeah, I know, its about winning the game and all that good stuff, but Sean Peyton's smug little bitch ass made me want to puke. I would have rooted for New Orleans down the stretch had they won the game by twice the score and not done that. But that onside kick was just classless to me. He was in Dallas's home, and just wanted to rub some salt into the wounds.

That being said, Dallas needs to learn some defense and Roy Williams is the most undeserving Pro-Bowl pick ever. How he has deluded so many people with the occasional good hit is beyond me.

Eric said...

I posted my analysis of this weekend's games on my blog (I'm sure you all know how to follow the profile-to-blog link) if anyone is interested. My thoughts were a little to lengthy to post them here. However, if you have comments (I'm and idiot, etc) feel free to post them here... :)

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

Dammit, Michelle Wie doesn't tee off until 6pm Eastern time. Looks like I won't get to post a blow-by-blow of her latest shameless attempt to take money out of the pocket of a struggling male qualifier.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Pats win
Ravens win
Bears win (I go back and forth on this)
Eagles win

About Beckham: the owner is paying his salary directly (they created a rule so teams can basically ignore the salary cap for one player each). He'll probably make it back on jersey sales and other marketing globally. And I like LA's jersey.

Beckham could start in the Premier League. He's a world class talent, just not a top 10 or 20 guy anymore. This isn't Randy Johnson in pinstripes washed-upness. More like Elway with Terrel Davis. Beckham's still good on offense, passes well and he never had speed anyway. His specialized skills won't deteriorate much with age, so it's actually a fairly safe investment for LA.

As for MLS, it's not going to help much unless he starts setting records, attracts other players, and convinces them to re-do their financial structure. You can't have an attractive, competitive league if the league actually spreads the players around. Too much in soccer depends on talent.

This reminds me of the NBA going international. How long until club teams in Europe overspend on American basketball players? I think basketball is on track to be more popular and have more money in Europe than in the US, and then we'll see a huge talent drain.

Kevin said...

I think last week you saw Manning play mediocre, and you really just don't see that happen 2 weeks in a row.

That's because Manning is usually watching the games from home the week after he plays mediocre.

Generik said...

Big D.. read your picks, specifically regarding the Colts and I think you need to go look up the weather for Baltimore at gametime. 60 degrees with chance of light rain is NOT playing in the cold considering it is mid January. Add on top of that the fact that Baltimore plays on turf and not grass and there isn't even a problem with light rain slowing down the Colts offense much. The Colts defense is built to play on turf, so while I don't expect a repeat of last weeks defensive performance, I wouldn't at all be surprised to see McNair on his back a number of times looking into Freeney's chest.

Anyway, I think everyone is vastly underestimating this Colts team. I just compared the season schedules for the Ravens and Colts and the Colts were 4 for 5 against playoff teams this year, vs 3-3 for the Ravens. Point being, the Colts played a altogether tougher schedule and wound up 1 win short of the 2nd seed. All I have to say is in the past 2 seasons they have rattled off a 12 game and 9 game win streak, so 4 is by no means out of the question.

Anonymous said...

The Beckham deal, and number figures, is just a big hoax to make it seem like more of a big deal than it is. I heard somewhere its like $10M/season from the Galaxy, plus $10M in team profits (as if there will be any after they pay him $10M), plus $10M from shirt sales (what?), plus all the endorsements he had from other companies (Gillette and Reebok I remember hearing).

So really all he probably gets from the Galaxy is $10M per, which still might be enough to bankrupt them and ruin the financial structure of the league, but is much less than $50M.

Kevin said...

Rumor has it that the Packers and Raiders have been talking about swapping WRs: Robert Ferguson for Randy Moss. Can Packer fans forgive Moss for all the pain he's caused them over the years inluding the pseudo-mooning after the touchdown that knocked the Packers out of the playoffs in 2004?

If Randy can show that he cares and puts forth effort in training camp and preseason, I think Packer fans will welcome him with open arms. I mean, he can't be worse than Robert Ferguson...

Anonymous said...

that just does not seem to be fair, dont ya think?

Eric said...

If the Packers can get Randy Moss for Robert Ferguson, well, Raider fans will probably kill Al Davis.

Favre would come back, too. For sure.

And, yes, we Packer fans would welcome him with open arms. Moss is hilarious!

Lenny said...

I would have to laugh my ass off if Randy Moss ends up on the Packers. I don't care how good he can be, his attitude sucks and bringing him in will only make Farve want to retire even more. Anyone that thinks otherwise is living in some dreamworld. Moss's attitude fits in perfect with the culture in Oakland. If he leaves, he'll just spread it. Let him stay there and rot.

Unknown said...

LDT couldn't be stopped all season and now, suddenly, Belichick will find a way to do it just because he's Belichick?

LDT runs for 150+ and receives for 75+ in a ROMP over the Patriots. There were questions about the Pats WRs and D all season for a reason. Brady's a stud horse, but LDT is a pig. (In reproductive terms, pigs rock).

Also, I'll be totally homer on the stadiums...but I love Great American Ballpark. Great seats everywhere and good hotdogs. All a baseball fan really needs.

Anonymous said...

2 years ago the Patriots werent suppose to beat the Colts much less manhandle them.

2 years ago New England wasnt suppose to go to Pittsburgh and beat a Steelers team that ended the Patriots NFL record winning streak earlier that season.

5 years ago New England wasnt expected to do much of anything yet they had to postpone the start of Foxboro Stadiums destruction while the Pats advanced to the Super Bowl where according to odds makers they were gonna be beat soundly.

3 years ago New England was an after thought after there 9-7 season the year before.

Does all this sound familiar?

What do they all have in common besides whats been stated?


I want everyone to pick against the Pats cause they seem to do the best when proving they belong!

Unknown said...

what do they have in common?
Peyton Manning factor.
Rookie QB

No team had LDT.

nep1293 said...

travis- the Pats were actually favored in that game against Pittsburgh. I was at that game and the Steelers fans were almost all resigned to losing that game well before kickoff.

The heroin sheik said...

I gave much thought to the stadium debate and unfortunately I haven't been to all that many stadiums. I really liked chavez ravine and the stadium in anaheim if only for the tortilla tossers. I like turner field but it will never be as great as fulton county was because you could walk in with a cooler full of varsity chili dawgs. I really hate joe robbie or whatever they call that piece of crap the fin/marlins have to reside in. Although I am a purist and feel that domes and baseball shouldn't mix, the Trop is really nice in the middle of summer. With all the rain it probably saves us from 10-15 rainy games. The food is actually pretty good especially the center field restaurant's sunday brunch. You can always buy a 5 dollar southwest airlines seat which is actually an airline seat then go sit along the baselines. You can eat food right next to the bullpen and even share your food with the players since they are like two inches away. I know it doesn't compare to many of the stadiums in the northeast and midwest but it is fun to go to games and not spend more than ten bucks and still get a dawg and a beer.

I might be moving to milwaukee since my wife might have to transfer for her job but I really can't wait to explore all the stadiums out that way. Wrigley is a must and I want to see the hotdog race in Milwaukee. What do y'all think are the best stadiums in the midwest.

Anonymous said...

I am biased, but Miller Park is pretty nice. Despite the problems with the roof, it is great to be able to make plans to go to a game in April and not have to worry about it being rained/snowed out.

Wrigley Field is a dump. The seats suck, the building is ugly and falling apart, and the luxury suite I was in was not as good as others (yeah, listen to me complain about the suites). The field itself, the ivy, the history, etc are still awesome, but they need to find a way to keep all that and update the actual building. Another thing lacking in Wrigley is tailgating, but I think that will be lacking everywhere, as I am a Wisconsin native, where the worst tailgating is better than 90% of tailgates everywhere else.

I will be going to US Cellular Field this season, so I can get a report on that too. Otherwise, my experience is limited. I am trying to get out east to see some family and take in some games at Fenway, PNC, and Camden, but that is still just a fantasy at the moment. Pac Bell (or whatever they call it now) and Petco look pretty sweet too. Does anyone have any opinions on Detroit or Seattle?

Steve said...

Wow, Prince for the super bowl. They've moved from the 60's to the 80's but still stuck with someone irrelevant. They do realize it's 2007 right? Was Robert Smith not available?

Josh said...

There is no stadium in MLB better than PNC Park. Parking in downtown Pittsburgh, walking across the Clemente Bridge which crosses over the Allegheny River, and heading to the seats on the third base line with the view of downtown is what baseball should be all about. The baseball actually played leaves much to be desired. However, as a lifelong Pirate fan I have traveled around since PNC opened to try and find one I like better. The only places I haven't been are the Homer Dome, RFK (but been there for US Soccer so I know how bad it sucks), the Ballpark in Arlington, Minute Maid Park, the Skydome, and the Trop.

PNC is the greatest.

Steve said...

The Colts have played an awesome game, not Manning so much but their defense and offensive line has been phenomenal. Smashmouth football. Plus Billick has coached an absolutely horrible game.

EPorvaznik said...

Few things more satisfying than the Billick face in loss mode. Heh-heh-heh-heh...

Steve said...

I emailed my dad saying game over when Billick decided to punt down by 9 halfway through the 3rd quarter on 4th and 4 from the Colts 41 against one of the worst staistical defenses in the league. Billick quit on the game at that point and his players followed suit.

Big D said...

Back @ generik: (Though admittedly, 29 hours late...)

Guess you were right. Apparantely Baltimore was one of like four major cities in the United States not in a major cold snap this week. Figures.

By the way - I greatly dislike Peyton Manning. Though I'm really looking forward to the Pats getting a shot at the Colts, again, in the AFC Title Game.

Now they just have those pesky Chargers to get around...

Anonymous said...

Did that t-shirt say what I thought it said?

"#### da eagles"

Good thing I paused it on my dvr!I guess FOX needs a 5 second delay on fan shots. In case we forgot, the NFC game is on Fox, where we can see a young blonde wearing a half shirt (and exposing her whole stomach) with the F word on it.

as soon as I saw that shirt. a few things ran through my mind:

We need a Youtube link ASAP.

EPorvaznik said...

Another kudos to the Fox team for playing "Somebody to Shove." A great last-gasp reminder of how cool Soul Asylum was before they went all pussy like the Goo Goo Dolls, not to mention a song that should have been on Hang Time (easily one of the more under-appreciated guitar albums of all time). Nicely done...

Anonymous said...

Wow, does Andy Reid no how to NOT manage a clock. Punting with 1:56 left? Are you serious?

Generik said...

So is it just me or is the Colts defense the best so far in the playoffs? I am admittedly a homer for the Colts, but damn I sure didn't see this coming this week. I won't slam Manning too much this week, that Baltimore defense was swarming most of the game.. hats of to them, statistically they played a great game. I really saw this game going more high scoring.

And a big thanks to Dan for not causing the curse by picking the Colts this weekend. :^)

As to the ballpark debate, I love Wrigley, always have a good time, but it could stand some renovation here and there. The park in Pittsburgh is truly amazing, that view is just fantastic.

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

I was looking forward to Dan drunk posting on his Crackberry during the reception.

SAE said...

Apparently, all of the dubious penalties against the Eagles that Fox didn't bother showing replays of weren't enough. So Goodall got in Andy Reid's headset and said "Time to roll over and give the Aints the win." Other than Reid being a complete idiot, it's the only reason why someone would rely on that defense to get a stop when it matters. I don't even see any of the analysts (the 2 or 3 I read) mentioning the ridiculous punt at all, plus it's barely even mentioned in the game summary.

What are they going to do in today's game to make sure Seattle wins, so NO gets yet another game in the Super Dome?

Steve said...

Speaking of dubious calls, how can there be enough contact for illegal contact but not enough for pass interference? WTF? I think they just made that one up on the spot. I have never heard that one before.