Saturday, December 4, 2010

Championship Week

The season is winding down. This is the last week with a good slate of games before bowl season. On one hand, why would we need to gamble on games that are already some of the most exciting of the year? But on the other hand, we need to pad the bank account going into bowl season. Because if you aren't gambling on the The Human Fund Bowl presented by Wireless Pros's and brought to you by SMAC Inc, then why the hell would you be watching it. So take these 4 games and then get ready for bowl season...which starts in about 2 weeks!

Virginaia Tech -3.5 Talk about what might have been. Call it the curse of Boise St. Lose a close opening game to Boise, then get beat by a school from a smaller division, but then win the rest of the games on your schedule. Sound familar Oregon (does this make Va Tech the favorite for next year...remember this)? Va Tech seems to be snake bitten by Florida St recently, but this is the season they seem to put all that behind them. Va Tech wins, then wins thier bowl game, thus leaving fans wondering just what the fuck happened in week 2.

Oklahoma -4 It's kind of cool as a child of the 80's to see this game on championship week again. A classic rivalry. However talk about lesser of two evils. I'm so sick of Bob Stoops and bitching, that I could almost root for Nebraska....until you meet thier fans. And coach Bo is no picnic either. Nebrask hasn't shown up in a big game yet, so take the Sooners to cover this one and probably big time.

Auburn -4.5 After last week how can we doubt this team? The Ole BAll Coach has a knack for keeping these games close, but in the 4th expect to see Auburn run away with it. As a side note, the only thing that could screw this up would be Auburn just not caring since they should be into the BCS game regardless.

Oregon -16.5 I'm going reverse psychology on this one. 16 points is a lot for ther Civil War but this isn't your typical Ducks team. They light it the Hell up! I'm dying for one of these teams to lose and get TCU into the BSc title game only because this is what will change the system. And between the 2 this is the game more likely for an upset in my opinion. But evey time I have thought that this year, the Ducks come out quackin and kickin ass.

So there it is. I like these picks so don't be afraid to go with a 3 team parlay then use the 4th game to hedge your bets. See ua in the Bowl Season!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NCAA Week 12

So a couple of the "Big Boys" aren't playing this week. That's the beauty of gambling. Every game is a big game! It's the only reason a shit NFL game on a Sunday night can out draw a Worl Series game. Football is the ultimate gambling sport. And if you've been taking our advice, you got a little change in your pocket at this point in the year. Don't press yet, let those winnings build up and get ready for bowl season. Here's a few more picks to add to the winnings.

Nebraska -2 Nebraska has clearly scared a few people away with that bad loss against Texas and then not showing up against a couple lesser teams, but that happens in the course if a season with college kids. Add a big game and the stretch run going to the Big 12 Championship and I think you get Nebraskas best effort.

Virginia Tech -2 You can almost cut and paste what we just said about Nebraska to the Va Tech team. Obviously Va Tech fell off the radar screen early in the season, but they've been kicking ass since then. Consider this a statement game for Virginia Tech to beat Miami. There have been some great battles with bthese 2 schools and they seem to take it personal. But only 2 points? Let's go Va Tech!

Purdue +20.5 Here we go with the Big 10 part of our lesson. Purdue is just under the radar as a team on the rise and they've blown out a couple times but they seem to hang around in most games. I think Mich St wins, but 20.5 point just feels like too many.

Michigan +4 I actually think Michigan can pull this game off. Wisconsin on the road against a decent offensive team automatically says close game. That and I believe in Karma, and the bullshit run up the score act that Wisconsoin pulled last week has to be paid back. Not sure why the media seem to like coach Balemia but Big 10 fans think he's a dick and he showed why last week.

Ohio St -3 We actually took this game and put it on our board when the season began because the line was 3.5 and we thought it would be double figures by the time the game rolled around. Well it dropped a half and we have no idea why. But it would be just like Iowa to win the big game and leave us wondering how the fuck we lost to Northwestern. The season is technically a disappointment but a 4th loss makes it a major problem in a season when the Hawks were considered a dark horse for a National title. Need a big win here and a good bowl win to keep the Kirk Ferentz hype alive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2010 MLB Awards

Well it's officially MLB awards week. So that means it's time for theSportStew to dive into the award naming process also. The 2010 baseball season was awesome with what seemed like nightly remarkable occurrences. It started with Mark Buehrle's incredible web gem and ended with two long shots, the Giants and Rangers, playing in the World Series. The Twins moved outside. Squeeze in six no hitters, really should be seven, which included two perfect games. Pujols clubbed his 400th home run. A-Rod joined the 600 home run club. Trevor Hoffman become the inaugural climber of the 600 save mountain and Billy Wagner notched his 400th career save. Ichiro extended his own record of consecutive 200-hit seasons to ten and collected his 10th gold glove. By the way, Ichiro has only played in the States 10 years. Jamie Moyer, present day proof there is a fountain of youth somewhere, had a record breaking year. He became the oldest player to toss a complete game at the ripe age of 47 and also allowed the 506th gopher ball of his career. We got to see the magic of Strasburg captivate the baseball world, briefly, and a plethora of rookie talent invaded the bigs. It was just a great year to be a baseball fan.

And to get to the point. Here are theSportStew MLB Award winners presented with Topps baseball cards.


Josh Hamilton, TEX (2)....93
Miguel Cabrera, DET (1).....69
Jose Bautista, TOR..........34
Robinson Cano, NYY.........12


Joey Votto, CIN (3)..............105
Albert Pujols, STL.........69
Carlos Gonzales, COL.......24
Ryan Braun, MIL.............11


Felix Hernandez, SEA (2)...81
CC Sabathia, NYY..................57
David Price, TB (1)...................35
Justin Verlander, DET.............23
John Lester, BOS..................11


Roy Halladay, PHI (3)..........105
Adam Wainwright, STL....57
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL...........45


Neftali Filez, TEX (3).........105
Austin Jackson, DET.............34
Brennan Boesch, DET...........34
Wade Davis, TB.....................11
Brian Matusz, BALT..............11


Jason Heyward, ATL (1)........53
Buster Posey, SF (1).............53
Jaime Garcia, STL (1)........35
Mike Stanton, FLA................34
Gabby Sanchez, FLA.............11
Stephen Strasburg, WAS....11


Ron Gardenhire, MIN (2)........93
Ron Washington, TEX (1)....69
Joe Madden, TB.......................45


Dusty Baker, CIN (2)................93
Bobby Cox, ATL (1)................81
Bud Black, SD.......................23
Kirk Gibson, ARI......10

Saturday, November 13, 2010

NCAA Week 11

Another week, another interesting turn in the 2010 College football season. To be honest, this week doesn't offer up the big time match ups that we seem to be getting every week. And that's when something crazy always happens. Will it be Oregon over looking Cal and getting beat in a track meet type game, or does Auburn give into the pressure the Hundred and Eighty Thousand Dollar Man has brought upon them. Ice down The Beast Light and let's see.

Auburn -6.5 This line was 9 just a few days ago and has slowly gone down because folks thought Cam Newton may not play. He will, and he'll unleash a can of whoop ass on Georgia. I'm not even going to get into my thoughts on his situation, this is about winning the money and I'm telling you, Vegas handed one back to us this week. Take the Tigers.

Oregon -19.5 Look, I want to see one of these teams get upset to let TCU or Boise St into the dance, but until Oregon shows a sign of weakness how can you go against them? You can't. I'm actually surprised this line is this low. I know Cal scores a lot, but that just gives the ball back to the Ducks more often. They may score 100 points against the Bears.

Wisconsin -22 I hate to do this to poor old Indiana. They played pretty well last week against Iowa and deserved to win that game. Hard to get back up emotionally after that, and Camp Randall is not the place to get better. As an Iowa fan, I'm rooting hard for the Badgers to fuck up and put Iowa back in the drivers seat of the Big 10, but just can not envision it this week.

Ohio St -18 What can you say, this time of the year Ohio St quietly continues to beat the shit out of every one and suddenly they're near the top of the poles. Same old story. Penn St has a good D, but not enough to keep up or even make it close for that matter.

Northwestern +9.5 You have to truly love the Hawks to put up with this shit every year. Even in their best years lately, they struggle against Northwestern and that spread offense. You would thunk they would have learned their lesson last week, but trust me...they didn't.

Last week was another 3-2 week and the overall is up to 26-19. Not blowing it away but enough to give ya a little momma don't know money.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NCAA Week 10 Cock Block Saturday!

That's right, I've named this weekend Cock Block Saturday. Actually this could be every weekend in college football, but it's due or die for a few teams this weekend. If college football is a big ole frat party, then the BCS is the hot chick in the corner everyone is trying to fuck. Utah, Boise St, TCU....who invited these ass holes to the party? Actually they are the guys that the longer we hang around them and get to know them, God for bid....we kind of like them. And they're talking to the hot chick! She's even flirting with them. Screw it, I hope one of them fucks her. Be funny to see those big shots go home with thier dicks in thier hands. Ok, that was quite the anaolgy....time for Cock Block Saturday.

Alabama -6.5 Totally a cock block team. Both of theses teams are just close enough to see the prize, but only one of them gets invited to the next round. LSU still thinks it's the shit because a few people at the party remember when they were good. But Bama is the bad ass at the party right now, and LSU is living in the past. Rooting for LSU but Bama gets to 2nd base and covers the spread.

Arkansas +4.5 Neither of these teams are technically in the party. They're in the front yard fighting to see who goes in. These are the games that you always think the Ole Ball Coach should win, and then doesn't. Arkansas passes well, Game Cocks don't defens pass that well. What else do we need to know. The Cocks get blocked!

Stanford -8 I hate Arizona! Yes I'm still bitter. I just think even at 13th they're still over rated. Plus Arizona is only any fun when the party is at thier house. On the road, just another dude in the corner pretending they belong.

Utah +5 The classic cock bkock game. Only one of these guys will even be at the party next week. The TCU blowout last year was a bit of a fluke, the game is at Utah, I'm not impressed with the list of opponents TCU has trashed. I think these teams are really evenly matched and Utah pulls out the win, helping Boise St

Indiana +17.5 If you're an Iowa fan, you know the Hawks don't show up to play 2 weeks in a row very often. You also know teams that can pass hurt the Hawks. So here comes the perfect storm of an Iowa fuck up.

Thanks to Dr. Rosesrosesn for going 3-2 last week. Bring our overall record to 23 - 17! It's almost like we know what we're doing!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NCAA Week 9 Roadblock Saturday

Well since my partner in crime didn't have a chance to pick games today, I'm going to fill in and throw my picks out there. Well for the afternoon games. Stupid real jobs anyway. Sorry Woody for stealing your thunder, but it will only help your average. You'll thank me later. The media has deemed this Roadblock Saturday. Think of me as a stick of dynamite. Enough of the ridiculous self-hype, here's my picks...

Oregon St -3 How can you go against the Beavers? At home? You can't. The Beavers are a gusty team that never quits and you have to love going for the 2 pt conversion at Washington in OT for the win. That builds character. I have Beaver Fever.

Michigan St +6.5 I'm continuing the tradition of picking the Iowa game. Just like last week's Iowa-Wisconsin, this line really confuses me. What do the expects know that I don't? Well Iowa's kicking team is crap. Their special teams are crap. I think Iowa wins a close game but can't cover.

Oregon -6.5 This has to be the toughest game left for the Ducks. USC has had the bye week to help prepare for the mass chaos known as the Ducks offense. The Trojan defense is bad. Oregon will score alot of points. USC has a talented passing game and will score frequently also but not enough. They cant keep pace with Oregon's 55 pts per game.

Michigan -3 The Wolverines visit Happy Value hopefully for the white out night game. Penn St has been riddled by mistakes recently. Here's a simple game plan for JoePa. Michigan's defense is atrocious and you have Royster. Run him and then run him alot more. Royster should become PSU all time rusher after the game. Michigan's spread offense will showcase the holes on the Lion defense. I expect a high scoring game. Should be fun to watch.

Hawaii -14.5 My final pick is like a yummy late night ice cream sundae. It's a really late game, 11:30 CST, to wrap up the weekend. If you haven't seen Hawaii, their passing game is nuts. They toss it everywhere. Their defense isn't too bad also. Hawaii over the Vandals in an ass kicking.

Peace and grease until next week. Go Panthers, who are surprising leading the Missouri Valley Conference.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

NCAA Week 8

Week 8 and it's time to quit fuckin around. Three straight weeks of 2-3 has brought me season total to 17-13. Sure, I'm making money...but not the kind of pimp daddy, bring me the slutty chicks with big tits kind of money. I put slightly more thought into my picks this week and also stayed mostly in the Big 10. By the way...notice how every week seems to rock and there's a great buzz of excitement about the great games. me too! That's why we love college football and the NFL blows. It's also why they system only needs a slight change. Four team playoff, Plus One, whatever you want to call it. Just don't screw up the awesome season long excitement. So crack open a Millwaukees Best Light tall we go again!

Michigan St -6.5 Familar old startegy here. Hearing a lot of people falling in love with Northwestern this week. Or maybe not so impressed with Michigan St. Can't believe how many folks are putting Sparty on "Upset Alert". And when that doesn't happen. In other words, never count on the upset that everyone is calling for. Also, never look a gift horse in the mouth, don't mix beer and wine...ever, and don't drive on the railroad tracks...unless you're a train. Sparty rolls today!

Purdue +24 Purdue not that bad, Ohio St not that good. I mean Ohio St is pretty good, just not blow the doors off good. This is the famous old "Gut Feeling" game. My gut by the way is about 50-50 in it's career. Ohio St seems to win it's Big 10 games, but not by Oregon style blow outs. So the Buckeyes about 15.

Penn St -9.5 I said last week if Minnesota lost they would give up on the season. They lost, then fired the coach saying they needed to let next years recruits know of the direction the team is going. When you are focusing on next years have given up. By the way, Penn St has a decent defense and will score just enough to cover. Just to be a smart ass, I see 12-2 victory for ther Lions.

Oklahoma -3 When I listed the teams I wanted to see the spread on, then looke up this game, I just started laughing. 3 points? For real? Then I thought I better look up to see just how good Missouri must be. And then I laughed my ass off. 3 points? Are you fucking kidding me? I know this isn't the Sooners of the past, but this is not the Tigers of a couple years ago. Take advantage of this one folks. By the way....I'm rooting for Missouri to continue to try and fuck up the BCS, but it looks like easy money.

Wisconsin +6.5 Relax Iowa faithful. I believe Iowa still wins, but a lifetime of watching Iowa vs Wisconsin games tells me this will be a close and ugly, defensive battle. I love the Iowa vs Wisconsin game. Maybe 2 of the most fun fans you'll find across the country. And they won't play after this year for 3 more years due to the split division. Back to the game...Iowa plays like shit at beginning...comes back and takes lead...hold on for a close victory....seen it all before.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NCAA Week 7

Week 7 of the NCAA and now it's getting interesting! Bama finally lost last week and Ohio St moves in as the new number 1. I pick the Ohio St game this week and despite my pick, I'm rooting against number ones until either TCU or Boise St is locked into the BCS title game. That's the only way to blow this bitch up. Power conferences will demand change if they get pushed out of a title game. Historically this week is known for upsets and games that shape the BCS picture. But in the end it's all about making some ching.

A theme this week. The weather is perfect in the Midwest for football and it just feels like BIG 10 weather. So a little love for my favorite conference this week. I had to add Nebraska since they are on the door step of joining and they play in a great game this week.

Ohio St -4 This isn't so much about not liking Wisconsin, but it's hard to go against teams who always seem to be in big games and pull them out. The Buckeyes will not be affected by the atmosphere of a night game at Camp Randall. Which by the way is awesome. I was there a couple years ago and it rocks. But not enough to over come the fact the Ohio St is just better and they've been there and done that.

Minnesota +5.5 WHAT AM I THINKING? I know Minnesota's record looks bad, but they are in most games going to the 4th qtr. No secret the the Gophers coach is on the hot seat. This game will tell us everything we need to know about Minnesota the rest of the year. If they lose, count on them mailing it in the rest of the year. But if they got any gopher nuggets at all, they man up and play for their coach and save his ass...for another week at least.

Illinois +7 To schools of thought here. Michigan St is getting a little too much love and hype and consequently they are over rated. The other is: I think Ron Zook has Illinois finally playing some decent football...(sorry had to stop typing while I laughed out loud at my insanity). I like the Illini to pull the upset...or at least keep it close. Please Ron, keep it close.

Texas +9.5 I'm going to do something I preach to never do when picking against the spread. Don't pick an upset unless you think they can win. And obviously Texas can win. But I think Nebraska will win, by a field goal (sound familiar Texas?) Cornhuskers get their revenge, but just barely.

Iowa -3.5 I'm nervous that I feel good about this pick. I think it looks like a shoot out on the score board, but Iowa keeps the Wolverines an arms length away and gets the win. Robinson will look better against Iowa then he did against Mich St, but Iowa has the offense to stay just far enough out in the lead. The week off for Iowa won't hurt either. It's a decent coaching staff when it comes to game planning. Just don't ask them to figure out clock management at the end of a game yet.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NCAA Week 6

Week 6 is here, and it feels a bit like a down week. Which is weird. How could Miami and Florida St not be a huge week? And Alabama plays a ranked opponent on the road! That has to be huge...right? Well...maybe. I think the best games this week happen under the radar of the national spotlight. Oh by the way, we got back on the winning track last week and moved to 13 up and 7 down on the season. For this week however, it just feels really weird. Here's hoping instinct and gut feeling can carry us thru.

Michigan -4.5 I justified picking both of these teams at times. But when you can't decide, you got with the team with the best player. And Robinson at QB for Michigan is by far the best player. Goes back and forth at times I think, but at the end Michigan wins by just enough to cover.

Alabama -7 The Tide has let me down once this year, but I think the line this week is a reflection of the media trying to make this a big game. What have the Cocks done to make you think this will be close? The one chance they had to pull out a big win, The Ole Ball Coach over manged himself into a loss. I'm actually sick of watching the Tide roll and I think they lose in the regular season this year. But not today!

Miami -6 Remember when this was a big game? No really. It use to be a big game. It used to be thee game. Again the media will have us believing it is, but I'm not biting. Maybe I hang too much on the ass kicking the Sooners gave the Seminols, but I see nothing that makes me think they're ready to play a good team yet. And Miami is a good team. Not great....but good enough to beat down Florida St.

USC +10 I'll be brief here. I'm a sick bastard and can't explain why I like some of the things I like. I like Lane Kiffin. Can't explain why. Probably hoping something good will happen to him so even more microphones will be pushed into his face and he'll say something brilliant. Oh, and Stanford has only played one good team (Oregon), and that team kicked their ass.

Utah -6 With Iowa off this week, I'll at least keep Iowa St in the rotation. I think Iowa St is getting better. And if they pull the upset this week, I promise not to pick against them the rest of the year. But I think Utah pulls away late in a shootout.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

NCAA Football Week 5

OUCH! So that's how it feels to have a losing week huh? Well that sucked. 2-3 against the spread won't cut it. But we're in this for the long haul. And on the season we're 10-5. Fair to say some of us are reconsidering our gambling strategies (you listening Uniballer?). The good news is this is a fun week for college football. And at the Sport Stew we don't shy away from calling the big games. So here we go with getting back on the winning track.

Oklahoma -4 Red River Rivalry baby! Lost a little luster after UCLA smoked Texas last week, but I think the bigger thing to consider is how the Sooners show up against "Big Games". Maybe it's too much stock in the Florida St ass kicking or how bad Texas looked against the Bruins. But I can't imagine this game is even close and it's only 4 pts! Sooners win big.

NC State +3 I just can't get past how bad Va Tech has looked against any competition this year. Or maybe I've had too much to drink during the tailgate this morning. I know nothing about NC State, but I'm on the band wagon (for this game at least). Va Tech has to prove it before we put any trust back in them. I feel really weird about this one....but go Wolfpack!

Oregon -6 There is a lot of love out there for Stanford, but I say it's no big deal to beat Notre Dame again this year. Oregon gets the game at home, at night, and at one of the coolest scenes in college football. The Ducks seem to dominate at home and especially at night in big games with a national television audience. Quack!

Texas Tech -4.5 Ok, I know this isn't a big game but it's gambling damn it and Iowa St hasn't let me down yet....or rather they continue to suck just enough to never cover. This has nothing to do with Texas Tech and everything to do with betting against the Cyclones continues to be a sure thing.

Iowa -7 Continuing the the theme to pick all the Iowa games this year, it's hard to go against the Hawks at home. And surprisingly they have owned Penn St. I think it's going to be an ugly game most of the way but Iowa's defense will dominate. The one wild card is as always Ricki Stanzi. He can make the Hawks roll or he can be the best player for Penn St. Avoid turnovers and Iowa covers the 7. Go Hawks!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NCAA Football Week 4

Fourth week of football, 3rd week of gambling on football.....errr...I mean pretending to gamble on football. 3-2 against spread last week, 8-2 on the season. How's the school system in Vegas? I'm thinking it's time to relocate. Not to bitch about the losses, but Iowa let us down (get into that later) and then the typical..."We got this game locked up baby!"....followed up by..."Va Tech scored how many in the 4th qtr?....well FUCK ME!" Hey, bad bets are part of gambling, and we took that ECU lost hard last week. They not only were covering the 20 pt spread, but late in the 3rd they were winning. Oh well.

Here we go with a quick version for this week.

Oklahoma -14. The Sooners only show up to play every other week. Well...this is the week. This isn't last years Cincinnati team by the way. This one sucks. Oklahoma goes on the road and covers easily.

California +6 1/2 Call me bitter, or just plain stupid, or a serious case of sour grapes. But I wasn't blown away by Arizona last week over Iowa. Time for a let down after the big win. Go Bears!

South Carolina +3 1/2 I can't believe I'm doing this either. Poking a finger in the eye of a lifetime of rooting against the "Ole Ballcoach". Call it a gut feeling or just the fun of yelling "Go Cocks" all day.

Alabama -7 Simple thought here. When everyone calls for the never happens. Tide rolls big.

Iowa -28 I really think Iowa will look like shit, but Ball St is so bad, it's embarrassing that they play them. Go Hawks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NCAA Football - Week 3

Five and ohhh baby. That's right, if you took my picks last week and bet big, then you went out and got yourself a nice piece of ass this week. 5-0 against the spread. The so called "experts" can't claim that. Does that make me an, it make's me a genius. And it will never happen again so I'm going to brag my ass off. But hey, it's a what have you done for me lately kind of world so lets get to my week 3 picks. Remember, gambling is illegal and addictive and tons of fun. So find a bookie who will go to jail for his clients.

Kansas St -3 1/2 I don't know how good Kansas St really is, but I saw Iowa St play last week and they look very bad. Actually bad doesn't do justice to how they played. The Cyclones will score this week but not enough to keep up with K-State. The game is at Arrowhead Stadium in KC which is really a home game for the Wildcats. I told Cyclone fans I would cheer for their team after the Iowa game, but I was lying. Wildcats may not kick ass, but they cover the points here easy.

USC -12 In a continuing theme, this is less about how good USC is and more about how bad Minnesota is. Why is this only -12? Does Vegas think the team will be depressed because Reggie gave back his Heisman? Plus I'm rooting for Lane Kiffin to win a lot this year to see if he takes another job at the ends of the season. I know it's in Minnesota, but it's not like it's winter. USC wins big....really big.

Nebraska -3 Now I have to confess to changing my mind on this one a couple times. I even researched it a little bit. There are some questions about the Nebraska defense, but I think it's good enough to offset the great QB at Washington. Plus Nebraska seems to have found a pretty nice QB of their own. I also have to confess that as a Big 10 fan, I now find myself rooting for Nebraska to look good. Words i thought I would never say...."Go Cornhuskers". Yuck, that didn't feel good.

ECU +20 Lot's of stuff going on here. This is the classic Vegas (and gamblers) not believing what they see in Virginia Tech. Hey, I like Coach Beamer too but they do not look good. Even if they turn it around and get the win, it's hard to believe they beat ECU by 20. Plus ECU already kicked me in the balls once this year for betting against them. The Purple Pirates always show up to play in big games and I think they're in this one til the very end.

Iowa -2 Another game I went back and forth on. The Iowa fan in me knows that Iowa doesn't usually show up for this game. They usually not only lose, they go down in a ball of fire. But this team looks different. They didn't play down to Iowa State's level like past years. They seem to know they have a chance at Iowa football history. Make no mistake...when this game is over, we will know what we have in our Hawkeyes. My gut says Iowa pulls out a close, ugly, defensive battle. Go Hawks!

On a side note, great match up in the minor leagues. UNI plays Stephen F Austin in a match up of ranked teams. Come on Panthers, we need a reason to riot on The Hill!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

NCAA Football 2010

Week 2 is here! It's such a good week of matchups it's even got a nickname. It's "Monster Saturday". I'm predicting not many good games. It's going to be blowout city. But it will be cool just to see some of theses traditional powerhouse teams match up. Ohio St vs Miami, Penn St vs Alabama, and Florida St vs Oklahoma are just fun to say. Usually you have to schedule a week like this on the PS3. Oh by the way...Michigam travels to Notre Dame. Big whoop. Here's a gaurantee...whoever wins that game will be ranked next week and grossly over rated! Ok, here we go with my Top 5 Picks against the case gambling becomes legal.

Florida -16 This is the over reaction pick of the week. Florida looked like shit last week and everyone is pissing on them now. They will platy with something to prove and put the smack down.

Michigan +3 How is Notre Dame favored? Proving that Notre Dame alumni have too much money and they love to gamble it. That has to be it. Michigan will be over rated after this week, but they are better than Notre Dame.

Ohio St -8 This is the first of my blowout city games. It looks good on paper, but Ohios St is just too good. Why is Miami considered to be back? What have they really done? Nothing! Ohio St kicks the crap out of Miami. Take it to the bank baby!

Oklahoma -7 Game 2 of blowout city. I'm not as confident here. Oklahoma lays an egg in every big game lately, but I think they join Florida in makin up for last weeks lack luster performance and take it out on Florida St. I say Sooners win big!

Iowa -13 As an Iowa fan, I've decided to pick the Iowa game every week. Going against my instinct that I may be betting with my heart rather thatn my head, but I've used worse body parts over the years to make decisions in my life. I think Iowa is over rated at 9th in the country, but I didn't see much from ISU to convince me they are in it this year. Games in Iowa City and it feels like a week they will play well. Maybe not a wood shed ass kicking...but they cover 13 pts. GO HAWKS!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home Run Derby Chat

Monday, May 24, 2010

Harvick Off the Market

The biggest available name is NASCAR is now off the market. Kevin Harvick has resigned with Richard Childress Racing. Harvick and RCR agreed on a multi-year extension that will keep Harvick in the ride he has piloted since 2001 and scored all 12 of his Sprint Cup victories. As the team struggled all of last season, it became public that “Happy” wasn’t all that happy and he welcomed the opportunity to shop around.

Well things are much better this year, so far, and Harvick leads the Sprint Cup points. If fact, all of the RCR cars are performing very well. Many attribute that success into Harvick’s new deal. In reality, Harvick didn’t have many options. When Kahne signed with Hendrick Motorsports, that eliminated the only better opportunity out there for Harvick. Kevin Harvick Inc. gets factory support from Chevy in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, so he needed/wanted to stay with a Chevy team. There just aren’t any quality spots open. Stewart-Haas and Earnhardt-Ganassi may have had the resources to bring Harvick on board. Stewart-Haas may expand to a third team, but there seems to be too many drivers at Hendrick. EGR is still in the rebuilding phase it seems to many. Everything else was small potatoes. No offenses to the TRG or Furniture Row Racing teams, but you were never in this race.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dirt Knights on Versus

Promo for the upcoming show called Dirt Knights. The reality show will be shooting this summer and will air Jan. of 2011 on Versus. The show will follow five drivers from the Unites States Modified Touring Series and will feature Iowans Corey Dripps and Al Hejna. The other featured drivers include Scott Green, Mike Spaulding, and Jon Tesch. It looks like it will be fun to watch.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

UFC Undisputed 2010

Here's the trailer/commercial for the new UFC Undisputed game set the release next week... Product Description

UFC Undisputed 2010 is action-packed fighting game that recreates the excitement and intensity of the real-life Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The game features all aspects of the UFC experience, including a roster of more 100 UFC fighters, a wide range of fighting styles—including new additions Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling—authentic environments and commentary, and a variety of play modes that include Career, Title and Title Defense Modes, as well as multiplayer options accommodating up to 16 players in tournament and training settings. The PS3 version of the game contains additional content including 3 exclusive Legends fighters, exclusive Ultimate Fights and some of the greatest fights in UFC History on a separate Blu-ray disc.

Are You Ready to Step into the Octagon?
So you want to be a fighter? Step into the Octagon in UFC Undisputed 2010 to see if you have what it takes to be the best of the best. UFC Undisputed 2010 features the most authentic mixed martial arts (MMA) action while boasting the best fighters in the world. After one round with all the new features and key improvements, you’ll embody the essence and spirit of a real fighter. Are you ready to be one?

UFC Undisputed 2010 is a fighting game that places players in the iconic mixed martial arts fighting cage, known as the octagon, with the most devastating MMA fighters to be found in the UFC. As with the original UFC 2009 Undisputed game, action plays out in one-on-one fights in which the player, utilizes a mix of fighting styles which are balanced between striking techniques—a standing game—and grappling techniques—a ground game. Because the strength, experience and fighting style of opponents will vary, it is important to develop both a standing and ground game in order to defeat opponents by knockout, submission or by a decision depending on an opponent's weakness and/or the opportunities encountered during a match. The game features representations of more than 100 top name UFC fighters, each of which utilizes fighting styles representative of the actual fighter. Along with this realism, the game contains customization options that allow the player to create a fighter of their own with various styles, and/or attire and tattoos. Additional features new to UFC Undisputed 2010 include: the addition of Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling fighting styles; the ability to switch to a southpaw stance at any time; new strikes, submissions, transitions; the ability to change submissions mid-attack; an enhanced Career Mode; and improved online play allowing for 16-player tournaments, online fight camps, co-op sparring and more.

PlayStation 3 Exclusive Content
PlayStation 3 players of UFC Undisputed 2010 enjoy additional exclusive content. This includes 3 exclusive Legends fighters - Royce Gracie, Jens Pulver, Dan Severn; some of the greatest fights in UFC history on Blu-ray; and five exclusive Ultimate Fights for play in Ultimate Fights Mode.

Ultimate Fights Mode is the evolution of UFC 2009's Classic Fights Mode allowing players to relive some of the more memorable fights in UFC history. Players can play the mode as a single player experience in an attempt to unlock content associated with each fight or play as a two-player experience, squaring off against friends with special presentation and commentary elements. The main difference between Classic Fights from UFC 2009 and the Ultimate Fights for UFC Undisputed 2010 is the introduction of Fight Categories and Multiple Challenges for each fight. Assigning each fight to a category helps structure the mode and allows players to easily identify each type of fight, while the introduction of Multiple Challenges for each fight adds replayability to the mode. You may also "play as the spoiler" and provide additional challenges and unlocks associated with the losing fighter, where players look to "rewrite history."

Key Game Features

UFC Fighters and Personalities - Navigate an unparalleled roster of more than 100 prolific UFC fighters, each fully rendered to convey a photorealistic appearance. Prominent UFC personalities, including the commentary team of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, veteran voice of the Octagon Bruce Buffer, Octagon Girls, referees, trainers and more return to showcase an authentic and memorable UFC video game experience.

PlayStation 3 Exclusive Content - PlayStation 3 players enjoy additional content including, 3 exclusive Legends fighters (Royce Gracie, Jens Pulver, Dan Severn), exclusive Ultimate Fights and some of the greatest fights in UFC History on Blu-ray.

Enhanced Combat - Step into the Octagon with improved combat. A new Sway System with full upper body and head movement allows for the dodging of attacks, while on the ground, a new Posture System delivers strong, fight-ending strikes from every position. Manage Octagon control with new strikes, submissions, transitions and cage positions, as well as experience added realism with the introduction of Southpaw stance.

Fighter Customization - Enjoy customizable freedom with created fighters by combining move sets from numerous MMA disciplines. Choose from an array of moves from all available disciplines, including newly added Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling, to become a true mixed martial artist.

Expansive Online Play - Encourage camaraderie by forming fight camps and leagues to participate in ranking and champion tracking systems. Join forces, train like real-life UFC fighters and go online to compete against other camps in the virtual UFC world.

Career Mode - An intuitive "Game Is Watching You" system tracks every action and uses this information to dictate in-game commentary, opponent intelligence and overall career progression. On the quest to reach the UFC Hall of Fame, enhance the Career Mode experience through online co-op sparring sessions with respective fight camps and form unique personalities for created fighters to increase their cred, popularity and sponsorships based on interactions during weigh-ins and interviews.
Title and Title Defense Modes - Fight through one of UFC’s five official weight classes to earn and defend a championship belt in Title Mode. In Title Defense Mode, a fighter’s condition remains persistent, with milestone challenges built in along the way.

Tournament Mode - Explore up to 16-player individual and team tournaments within one system. Utilize UFC fighters or created fighters and select from arcade-style play with repeated fighter appearances or experience simulation play with fighter representation limited to one appearance

Get UFC Undisputed 2010 here!

Framing Hanley - Lollipop

He’s been one of the top shortstops since being promoted to the big leagues in 2006. A two-time NL All-Star, the winner of the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year, and the NL leader in batting average last season. The guy swings a monster stick, as evidence by his Silver Slugger awards, and puts up huge numbers from what is typically seen as a weak hitting position. I almost forgot to mention he’s a super stud in the video games. Apparently, he also thinks he is more important than his teammates. Who is this? It’s Hanley Ramirez, my friends.

What the baseball fans witnessed Ramirez do earlier this week was pathetic. The Marlins have made him the cornerstone of their franchise and he gets paid pretty descent money to perform. There isn’t any excuse for not hustling to first base or the dreaded kick save jog after the ball thing that we’re seen hundreds of times by now. Ramirez stated that his shin was sore but it wasn’t bothering him during the play. That throws out the only understandable reason. Not to be outdone, Ramirez accused some of his teammates of dogging it and ripped his manager’s decision the bench him. Ramirez wasn’t going to apologize. Then he did and said all the right words. Now he’s back in the lineup.

I have to say I totally agree with Gonzales’s decision to bench him. In fact he should have let Ramirez “rest” his ailing shin a couple of more games. The fans will surely forget about this incident quickly, especially if he has another great season, but don’t expect his teammates to be so nice. Ramirez is surely going to get the cold shoulder for awhile. Not to mention the whispers and talk behind his back. Hell, his pitchers probably won’t protect him at the plate anymore. Bring on the brushbacks. Unfortunately for Ramirez, it’s all well deserved, but he isn’t the first player to be lazy during a play and he won’t be the last. It reminds me of the locker room scene from Bull Durham. “Bunch of lollygaggers, lollygagging around.” My advise...grow up! Here's a lollipop.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Wow, what is going on with those Phillies’ fans this year? First, you have a drunken guy make himself vomit on a little girl and her cop dad. Then a fan runs on the field in back to back games, which the second guy did even though the culprit got nailed with a stun gun the night before. Philadelphia has always been know for having obnoxious fans, even the show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” had an episode were the fans were crazy. By the way, that is a damn funny show with Danny DeVito added to the cast. Well, anyway, there has been a huge amount of scrutiny towards the peace officer that used the stun gun. Most people believe the officer used excessive force to stop what everyone perceives as a cute non threatening teenager. Being a full fledged member of the Field Runners Club, I inadvertently ran onto the field at a Northern Iowa football game against Morehead St. back in 1993; I have to say I agree with what the officer did. These irresponsible fans need to be subdued as quickly as possible. The fan is knowingly breaking the law by trespassing and it’s unpredictable what they will do in the heat of the moment. In my experience, as soon as I hit the playing field, my original plan vanished in a rush of adrenaline, and survival mode kicked in. Very rarely is there intent to hurt anyone, but we shouldn’t forget when Royals coach Tom Gamboa got attacked by two fans in 2002. Plus the footage of the guy getting tasered and doing a face plant was pretty funny.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Introducing the Hawkeye Dirt Tour

A new racing series for modified drivers is coming to Iowa this summer. Well, it’s not really coming to Iowa, as it is a newly formed series based in Iowa. The Hawkeye Dirt Tour has come into existence and the inaugural season is this summer. The series has put together a 10 race season that visits nine different tracks across the Hawkeye state. The host track’s support classes will be run at the events. The series has plans to expand in the future to add visits to more tracks. According to their website,, the Hawkeye Dirt Tour currently has 34 drivers committed to running some of the events and some of the state’s top modified wheelmen are included. Hopefully some additional names are added. We’d also like to see “The A-Train” Al Hejna, Kelly Shryock, and “Triple Nickel” Ryan Ruter showcase their talents at these events. The Hawkeye Dirt Tour should provide some great racing action and you definitely see us at a few of the shows. Here’s an interesting side note for those of you from around the Cedar Valley, Bucky Doren is involved in this endeavor. You might remember him as a DJ on the Hog 98.5 FM back in the 90’s.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dale Sveum: You What?

We were watching the Cubs-Brewers game on WGN last night and I heard the name Dale Sveum. The last thing I remember about Sveum, he broke his leg in a collision with another player and it pretty much ended any impact on the game that he might have. What’s Dale up to now? I’m sorry I asked. He is entering his second season as the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. Let me repeat that. Sveum is the hitting coach for the Brewers. He is supposed to teach the art of hitting to others. He is responsible for helping players make adjustments so they become better hitters. Why am I so astonished? Over a career that lasted 12 seasons, Sveum had a batting average of .236. That’s not very good. Let’s add another whooping fact; Sveum has more career strikeouts (656) than hits (597). So the Brewers are paying Dale Sveum to mold their young nucleus of potential superstars, namely Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. All things aren’t looking down, though; Sveum’s nickname is “Nuts” and apparently he knows what he’s doing. Through the opening 16 games of the season the Brewers are third in the Major Leagues in batting average at .285 and forth in on base percentage at .366.

The Kahne Effect

As you all should have heard by now, Kasey Kahne has signed on to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. He will supposedly be taking over the #5 car from Mark Martin. This whole deal leaves Kahne in a sort of limbo for next year. Rick Hendrick has said that he’s not worried about the plan for 2011 but also has admitted that it will come together. I take that as Hendrick isn’t sure what is going to happen. The most popular rumor has Kahne taking over a third car at Stewart Hass Racing, as they receive technical support from HMS. Another fact that tends to back this is that Tony Stewart and Kahne are friends, come from the USAC background, and have mutual respect for one another. The chink in this plan though, I don’t see why Stewart would add a third car and then have to worry about finding another driver for it in 2011. It seems like unnecessary work and worry for the folks at Stewart Haas Racing.

Here is what I see happening, and I really, really like this idea, by the way. It’s going to take some of Hendrick’s money to make this swing but I think no matter what solution they come up with for Kasey Kahne in 2011, it is going to cost some money. Kahne will take over the AMP / Mountain Dew / National Guard next season in a yet to be determined number Chevy for HMS. Kahne has the looks, popularity, and charisma to help each of those sponsors capitalize on the exposure. What happens to Dale Jr.? Hendrick, shucks out some moolah and helps move JR Motorsports, which he is a part of the ownership group of anyway, to the Sprint Cup series. JRM becomes a satellite operation of HMS and Dale Jr. continues to drive the number 88. The 2011 lineup for Hendrick Motorsports ends up being Johnson, Gordon, Martin, and Kahne. Dale Jr. ends up driving for his “own” team, which is what he wanted when he was battling for DEI. This is a win-win solution. Are you ready for the cherry on top? Dale Jr. reunites with Budweiser. Yeah, you heard that right. Dale Jr. driving the #88 Budweiser Chevy. Hell, you can even dig out your old Dale Jr. / Budweiser shirts and hats. Now doesn’t everything seem right in the world?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What we know....What we think

Just a couple weeks in, but it's always fun to see who gets off to a fast start and manges to hang around and get all the fans excited for a pennant race. Even more fun to laugh at the experts, and even more fun to out guess and predict them. So around the league we go.

AL WEST - Rangers and A's are off to good starts. This is the division where everyone took the sleeper pick Seattle Mariners. At what point does it quit being a "sleeper" pick, when everyone is picking them. If Seattle ends up sucking, it's going to throw all the people on the defensive stats bandwagon right over a cliff. Actually the whole division is off to a pathetic offensive start. It's all pitching out west, and yes even the Rangers are pitching well. The A's would be a huge story and our personal favorite. We are rooting for them big time. Something to hold on to to make you think it's possible...The A's and Rangers have the 2 best ERA's in the AL so far. And the A's are supposed to have a lot of young stud pitching on the way up in June or July. Could get interesting if they continue to hang around. Plus the A's are always a 2nd half of season team.

AL CENTRAL - The White Sox got a lot of love in the preseason. Not from us. Not sure what everyone sees with these misfits. They're in it early though. Just a game back behind Twins and Tigers. Right where they left off. Nothing would be better than another pennant race between Tigers and Twins (with Twins winning again). So far pitching is ruling this division also. Here is a thought....good pitching beats good hitting. That's as old as baseball. Why are we always trying to reinvent the wheel? The Royals are actually out hitting the division easily right now. They are also playing the Tigers every day it seems. Could this be the season the Royals stay in late into the season? Nothing could be better for baseball. By the way...Cleveland sucks.

AL EAST - Blah, blah, blah...Red Sox and Yankees are leading...wait...Toronto and Tamp Bay are tied for division lead? Shhhh...maybe nobody will notice and the east coast will realize the baseball world does not revolve around New York and Boston. Maybe.

NL EAST - Phillies are trying to run away early and hide. The pitching in Philadelphia is awesome!! Not just Doc Halladay, but Cole Hamels looks good (BTW my great war room call during fantasy draft). Everyone likes the Braves, but I just don't see it. Would make a great story for Bobby Cox and his last season, but it will take more than that monster Jason Heyward to out last the Phillies. I'm secretly shocked the Mets are as bad as everyone thought. Have we let Omar the GM dick this up long enough in New York yet?

NL CENTRAL - Snobby St Louis fans are convinced they will runaway with the season, but it looks like a team ready for a breakdown to us. Injuries plus the 50 game suspension for Pujols is surely going to slow them down and let the Cubs keep it close. Cheering for the Reds though. Would be great to see 'The Big Red Machine" back in contention. RIP Astros.

NL WEST - No way in Hell can the Giants keep their hot start alive. The Dodgers are hitting the shit out of the ball and when the pitching comes around...and you have to assume it will...they look to streak back to the top of the standings. Manny for MVP??? I would love to be forced to have that conversation. It could could!

Friday, April 9, 2010

MLB Front Office Manager

Picked up MLB Front Office Manager for the PS3. Not sure if this looks like fun or not. I guess we'll find out. Here is all 3 trailers for it and the Amazon product description is below the video. Click here to get MLB Front Office Manager... product description...

MLB Front Office Manager gives fans the chance to experience their dream job as a Big League General Manager. Make trades, sign free agents, draft prospects and manage games all the way from Spring Training through the Playoffs. Featuring deep gameplay modes and a unique presentation style, MLB Front Office Manager is the only MLB licensed game to give fans total control of an MLB franchise.

Using Major League teams and players, you will be able to create your own fictional baseball universe and build a reputation into elite status. You can replace aging veterans with rookies, scout the Minor Leagues, make blockbuster trades, and even participate in bidding wars for posted players from Japan as they make their way to the Hall of Fame.

MLB Front Office Manager offers two distinct game modes. Become the GM in Career Mode, and manage a team through a 30-year career that will hopefully lead to the Hall of Fame. As your knowledge and skill progresses over time, you will gain points to improve various areas and help the team win games as a result. With Online Fantasy Mode, create an online head-to-head management experience. With up to 30 Managers in the league, you can compete against friends to see who has what it takes to be the best.

Special features include:

Build Your Roster - An extremely deep Career Mode takes fans beyond simple trades and free signings, and allows them to fully experience the life of an MLB general manager. Manage Minor League rosters, set scouting budgets, bid for Japanese free agents, select new players in the Amateur and Rule 5 Drafts, and more.

Take The Field - Manage your team’s games on the field all season long and enjoy a never-before-seen presentation style designed to resemble a real life TV broadcast.

Learn From a Pro - Renowned GM Billy Beane becomes a mentor to users, providing helpful tips and insightful baseball information that even the biggest fan doesn’t know.

Online Fantasy Leagues - Customize your league with fantasy drafts, modified rules and traditional Rotisserie and Head-to-Head fantasy baseball scoring systems. Also available offline against the CPU.

Innovative Baseball Statistics - Evaluate talent using in-depth and authentic player statistics, as used by Billy Beane.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

6 Things to Watch in NASCAR

The 2010 NASCAR season begins in a few short days and there are many storylines that are generating buzz. Will the COT changes that NASCAR is implementing make racing more exciting? How about NASCAR encouraging drivers to show more emotion and personality? I can’t wait to see the restrictor plate races. With no bump drafting rules, which were lame anyway, it might look like a mosh pit at a Five Finger Death Punch concert. Has the Brad Keselowski-Denny Hamlin feud ended? I think it probably has but it’s a long season so a flair up down the road is almost certain. Is Kyle Busch Motorsports a contender in the Camping World Truck Series? KBM should enjoy a successful season and rack up a few wins. Busch suffered a setback when he lost sponsorship from Miccosukee Resort and Gaming for one of his trucks last week but finding a replacement sponsor won’t be hard to do. Busch is one of the most talented drivers in the series and is almost guaranteed camera time. Dale Earnhardt fans have a couple of new drivers to watch. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dale’s grandson, will be running a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series for DEI. The famed #3 will return to the NASCAR ranks this season, also. Austin Dillon, who is Richard Childress’s grandson, will be running a full schedule in the Camping World Truck Series. He will be sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. As you can see there are lots of stories to watch in the up coming season but here are the top six things to keep your eyes on.

Will Junior finally win some races? This could be perceived as the top story to watch this season. Dale Jr. has won the award for Most Popular Driver the last seven years, so presumably he has the largest fan base. His images sell the most merchandise for sure. He will be in his third season with the powerful Hendrick Motorsports team and his first two campaigns have been awfully painful. Junior finished 25th in points last year, his lowest finish since he moved to NASCAR’s highest series full time in 2000. In reality, he hasn’t enjoyed a successful season since 2006 when he finished 5th. The Cash Cow of NASCAR hasn’t won a race since Michigan in 2008 when he pulled off a gift on fuel mileage to earn a trip to victory lane. Earnhardt Jr. will also run four races in the Nationwide Series, which he hasn’t scored a victory in since 2006, for his own team, JR Motorsports. Lance McGrew will remain his crew chief on a full time basis since taking over for Tony Eury Jr. and a few personnel moves occurred to strengthen the team. Junior says the team’s confidence has noticeably improved and is very optimistic for the coming season. Junior Nation is growing very restless and if Junior doesn’t produce this year, there may not be another chance, at least with Hendrick. An interesting fact, of no real importance, is that Junior’s voice is featured in the video game “Scarface: The World is Yours.”

What will happen with Danica Patrick? Patrick will run approximately 10-14 races for Dale Jr’s Nationwide team and will make her debut at the season opening race at Daytona. Her NASCAR races are sandwiched around her Indy Car schedule. NASCAR is praying that she does well because Patrick could be their personal ATM. Her success would draw in more viewers, especially women, which would open the door to sponsorship dollars. Regardless of her results, everyone will be watching her journey. The media is chomping at the bit to over analyze her every move. Can she win? How will she handle her first wreck? Is she too aggressive? Did she bite off more than she can chew? In this poor economy, NASCAR not only wants her to succeed, they need her to succeed. Queue the conspiracy theories. Here’s my question. How about those Go Daddy “Too Hot for TV Commercials”?

Can Jimmy Johnson win five Cup Championships in a row? Unfortunately for JJ, what should be the top story coming into the season, has been pushed to the back burner with all the other big headlines. Johnson signed an extension with Hendrick Motorsports but his crew chief Chad Knaus hasn’t yet. It’s going take a lot of money to keep the dynamic duo together but Hendrick always seems to find a way. Another downfall of winning all the time, the fickle fans are growing tired of him. For the record, I include myself as a fickle fan. I can turn on my favorite in a heartbeat. Earnhardt Sr and Jeff Gordon went through stretches where fans would rather see them crash than win another race or title. It seemed like NASCAR would tweak the Chase again in an effort to manufacture excitement at the end of the season but they resisted the temptation. JJ was named the 2009 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. Not bad for a racecar driver.

NASCAR is introducing the COT in the Nationwide Series. The Nationwide Series, formerly the Busch Series, has been known as Cup Light for many years. A handful of the Sprint Cup regulars routinely move down to the Nationwide races for additional seat time, testing purposes, or sponsorship commitments. NASCAR will unleash the new COT for a select few races, four actually, this season like they did years ago on the Cup level. The first race for the new COT is at Daytona in July. It will also run at Michigan, Richmond, and Charlotte. I think its going to be cool watching Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers on the track. Finally some actual sports cars. Too bad GM dropped the ball by not using the Camaro. This car change is supposed to help with costs and might bring in some new ownership blood, which is always welcomed by NASCAR.

Will the free agents find new homes and will it happen before the end of the season? Two A-list drivers were recently taken off the free agent list. Penske Racing picked up the option on Kurt Busch and hopes to keep him as part of the team long term. Kyle Busch signed an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing and should be driving their cars for at least the next three years. That still leaves some pretty big names, namely Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Kasey Kahne. Kahne and Harvick have both expressed their intention of looking elsewhere and both would be a good fit at Stewart/Hass if they decide to expand. I think Hamlin will stay put as he advanced up the ranks with Gibbs and I won’t be surprised if he receives an extension during the season. Some other free agents after the racing season include Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann, Elliot Sadler, Jeff Burton, and Paul Menard. Menard is a very attractive free agent as he has built in sponsorship from the family owned Menard’s chain of home improvement stores and you can’t race without sponsorship. The last couple of racers, I’d like to mention in this group are Scott Speed and A.J. Allmendinger. Those youngsters migrated over from the open wheel series and have shown steady progress as they get more seat time. Both, Speed and Allmendinger have the personality to attract a big fan base. There is definitely some top notch talent is available for the taking.

Who will win the Rookie of the Year? A better question might be who cares? For the first time since I started following NASCAR there is no rookie candidate to bring some excitement or intrigue to the races. Last year we got to watch the wunderkind teenager, Joey Logano. In 2008, the rookie class included numerous open wheel veterans attempting to make the jump to stock cars. Current stars Juan Montoya, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Kasey Kahne are all past winners of the Rookie of the Year trophy. Brad Keselowski was positioned to make a run at the award but then the stars aligned and he ended up racing in 15 events last season. Who does that leave us for this season’s class? Terry Cook, a 42 year young Truck Series veteran, has announced his candidacy in the #46 Dodge for Whitney Motorsports. By the way, Whitney Motorsports is a new team to the Cup Series. The other confirmed candidate is Kevin Conway. He’ll pilot the #37 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. Conway is 30 years old and his NASCAR experience includes 25 Nationwide events the last 6 years. He will be sponsored by ExtenZe though, so that could mean a couple entertaining commercials. I can see the ad now. Conway says, “Since taking ExtenZe, I no longer feel short changed at the race track. I have more confidence in myself and am not afraid to make the late moves.” No offense, but I don’t think SportsCenter is salivating for either of these guys.

So get ready to watch the year long soap opera known as NASCAR as it develops new and hopefully exciting storylines. Reach up one last time and pull those belts tight. Let’s go racing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ole Roy Boy Cries

Below is a link about Roy Williams and NC basketball, plus my comments to add to it.

Williams: How can you go any lower?

This is too funny. Ole Roy was crying during a press conference because they lost 3 in a row and are sitting 13-8 over all. And actually said, “I don’t know how it could get any worse”. Are you kidding me! You could be an Iowa Hawkeye fan. That would be worse. Talk about having no sympathy for this guy. What do you expect when you recruit kids who are only going to stay for one year? You can win a national title one year, then be lower half of conference the next, and that should not be a surprise. Also UNC ranks 9th in the ACC in defense and last in free throws. Come on Roy, try coaching them up a little. You remember how to do that don’t you.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best MLB Available Free Agents

Here’s a little something to wet your whistle for the upcoming baseball season. Here are the “Big Name” free agents still available. Your team got a need? Here’s what’s left. More important, will your team sign an over priced, over hyped player (Damon, Dye, Delgado…) or will they find the steal that puts them over the top? On the opposite end of Johnny Damon thinking he’s worth more than anyone wants to pay, is Jim Edmonds, who just signed a minor league deal with the Brewers. Have to respect a former big time player that is willing to earn his way back on to a team.

Here's the link to the best available free agents...
MLB Hot Stove Report

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hoops Games of the Week 1/26-1/29

We are rapidly moving to Championship Week, the best stretch of basketball next to the NCAA Tournament's First and Second Rounds. Another exciting event is the Bracket Buster games in the middle of February. Speaking of Bracket Busters, the matchups are selected this weekend. There's plenty of quality hoops action each week and the games are getting more important. Here are the games you don’t want to miss this week, Jan. 16 thru Jan. 29.

#11 Kansas St at #24 Baylor. Two three loss teams square off for some Big 12 fun. Both teams are looking to rebound from conference losses, Kansas St lost to Oklahoma St and Baylor to Kansas in very close games. Some great talent will be featured in this game with the Wildcats’ Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente and Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn.

Tulsa at #25 Alabama Birmingham. The final two undefeated teams from Conference USA meet to set the early surprise leader. Both teams are 5-0 in conference. Tulsa has a stellar 16-3 record on the season and UAB is 17-2. The Blazers haven’t lost yet at Bartow Arena in Birmingham and the loser joins what will become a four team logjam in second. Both teams look to be on the bubble for the Big Dance in March, so both teams could really use this win.

#12 BYU at #23 New Mexico. BYU has the early favorite for player of the year in Jimmer Fredette. Fredette averages over 20 points a game and shoots 45% from 3-point range. He’s been a big part in the Cougar’s 20-1 start. The Lobos, who still seem pissed over last years NCAA Tournament snub, are back with a vengeance. Upsets over California and a then ranked Texas A&M have helped the Lobos start the season at 18-3. Darington Hobson leads New Mexico in scoring, assists, and rebounds. Coach Alford and the Lobos will have their hands full defending The Pit from the Cougar invasion.

#21 Vanderbilt at #14 Tennessee. Two ranked teams. Vanderbilt is tied for first place in the SEC and the Volunteers are tied for second. Vandy’s A.J. Ogilvy is supposedly one of the best big men in the game. Tennessee has All World player Tyler Smith, whoops! Well they have Coach Pearl and some other thugs that are getting the raw end of the deal.

#15 Temple at Charlotte. Atlantic 10 leader Temple is looking to extend their lead over Charlotte, who has won three games in a row. Temple is riding a 6 game win streak. Charlotte is clearly a bubble team and a win over a ranked team would be very important for the 49ers to stand out. The Owls struggled mightily in their last game and could be without star guard Juan Fernandez.

Boston University at Maine. Maine and Boston U are two of the three teams tied at the top of the American Ease standings. Junior John Holland of BU leads the conference in scoring at 19.6 points per game. The Black Bears shot 66% from 3-point land during their last game and have won eight of their last nine games, including five in a row.

#16 Wisconsin at # 10 Purdue. It’s a rematch from January 9th, when the Badgers downed Purdue 73-66 and started the Boilermaker slide. Wisconsin is playing with a short bench and Purdue’s trio of E’twaun Moore, Robbie Hummel, and JaJuan Johnson seem to be heating up. It’s tough to win when visiting Mackey Arena but both teams need a win to keep Michigan St. from running away from the crowd.

Oakland at IUPUI. Oakland and IUPUI are in control of the Summit League at the half way point of conference play. The IUPUI Jaguars have the Summit League’s top two scorers. Alex Young and Robert Glenn both average over 18 points per game. Oakland’s Johnathon Jones led the county in assists last year and is dishing out over six a game this season.

Butler at Wisconsin Green Bay. The top two teams in the Horizon League standings face each other to start the second half of conference play. Butler currently leads the conference by 2 ½ games over the Phoenix and is undefeated in league play. The Bulldogs are led by the sophomore Gordon Hayward, the teams leading scoring, and the reigning conference player of the year, Matt Howard. The Bulldogs smashed the Phoenix in their matchup earlier in the season by 23 points but this time the Phoenix are at home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

College Hoops: Games of the Week

The college basketball season is quickly flying by. Some of the conference tournaments are only six weeks away and we’ll be filling out the Big Dance brackets in about eight. With some of the not so power conferences nearing the halfway point, it’s time to start looking at some key games. These games will appeal to the die hard basketball fans and are important in the conference battles. Worst case scenario, the conference champions are guaranteed a trip to the NIT. Here are the games you don’t want to miss this week, Jan. 19 thru Jan. 23.

UNI @ Wichita St. Northern Iowa moved into the national rankings for the first time this season this week. The Panthers are 7-0 in Missouri Valley play, lead the 2nd place Shockers by two games, and haven’t lost since Nov 20. UNI relies on an experienced team that prides itself on the defensive side. Senior center Jordan Eglseder looks like the early favorite for Player of the Year. Wichita St. is no slouch at 16-3 on the season. The Shockers are looking to stay unbeaten at home. The game is being televised on ESPNU and should have some comedy moments also, as UNI features some great names that only the late, great Harry Carey would appreciate.

Xavier @ Temple. This game features the final unbeatens from the A-10 conference fighting it out. Both teams are building Big Dance caliber resumes and this is another quality win for the victor. Xavier comes in at 12-5 and #17 Temple is 15-3. The Musketeers face another conference contender later in the week when they play against Rhode Island, they could be tempted to overlook the Owls but POY candidate Jordan Crawford won’t let that happen. Remember Crawford? He dunked on Lebron and then the video mysteriously disappeared. The game isn’t televised nationally; Comcast is carrying it locally, so you’ll have to use your internet weapons to see this game. It will be worth it.

#14 Georgetown @ #11 Pittsburgh. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Pitt. I guess not. The Panthers are unbeaten in the Big East. Georgetown is in the next cluster. The Big East has six teams ranked so the conference crown is far from won yet. The Hoyas will lean on big time NBA prospect Greg Monroe and he has continued to develop this season. ESPNU will carry this game.

Stony Brook @ Vermont. Vermont leads the conference and is the last unbeaten standing. Stony Brook is half a game back. The player to watch in this game is the Catamount’s Marques Blakely. Blakely has been named the conference POY and Defensive POY the past two seasons. Stony Book needs their guard tandem of El-Amin and Dougher to keep them in the game. American East action at its best, folks.

Pepperdine @ #10 Gonzaga. This is a matchup of the final unbeatens in the West Coast Conference. I almost fell for it. Pepperdine started the season with the conference bottom feeders while the Bulldogs knocked off the teams that were picked to challenge them. The Zags win this in a blowout with the Bulldog faithful chanting PU (Pepperdine Univ.)

Robert Morris @ Monmouth. The game will help sort out the top of the Northeast Conference. This is a rematch from last week when Robert Morris defeated the Hawks by eleven. The Colonels sent reserve guard Khalif Foster to the shelf by suspending him indefinitely. Rumors focus on alleged public nudity. Foster didn’t see much floor time anyway, so it’s a minimal loss.

Campbell @ Lipscomb. An Atlantic Sun showdown between the top two teams in the standings, currently. Five teams are within a game in the standings. The Fighting Camels, yes you heard that correct, the Campbell Fighting Camels visit the league's leading scorer Adnan Hodzic and the rest of the Bison. Hodzic has scored in double figures 44 consecutive games which is the nation’s longest current streak and an A-Sun record.

Alabama-Birmingham @ Marshall. Two undefeated teams from Conference USA. UAB and Marshall are both 15-2 on the season. The Blazers sniffed the rankings earlier this season and have only lost to Kent St. and Virginia. The Herd’s only blemishes come from Old Dominion and North Carolina. Marshall tends to put up lots of points. We’ll see how UAB reacts days after coming back from a 24 point second half deficit and winning. Will the Blazers have anything left?

Morehead St @ Eastern Kentucky. These teams are part of what looks like a three team race for the Ohio Valley crown. Morehead St is looking for a return trip to March Madness. Morehead (ha-ha) is lead by big man Kenneth Faried. He has Big East/ACC talent but an OVC brain. Just saying grades kept him from playing elsewhere. The Eagles are riding an eight game win streak into Eastern Kentucky were the Colonels are 10-0 this season. Something has to give. Eastern Kentucky has a modern looking Col. Sanders logo, kinda sweet.

Old Dominion @ William & Mary. The Colonial Athletic Conference has a log jam with four teams tied for the conference lead. These are two of them. ODU returned every starter from last years 25 win team included co-POY Gerald Lee. The Tribe is one of this season's surprises, having lost only three games, and are playing their way into a Bracket Buster game later this year.

#6 Duke @ #16 Clemson. Duke is 15-2. Clemson is 15-3. John Scheyer vs. Trevor Booker. An ACC battle on ESPN in primetime. Enough said.

Enjoy the games everyone and we’ll see you next week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The BCS Decoded

When the BCS Bowl game opponents were announced on Sunday, you knew there was going to more debate than usual. Unbeatens TCU and Boise St were matched against each other in the Fiesta Bowl and immediately the shit storm erupted. Message boards were overwhelmed with BCS is crap talk. Sports writers across the nation were crying about how we needed a playoff. I immediately tweeted that the BCS took the easy way out matching them together. For money reasons, I didn’t think the powers that be wanted a Big 6 team to lose to one of the “little guys.” It seemed there was more BCS hate directed at the Fiesta Bowl matchup than at the five undefeated teams vying for the championship game spots. After Chris and I had lunch with our friend Herbie, I now see the whole situation different. Herbie explained that the BCS determines which teams are eligible and the selection process, but the actual Bowl representatives pick the teams to play in their games. I checked out the BCS website and here is the process in an easier to understand format.

There are a few steps to determine which teams are actually eligible for BCS contention. The top two teams from the final BCS Poll receive automatic bids to the title game. This put Alabama and Texas in the BCS National Championship game. The champions of the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East, and Southeastern Conferences also are rewarded with automatic qualification into the BCS pool. This provision added Georgia Tech, Ohio St., Oregon, and Cincinnati as auto qualifiers. The third step in determining automatic qualification is that if a conference champion from one of the other conferences finishes in the top 12 of the final BCS poll. This added TCU to the pool. The Notre Dame clause is next. If the Irish finish in the top 8 they are guaranteed a BCS bid. Luckily we didn’t have that problem this year. The final two provisions weren’t needed this year as the third and fourth ranked teams had all ready qualified.

If there are fewer than ten automatic qualifiers, the remaining teams are then looked at to determine if they qualify for at large consideration. The remaining berths are comprised of any bowl eligible team that has at least nine wins and finished in the top 14 of the BCS poll. This added Iowa, Boise St, Penn St, LSU, Virginia Tech, BYU, and Florida as at large possibilities. If fewer than 10 teams are eligible at this point, there are other provisions but weren’t needed this year.

Here are the BCS eligible teams:
Automatic Qualifiers
Georgia Tech
Ohio St.
At-Large Consideration
Boise St.
Penn St.
Virginia Tech

The team selection process in done next and conferences are capped at two teams that can be selected. Again the top two teams are in the title game. Some of the conferences have tie-ins to specific bowls unless the conference champion is selected for the title game. The ACC is committed to the Orange Bowl so they get Georgia Tech. The Rose Bowl gets the Big 10 and Pac 10 champions. This year that’s Ohio St. and Oregon. The Big 12 champ typically hosts the Fiesta Bowl while the SEC is teamed with the Sugar Bowl. Since the league champions were selected for the title game, the Sugar and Fiesta Bowl gets to pick a replacement host from the pool of eligible teams. The Sugar gets to select first this season because the SEC champ was ranked number one. The remaining spots in the Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange Bowls are then picked in an order that is rotated yearly.

I don’t know if it this clears things up for everybody but it did for me. After reviewing the process and walking through it, I feel I have a better understanding of it. I can’t badmouth the BCS as much as yesterday but I now think the Fiesta Bowl reps should be bitch slapped. Next question. Would a playoff format work better? Nope but that’s a different story.

This originally was pot on 12/8/2009 on

NFL Wildcard Weekend

The march to Super Bowl 44 is beginning, the NFL Playoffs are here. Opening week of the playoffs is traditional called “Wildcard Weekend” but we decided to go with “Rematch Revenge.” Three of the four games are rematches from Week 17 and other a rematch from Week 4. Hence, “Rematch Revenge.” It has a sweet ring to it.

The playoffs begin on Saturday. The first game is a battle between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals in “The Jungle”, Paul Brown Stadium. Last week the Jets pummeled the Bengals 37-0 in New York. Cincy had little to play for as they had a playoff spot wrapped up. The Bengals sat Cedric Benson but started the game with the rest of their first team and had pulled most starters, including Carson Palmer, during the early stages of the third quarters. The Jets still had a commanding 24-0 halftime lead against the Bengals starters and the Jets should be very confident coming into this game. Cincinnati is going to need a big game from Benson as they will probably get little production out of Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco will surely be covered by the Jet’s Darrelle Revis. Revis has continuously shutdown the opponent’s top receiver all season long and is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. The Jets will also look to run the ball well to win this game. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene will be counted on to take some pressure off of rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has looked good, efficient, and very bad during the roller coaster ride this season. The key for Cincinnati is which team will show up to play. The Bengals have been very inconsistent this season and appears to play down to their opponent. The Jet’s key is can Sanchez avoid the costly rookie mistakes. Vegas has Cincy as a 2 ½ point favorite. I’m taking the Jets; their top ranked defense could be very dangerous in the playoffs. I guess Rex Ryan agrees, he says the Jets should be the favorites to win the whole enchilada. Let’s not get carried away Rex.

Saturday’s prime time match up pits the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. The game is at lavish Cowboys Stadium where Dallas is 6-2 on the year and the Cowboys are going for the season trifecta against Philly. The Eagles lost a close one at home 20-16 earlier in the season and got shelled 24-0 last week in Dallas. They always say its tough to beat a team three times in one season but recent history doesn’t support that claim. The Cowboys will go as Tony Romo goes. Romo has been pretty nails lately and is trying to shed his playoff inadequacies. The Cowboys are trying to avoid the annual late season choke. The Cowboys need to ride the two headed horse of Marian Barber and Felix Jones. If those guys can keep the chains moving, it will keep the explosive Eagles offense on the sidelines. Philadelphia’s offense spreads the ball all over the field. The running back tandem of McCoy and Westbrook are duel threats as they catch the ball well and Westbrook should see more playing time after coming back from two concussions. Brent Celek, the Eagles tight end, leads the team in receptions and seems to make a big play every game. Philly also has the deep threat in speedsters DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Macklin. Jackson leads the team in Internet trash talking and his doing his best to fire up the Cowboys. These are two similarly matched teams and who ever can force some turnovers will win in an exciting game. The Cowboys are 4 point favorites in Vegas and I think the Cowboys will cover but it will come down to the end.

The NFL matinee on Sunday features the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. The Patriots love playing in Foxboro and are unbeaten at home this season. Baltimore and New England faced off in week 4 of the NFL season. The Pats held off the Ravens and won by the score of 27-21. Tom Brady, who was just named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, leads the Patriot offense and will be missing its leading receiver, Wes Welker. The Pats really don’t have much of a running game so I expect Randy Moss to be the weapon of choice. The Ravens are lead by their physical defense. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs can be game changers. Baltimore’s offense can usually piece together enough points to eek out the victory. Here’s my key to the game…Ray Rice. Rice is a human bulldozer and plows through, over, and around tacklers. He’s a good target for Flacco out of the backfield also. If Rice can get on target, watch out. Obviously it will be cold and miserable in New England, it is January. I think Baltimore has a better ability to control the ball and ultimately the clock. The Patriot defense will get wore down over the course of the game and their offense isn’t as potent as years past. The spread from Vegas has the Patriots a 3 point favorite but the Ravens win in an upset on the road and advance to the next round.

That brings us to the final game of “Rematch Revenge,” Green Bay visits sunny Glendale for the second week in a row to face off with Arizona Cardinals. Fresh off a 33-7 beat down of the Cards, Green Bay is oozing confidence. It should be mentioned that Arizona pulled most of its stars quickly with nothing to gain in the playoff seeding. The Packers defense has been getting headlines this season. They lead the league in interceptions and turnover margin, both key stats. Woodson should be back from injury for the playoffs and he is another leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. The Packers front seven are one of the best units in the league. Matt Rodgers put together a fantastic year. He threw for over 4400 yards, 30 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. On the other side of the field, are the Cardinals. They come into the game with some key people banged up, including Anquan Boldin. Kurt Warner has always been a miracle worker in the postseason and with his quick trigger, he’s able to avoid trouble. The Cards spread the ball around well and utilize many targets. They should be able to survive with a below 100% Boldin because Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best receivers in the game. Fitzgerald catches everything that is close to him and the Fitz-Woodson matchup will be a great battle to watch during the game. The key for the Cardinals is to avoid turnovers from Warner, which he’s usually good for a couple. The Packer defense holds their key to victory. The defense line needs to get to Warner and make some sacks or knockdowns. Constant pressure on Warner will cause him to make poor decisions. The brains in Vegas have the Cardinals as a 1 point favorite. I’m going to disagree and take Green Bay. The Pack wins by eleven.

We seem to like the road teams in Rematch Revenge. All the home teams are favored so we are underdog lovers this week also. To wrap it up, we like the Jets, Ravens, and Packers in upsets and the Cowboys to cover at home. Enjoy the games everyone.