Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Super Bowl Prediction

At this time every year, every sports media outlet comes out with their "Super Bowl Predictions" and about a month into the season, most of those predictions are blown out of the water. If you want a good laugh, check out the Sporting News prediction for this upcoming season. Yes, the same Sporting News that predicted a Charlie Batch lead Lions team would win the SB one year. Lots of people picked the Patriots to win it all last year. Then Brady got injured... the end. The Steelers had the toughest schedule in football in '08 and were a 10-6 team in '07. They go on to win the Super Bowl. Predicting who's going to win the Super Bowl is like trying to predict the weather without any equipment. There's too many variables to be able to accurately predict something so unpredictable... but that doesn't mean I won't try. So without further ado, I'm going to make my SB XLIV prediction.

AFC East: The Jets regressed from Favre to a rookie QB, the Dolphins won't take anyone by surprise this year although they are headed in the right direction and the Bills are still the Bills. The Patriots win this division by default.

AFC North: This will be Brady Quinn's "get used to the league" year, so the Browns will be bad, but at least they're progressing. The Bengals will show the league for another year why no one takes them seriously. The Ravens will be a tough team, as always and if Flacco can build off what he did last year, they'll be a great team once again. However, the defending SB champion Steelers are still the class of the division and should claim the division title.

AFC West: You have to love this division. It was won by the Chargers last year via a tie breaker with the Broncos. Both teams were 8-8. The Chargers should be better this year. LT is healthy, Shawne Merriman is back while the rest of the division has gotten worse. The Broncos traded away their franchise QB for a serviceable starter. The Chiefs haven't changed much except for their coaching staff and QB. The Raiders continued their tradition of wasting high draft picks on "reaches", "projects" and "busts".

AFC South: Don't expect the Titans to repeat as division champs this year. They're a good team, but they will not be 13-3 this year. The loss of Albert Haynesworth is a big one. The Colts are the best team in the division, but its going to be a slug fest for the title. The Texans finally look ready to make a big impact with all of their offensive weapons, while the Jaguars feature one of the most versatile back in the game with Maurice Jones-Drew.

NFC East: I keep reading about how great the Giants are and how they're going to return to the Super Bowl. They stumbled through the second half of the season without Plaxico Burress then got knocked out by the Eagles in the playoffs. Without Burress or Toomer, who is Eli Manning supposed to throw to? The Cowboys will not be a better team without TO. Sorry, but they needed him. The Redskins upgraded their defense in a big way with Albert Haynesworth, but their offense is still boring and they're not going anywhere with Jason Campbell. The Eagles were the hottest team in the league at the end of the season and into the playoffs last year and playoff performances always seem to act as a precursor of things to come in the next year. The Eagles will take the NFC East.

NFC North: Vikings and Lions and Bears, oh my! Oh yeah and the Pack too. The Lions are in for another long season, but it won't be an 0-16 season. The Packers always bore me, but they're dynamic offense and Dom Capers led defense could make a lot of noise this year. This division race will be between two teams, the Vikings and the Bears. The Bears drastically upgraded their QB and the defense is still solid, but the Vikings have the best RB in the game today, the best offensive and defensive lines and now have Brett Favre. Even if Favre is average, it'll be better than what they've had over the last several years.

NFC West: This is the division everyone likes to have on their schedule. The Cardinals, Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams. Ironically enough though, each of these teams have played in the Super Bowl in the last 15 years. So it can't be that soft right? The 49ers are getting better, but very very slowly. Too bad that Alex Smith didn't pan out else they would be there already. The Rams are clearly in a rebuilding phase. The Seahawks are clinging to their 2005 SB team and are slowly getting worse. The Cardinals made it to the SB last year and have a cupcake schedule this year. As long as Warner stays healthy, the Cards will romp through this division.

NFC South: This will be the toughest division to pick. The Saints have the most explosive offense in the game, but still no defense. The Bucs have a HUGE hole at QB although their RB situation is the best its been in a long time. I like the Panthers, but I have serious doubt about Jake Delhomme after watching him meltdown in the playoffs. The best team in the division coming into the year is the Atlanta Falcons. As long as Matt Ryan doesn't suffer from a sophomore slump, they should come out on top in the division.

AFC Playoff Seeding:

NFC Playoffs Seeding:

Wild Card Round:
Chargers over Texans
Ravens over Colts
Eagles over Giants
Bears over Falcons

Divisional Round:
Patriots over Ravens
Steelers over Chargers
Vikings over Bears
Eagles over Cardinals

Conference Championships:
Steelers over Patriots
Vikings over Eagles

Super Bowl XLIV:
Steelers over Vikings

Go ahead, call me a homer, but I think the Steelers are one of the more complete teams in the game today. Best defense in the league and one of the best playoff QBs I've ever seen. The Steelers have a great shot at repeating as SB champs and if they do, they'll have as many SB championships as the Patriots in this decade leaving us with, "Who is the team of the decade? The Steelers or the Patriots?" But the people that know football, already know the answer to that question. Hint: It's not the team that got caught cheating.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Factoring In 8/28/2009

- Its being reported that Brett Favre's arrival to the Minnesota Vikings is causing problems within the team. Basically some people are happy to have him, while others would rather go with Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson. Look, I don't like how Favre acted like he was going to join the team, then re-retired, only to come back half way through the preseason and become the unquestioned starter either. However, to stand up for the Texans former backup QB or T-Jack, against one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game is foolish. This isn't like last year when the Jets discarded Chad Pennington for Favre. The Vikings QB position is sore spot on the team and has been for a number of years. Sports is all about winning. Its not about lessons or hurt feelings, its about winning. Brett Favre at age 40 is better than Rosenfels and Jackson in their prime. Brett Favre gives the Vikings the best chance to win a Super Bowl. Brett Favre is going to be their starting QB whether they like it or not so they may as well stop whining and focus on winning.

- Is anyone else as annoyed with Team USA's new hockey uniforms for the 2010 Olympics as I am? I'm all for nostalgia, but if you want to have a throw back jersey, just make it the third jersey, not your primary uniform. The light and dark jerseys are the boring and unimaginative. Now they do have a third jersey, that really appeals to the New York Rangers fans since its basically a carbon copy of their white away jersey, but to the rest of us its garbage. It was like the designers were sitting around at a table and one of them said, "Hey! Who's a red, white and blue team in the NHL?" Someone else says, "The Rangers!". "Perfect, we'll just use their uniforms, remove "Rangers" and put on "USA". That wasn't so hard!" I just feel bad for Scott Gomez who thought he would never have to wear that uniform again.

- The future of Chicago Blackhawks franchise is riding on the young, super talented winger, Patrick Kane and he beats up a cab driver over 20 cents... soak that in for a second. A player that will sign a contract next summer that will make him a multi-millionaire. A player that is the face of EA Sports' NHL 10. A player with a very bright future ahead of him, pleaded guilty to the charge of disorderly conduct and was ordered to send an apology to the cab driver he was accused of roughing up over 20 cents. 20 cents!! You can find quarters laying on the street! There's people making dumb decisions while their young and then there's this.

- Former Steelers wideout Plaxico Burress has done a lot of dumb things. Spiking the ball after a catch BEFORE your tackled, leaving the Steelers right before they win 2 Super Bowls, driving without insurance and getting into an accident, but none of them were as big as when he shot himself with his own unregistered gun. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. He'll now go to jail for two years with an additional two years of supervised release. So let me get this straight, Michael Vick can fund a dog fighting operation, assist in the brutal deaths of losing dogs and gets only 23 months in prison. Plaxico shoots himself and gets 24 months. Maybe its just me, but being stupid and accidently shooting yourself with a gun is no where near as bad as knowingly and purposely killing dogs in a savage manner.

- Speaking of Vick, the played in his first game last night to standing ovation from the Eagles faithful. So Philadelphia boos Santa Claus, pelts JD Drew with D batteries, booed Donovan McNabb on draft day, cheers for an ex-con. I would ask what's wrong with this picture, but then I think to myself, "Its Philadelphia". That pretty much explains it all right there.

-My favorite MLB team, the New York Yankees, have the best record in baseball, a 6 game lead on the Red Sux, and have as good of a chance as anyone to win the World Series... and I could care less. I watch SportsCenter to see if the Yankees won and if they did, I smirk a little, if they lose, I dismiss it quickly. With football revving up and hockey right around the corner, baseball season is already over. When the World Series is being played, I'll watch if the Yankees are in it, but if they're not and there's a hockey game between the Rangers and the Wild on, I'll watch the latter.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Factoring In 08/10/2009

- Despite owning a black Michael Vick Falcons jersey, I'm not a big fan of him. In fact, I think he's an idiot. He threw away everything and for what? Dog fighting. It makes me sick to think about what he did to those dogs and if it were up to me, I would've thrown his ass in jail for life. But its not up to me and now Vick is back and looking to get back into the NFL. Despite my dislike for him as a person, he is a great football player and can single handily turn a loser into a championship caliber team. He already did it once with the Falcons. People forget that he took a 5-11 Falcons team in 2003, turned them around into a 11-5 team in 2004 and led them to the NFC championship game and pretty much did it all by himself. In order to be successful in anything you do, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes. The people that are willing to do whatever it takes, will always have an advantage over the people that are not. Nothing Vick did off the field should be considered when making football decisions. He is an exciting, 3 time Pro Bowl quarterback and if I was running an NFL franchise and my QB position was in bad shape (like a lot of teams are), I would've been trying to acquire him the second he stepped out of the jail.

- "Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning is the highest paid player in football". That seems about right. Three time MVP, threw for over 4000 yards 9 times, threw 30+ TDs 4 times in his career. How about if I change one word in it? "Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning is the highest paid player in football". What?? So let me get this straight. A guy that has never won an MVP award or passed for more than 4000 yards in a season or thrown more than 24 TD passes is the highest paid player in football? What a complete waste of money! He's a solid quarterback, but highest paid player in football? Really Giants? Really? You know just because the Yankees spend like there's no tomorrow doesn't mean you can. There IS a salary cap. Instead of wasting that money on Eli, maybe they could have saved some of it and acquired a wide receiver to replace Plaxico Burress. This is simply wasteful and careless on the part of the Giants and it will bite them in the ass down the line.

- So "Big Papi" David Ortiz was outed for performance enhancing drugs. He appeared on the 2003 list of players that tested positive for drugs. I have been saying for 5 years now that Ortiz was on something and people looked at me like I just swore at the Pope. In 2002, good hitter, but by no means anything special. By 2004, he was giant, power hitting MVP candidate. Take a look at Ortiz prior to 2003 and take a look at him now. Huge difference in body type. Take a look at his numbers. In 2002, he had 20 homers and 75 RBI. After that year, his homerun totals increased fast (31, 41, 47, and 54). Once the league announced that they would punish PED users, his numbers suddenly began to drop, 35 HR in 2006, 23 in '08 and just 15 so far this season. Ortiz also had heart problems last year. According to, heart problems can be a problem for steroid users. Now Ortiz is denying it. After all that's the baseball way. Deny, deny, deny and then when there's a mountain of indisputable evidence against you, you apologize, say you made a mistake and everybody's happy.

- Lots of people have been asking me "What do I think of the Red Wings off season?" expecting me to say "Ohhh we're doomed. We lost Hossa, Samuelsson and Hudler and now we have no one." The Wings won the Cup without Hossa in '08, Sammy has been replaced with Jason Williams, who already knows the Wings system and Patrick Eaves will be every bit as good as Huds, if not better. Plus, the Wings will now get full time contributions from Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson and Ville Leino who will be a Calder finalist this upcoming season.

- The New York Yankees own the best record in baseball. They have a $192 million payroll. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 3rd worst record in baseball. They have a $49 million payroll. Baseball needs a salary cap. Despite there being 30 teams in MLB, in reality there's only about 6-8 teams while everyone else is simply a farm club for them.