Saturday, August 27, 2011

08/27 (Irene) Quickie

Settling in for a weekend of Irene here in NYC -- Brooklyn Heights isn't a neighborhood with a lot of cachet, but in a moment like this one the "Heights" part comes in handy.

If you're in the storm zone -- say, anywhere on the East Coast -- please be safe, and here's to an entirely uneventful next 48 hours.

Provided the power doesn't go out (no guarantee there), I'm spending the time pulling together my college football preseason Top 25 for the BlogPoll, plus trying to write a bit.

I'm also going to try to set up the Quickish Readers (nee Daily Quickie Readers) pick 'em leagues for the NFL and college football. I'm also dabbling with a bit of a redesign for the blog.

And, as always, publishing great reading recommendations and hot-off-the-presses analysis at Quickish. If you're inside all day, give it a try.

-- D.S.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fantasy Update: Solid

The results of tonight's draft. I had the 2nd pick in a 14-team league drafting 16 spots. Deadspin's Drew Magary picked first and, despite being a huge Vikings fan, took Arian Foster. Here's how I went:

Adrian Peterson, Mike Wallace, LaGarrette Blount, Percy Harvin, Chad Ochocinco, Julio Jones, Sam Bradford, Willis McGahee, Roy Helu, Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook, Emmanuel Sanders, Jacquizz Rodgers, John Beck, Greg Little, Miami D.

No kicker yet, but I'll fix that from the free-agent pool after I see how my surplus of RBs and WRs shakes out. A few notes:

*Peterson was a no-brainer.
*Wallace: No. 27 overall and the highest-rated WR available.
*Blount: Picked him up last year and loved him.
*Harvin: I'm in the tank for him, injury-proneness be damned.
*Ochocinco: Bit of a reach, but I think he has a very good year.
*Jones: My obligatory "undervalued rookie skill-position player" pick.
*QB: I was picking between Bradford and Josh Freeman.
*McGahee is a solid end-of-the-draft pick-up.
*Helu: For when Hightower fumbles his way out of the starting job.
*Nelson: Benefits from Aaron Rodgers toying with the rest of the league.
*Cook: Last TE picked (and exactly who I had targeted before the draft).
*Emmanuel Sanders was, nominally, my hand-cuff for Wallace.
*Jacquizz Rodgers is another freaky rookie on the Falcons.
*Beck was kind of for kicks. More on that next week.
*Little: Happy accident! Meant to take a K, but I'm glad I took him.
*Miami D was the option after my first choice, the KC D, was taken two picks before me by a guy who already had a defense and had no business taking another D.

I am perennially a second-division fantasy owner. I feel very good about this team in ways I haven't felt about other teams in recent years. That can't bode well.

08/25 (Fantasy) Quickie

I'm in two longtime fantasy leagues -- one is a keeper, the other renews annually. The latter is today, and I'm the No. 2 overall pick in a 14-team league. So I guess I'm locked into taking either Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster, whoever the No. 1 guy doesn't take. (And if he doesn't take either, I'm not sure what to do -- Peterson, I guess.) But I dread that wait from No. 2 until No. 27 for my 2nd pick. I'll boom or bust off of picks No. 27 and No. 30.

Speaking of which, I'll set up the Daily Quickie Readers (or perhaps Quickish Readers) NFL and CFB pick 'em leagues by the end of the week.


*RIP Mike Flanagan. I grew up in the DC area and went to a lot of Orioles games as a kid -- Flanagan was a staple of the O's rotation; I don't have quite the recollection of the '79 season where Flanagan won the AL Cy and the O's went to the World Series, but I certainly remember in the early 80s, including the World Series title in '83. If you read the tributes, Flanagan was beloved.

*Is Mike Vick the biggest individual story of the NFL season? Yes, so it makes all the sense in the world that ESPN would dedicate its entire NFL preview issue to Vick. It's a bold idea.

*LLWS: I'm entirely comfortable jumping on the Montana bandwagon after last night's walk-off HR put them into the US championship game.

*Kerry Collins: Really? Anyone who thinks that Peyton Manning is going to be OK this year is going to be very disappointed.

*Steve Jobs resigns: Is Jobs the greatest CEO of the past century? That we can even say "arguably" puts him in a pretty rarified place.

*Bleacher Report gets $22 million in new funding: Huge congrats to that team, which is killing it right now. $22 million is a war chest -- not to mention the foundation of a $100 million valuation (which means that any potential acquirer will pay a premium on top of that).

(I'm moderating a panel in NYC next month at the 4th annual Blogs With Balls conference and B/R co-founder David Finocchio is on the panel. Get your pre-sale tickets here.)

Give Quickish a try today!

-- D.S.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

08/24 (Summitt) Quickie

Very very sad news about Pat Summitt having Alzheimer's disease. The columns expressing admiration for her -- and assurance she'll fight like hell to battle it -- have been amazing. See a Quickish selection here. Thoughts are with the coach, her family and the entire Vols community.


*I'm coining a new phrase: "Tebow trolling." It's when sports-media folks say crazy things about Tim Tebow because it gets them a ton of attention. If there's anything that defines the Tebow phenomenon, it's the idea that there has never been a 2nd- (or, ok, 3rd-) string QB in the history of the NFL who gets more attention (and wouldn't get it if fans didn't want it). I fall much closer to Peter King's analysis than Boomer Esiason's "analysis."

Much more all day long at Quickish. Sorry for the short post today. Scrambling a bit on various things.

-- D.S.

Monday, August 22, 2011

08/22 (Midday) Quickie

*If I'm GM of a crappy team, I'm using a 4th-round pick on Terrelle Pryor.

*Angels lock up Jared Weaver: Can't believe Scott Boras let this happen before he hit free agency. Speaks to Weaver's commitment to the team -- he's worth the money.

*I'm not a big watch-full-MLB-games-on-TV person during the regular season -- I'll watch highlight shows or tune in during notable moments like no-hitters, etc. -- but I'm seriously considering watching Justin Verlander against the Rays tonight. He's on pace for a Cy season, but the Rays have given him fits this year.

*I love that Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted out that he is in Favre's hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, sending the sports-media world into a frenzy. Look: If he's effing with everyone, he's a genius. And if he actually recruits Favre to back up Peyton Manning? It's bonkersville.

*I'm starting to work on my Week 1 ballot for the College Football BlogPoll. Readers know I love this ballot -- I'll have a draft here for your reactions and improvements, then submit the full thing.

*The Super Bowl battle between the Pats and Packers and Falcons and Steelers and Eagles will be great. I'm almost as intrigued for the battle among bottom-feeders to tank for Andrew Luck.

*The Broncos are totally screwing it up with Tim Tebow. (Even if they don't want him, why bury him in 3rd string and kill his trade value?)

*Congrats to longtime friend of the blog Holly Anderson on her new gig as lead college football blogger for Check it out!

*More congrats to blog pals Josh Zerkle, Bethlehem Shoals, Dan Levy and Dan Rubenstein on their new gigs with Bleacher Report, an entirely fascinating company making very smart moves.

*Give Quickish a try today! (And tell a friend!)

-- D.S.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

08/21 (Very) Quickie

Don't miss the Quickish highlights of last night's Goodman League-Drew League feud summer-league hoops game in DC.

*Cards pay Larry Fitzgerald a ton: He is the face of their franchise (not to mention the best WR in the league). Unclear if any WR deserves as much as Fitz is getting, but if any do, he does.

*The simplest solution to the "should college football players be paid" debate: Create a pro league for players during the three years between h.s. and being eligible for the NFL draft. I have been advocating this for a decade.

What that does, as much as anything, is account for what the "pay college football players!" doesn't: Andrew Luck deserves a ton of money; the 100th guy on the roster doesn't. There are roughly 150 players per college year with any hope of making the NFL.

A pro league for 18- to 21-year-old pro prospects ensures that the most pro-worthy players get paid well above anything a "pay college athletes" model would offer. (My favorite is that pro-pay advocates seem to think that $50K a year is somehow a good deal for the biggest college stars.)

It allows the market to dictate who deserves to get paid (and roughly how much they deserve). And it allows the most pro-worthy players to focus exclusively on preparing for the NFL, which is in the best interests of both the player AND the NFL.

If you choose to play college football, you are doing it because you want the free education and because you love playing football -- if you stay and happen to develop into a pro prospect (not already claimed by the pro development league), all the better for you. Otherwise, the current incentive system is fine for you.

College football will survive without its most pro-worthy stars: The sport has always been about the tradition, the schools themselves, the pageantry, the results -- not who is playing. They will still pick a Heisman winner. (It's not like that was ever indicative of pro potential anyway.)

In this way, it is modeled on the pro clubs of European soccer, which remains the fairest and most efficient way to train and reward pro potential.

-- D.S.