Archive for the Sports Category

Football Is My Life

Posted in Late Night Posts, Sports on December 15, 2008 by Jamie

Anytime you can make a quasi-Hunter S. Thompson refrence in your writing, it’s a very good thing. Unfortunately all I got is the title, slightly ripping off the title of his unpublished novel “Polo Is My Life.”

But really, the title is telling the truth. Football, and all its intricacies, is wonderful.

I know the way I’m writing about this may seem a bit creepy, but I don’t care. I care about three things in my life: Football, Heroes, and my girlfriend. In that order.

(Just kidding…)

Anyways, the great thing about football is there’s so many ways the average fan can enjoy the sport. There’s the NFL, NCAA, CFL, and even the AFL for people who are that crazy. (Note: I’m actually not one of those people.) There’s TV, Radio, Internet (GameCast and things like that, where every single play is document along with constantly updated stats,) and so much more.

(Sounds like I’m trying to pitch something to you eh? I’m not… but read on.)

The single greatest thing about football though: fantasy football. Fantasy sports, in which people draft real-life NFL players onto their “fantasy teams” in a league with either strangers or friends. It’s often played for money, and when the players do well in real life, so do the players in the fantasy league. Now that we got that little intro out of the way, allow me a little paragraph to gloat.

Last year, though I did not finish first in the league, I won the championship, and therefore, most of the pot. My key league move was a mid-season trade that got me Tony Romo, Joseph Addai, Brandon Jacobs, and Kellen Winslow. Forget their performances this year, but last year they really helped in the stretch run.

Anyways, onto this year. I had the fourth pick in a ten-team league, and here’s how I drafted:

Round Pick Player Position
1. (4) Steven Jackson RB
2. (17) Andre Johnson WR
3. (24) Larry Fitzgerald WR
4. (37) Calvin Johnson WR
5. (44) Greg Jennings WR
6. (57) Kellen Winslow TE
7. (64) Jonathan Stewart RB
8. (77) Selvin Young RB
9. (84) Chris Perry RB
10. (97) Steve Slaton RB
11. (104) Jay Cutler QB
12. (117) Eddie Royal WR
13. (124) Eli Manning QB
14. (137) Robert Meachem WR
15. (144) Deuce McAllister RB
16. (157) Michael Bush RB

I dropped Bush, McCalister, and Chris Perry almost immediately, to pick up a Defense and a kicker (two useless postions which I’ve changed on an almost weekly basis.) I also dropped Eli Manning before the season started. Who did I pick up? When Steven Jackson was banged up and I badly needed a running back, I traded Eddie Royal and Calvin Johnson for Marion Barber. So with a likely win in the semis, I am now headed into the finals with this starting roster: QB Matt Schaub, HB Steve Slaton, HB Steven Jackson, WR Greg Jennings, WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Andre Johnson, TE Zach Miller, WR Devone Bess as my flex (or Marion Barber, haven’t decided yet,) K John Kasay, and New Orleans D (they’re playing Detroit.)

Basically I’ve got a good chance, nut you can never be too cocky.

By the way sorry for wasting the last few minutes of your life. This was barely a real post. Except maybe the first paragraph. I started this post off expecting to write about how much I love football (oh, I also love Madden, the ultimate [and only] football video game,) and ended up just bragging about my fantasy team, and wasting your precious life. For that I apologize, and I promise will try to step it up in the future. Keep checking back.

Oh and I feel bad for the time I wasted, so here’s a video:

Oh and check yesterday’s post for the video I was talking about but forgot to put in. It’s a collage featuring every song Kanye West has sampled in its original form, as well as a few seconds of how Kanye used it. It’s pretty cool.

Why Rex Grossman Is The Best Backup QB In The NFL

Posted in Sports with tags , on October 27, 2008 by Jamie

Did the headline shock you? Good, because it should. There are a number of things I could write about now, my Lacrosse game tomorrow (my last game as a student-athlete ever,) the movie Sex Drive, which I saw tonight (a complete ripoff of Eurotrip, Road Trip, and Superbad all in one,) but one thing that happened tonight stood out.

My friend actually uttered the words (minus the why) in the title. And then we had a solid argument over it, but because I wasn’t quickly ready with stats to counter his claims, each of my comments was refused. He kept saying the fact that Grossman is young, and has already already appeared in a Super Bowl, automatically made him the best backup quarterback in the league. Here’s why he’s wrong.

Even though it was plainly obvious to any football fan that when the Bears reached the Super Bowl after the 2006 season that it was their defense that led them there, not their QB, my friend still said that made him worthy. How did Grossman perform in that Super Bowl? 20/28, 165 yards, 1TD, 2 picks, one of which was returned for the game-clinching touchdown, oh and he also lost a fumble. Just saying…

Unfortunately for Grossman, his horrendous performance in the Super Bowl was amplified even more, because when you have such a dominating D and special teams like the Bears did, you expect an easy Super Bowl victory.

My friend also argued that Grossman had great stats during the regular season that year. Great season? That year Grossman had a 54.6 completion percentage, threw for just under 200 yards per game, and had 23 TDs and 21 picks, giving him a QB rating of 73.9. Not exactly MVP-caliber stats. But we can’t always live in the past. His original statement was that Grossman was CURRENTLY the best backup quarterback in the league, citing only his Super Bowl appearance and youth as qualifiers.

Grossman doesn’t exactly scream “experience.” Saying what he said, with the Super Bowl appearance as his main basis, is like saying Sarah Palin has foreign policy experience because Russia is close to Alaska. I’m sorry, but that’s true. But after all this, I don’t want to be made out to look like a fool, so I’ll do my research. Let’s look at the QB backups around the league and see if Rex is really better than all of them.

Arizona Cardinals – Matt Leinart: This is an interesting case. Leinart showed a lot of promise coming out of USC, but hasn’t had the NFL career many experts predicted. He started 11 games a rookie in 2006, and actually put up eerily similar stats to Grossman (56.8 completion percentage, about 212 yards per game, 11 TDs, 12 picks, and a QB rating of 74.0.) Even though he hasn’t had an excellent carreer, I’m sure many coaches would prefer Leinart based on potential alone. Even now, if I were an offensive coordinator, I would rather Leinart run my offense than Grossman. Winner: Matt Leinart.

Atlanta Falcons – Chris Redman: When you’re starting a rookie QB, it’s doubtful your backup is any good. Still, serving mainly as a backup his entire career, Redman’s numbers have not been horrible. He has a career completion percentage of 56.2, 17 TDs to only 10 picks and a QB rating of 79.5. But the carreer backup (who is born on 7/7/77, and ironically wears the number 8 ) is untested…and 31. This may be a close one, but… Winner: Rex Grossman.

Baltimore Ravens – Troy Smith: Yet another team starting a rookie QB.  Second-year pro Smith is a former Heisman winner (who won the Heisman with his legs, and not his arm) who seems destined for a career as a backup. His skills were fine in college, but this formula doesn’t always work in the NFL (just ask Seneca Wallace, Antwaan Randle El, Hines Ward, Brad Smith, and others, who conceded defeat and moved to receiver.) Still, his speed is intriguing, but in a win-now situation, unfortunately he loses. Winner: Grossman.

Buffalo Bills – J.P. Losman: Since losing his job to current starter Trent Edwards, Losman has been riding the Bills’ bench. But in his last full season as a starter, 2006, he actually put up better stats then Rex Grossman. (62.5 completion percentage, 19 TDs, 14 picks, and a QB rating of 84.9.) They’ve both actually had pretty similar careers, so it seems to close to call. Winner: Tossup.

Carolina Panthers – Matt Moore: Next! Winner: Grossman.

Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Fitzpatrick: Even though Fitzpatrick is the technical starter, he is only keeping the seat warm for for former Heisman winner and 1st overall pick Carson Palmer (who is out with an injury.) He has been unimpressive thus far for the winless Bengals. Thankfully for him, he still has that Harvard education. Winner: Grossman.

Cleveland Browns – Brady Quinn: Drafted late in the first round in 2007, Quinn was expected to take over the Browns pretty quickly last season. Unfortunately for him, Derek Anderson took off, and Quinn was relegated to clipboard duty for the season, throwing only eight passes. He hasn’t thrown a pass this season, but despite his lack of experience, this shouldn’t be a difficult choice for any coach or analyst. Winner: Brady Quinn.

Dallas Cowboys – Brad Johnson: Though he’s the starter now, he’s stilll just a backup when Tony Romo returns from injury. The aged veteran has a career passer rating of 82.8, ranking him 26th all-time. “Johnson holds a 72-51 career record as a starter, currently the 4th best win-loss ratio among active QBs with over 100 starts. He has also connected on over 60% of his passes for 13 straight seasons (1995-2007), the first quarterback in NFL history to do this. He has been twice selected to Pro Bowl: in 1999 and 2002. He has eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark five times” (Wikipedia.) Though he has indeed taken a team to a Super Bowl, but unlike Grossman, actually won, “Checkdown Charlie” at this point in his long career, loses out to the younger Grossman. Winner: Grossman.

Denver Broncos – Patrick Ramsey: When you have a starter like Jay Cutler, you usually don’t care who your backup is. Though Ramsey has had a decent career, he hasn’t seen much time under center since 2004, when he was starting for the Redskins. Winner: Grossman.

Detroit Lions – Dan Orlovsky: Though former starter Jon Kitna is our for the year, Orlovsky is still technically the backup. With Kitna nearing the end of his career however, it looks like Detroit will have no choice but to go QB early in Round 1 this year. I’m sorry, but as bad as both Orlovsky and Detroit are, I refuse to write anymore on them. Winner: Grossman.

Green Bay Packers – Brian Brohm/Matt Flynn: After Brett Favre’s “retirement,” career backup Aaron Rodgers took over. With no other Quarterback’s on their roster, the Packers drafted two rookie QBs; Brian Brohm in the second round, and Matt Flynn in the seventh. After a promising but injury-plagued college career, Brohm looks to be stuck behind Rodgers for a very, very, long time. Winner: Grossman, by default.

Houston Texans – Sage Rosenfels: Aside from the devastating end to his week five start, Rosenfels has shown promise taking over for Matt Shaub. He’s had decent career stats, and has shown he can be more than a capable backup, maybe even a starter on some teams. Only problem though? He’s 30. Winner: Tossup.

Indianapolis Colts – Jim Sorgi: Hahahahaahahaha. Winner: Grossman.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Cleo Lemon: Wow. I’m beginning to think my friend might actually be right. The quality of backups in the league is horrendous. Winner: Grossman.

Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Thigpen: There’s a reason they have one of the worst offenses in the league. My job is getting a lot easier. Winner: Grossman.

Miami Dolphins – Chad Henne: I actually really like Henne. Before the signing of Chad Pennington, he was the next in a long line of Dolphins starting QBs, and I believed he could turn them around. Looks like Pennington is slowly doing the job, but when he’s done Henne, who showed extreme promise at Michigan, will be more than ready to take over. Winner: Chad Henne.

Minnesota Vikings – Gus Frerotte/Tavaris Jackson: Does it even matter? Winner: Grossman.

New England Patriots – Matt Cassel: Everyone knows this is Tom Brady’s team, but while he is out for the year, Cassel has done a fine job, keeping his team in contention with a 5-2 record. The career backup spent his college years backing up Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, and his entire NFL career backing up future HOFer Brady, but he is more than a backup. Winner: Matt Cassell.

New Orleans Saints – Mark Brunell: Not every team is as lucky as the Patriots. Thankfully, they have Drew Brees. Winner: Grossman.

New York Giants – David Carr: Oh boy. As a Texans fan who suffered through years of Carr at the helm, I can imagine how crushed Giants fans would be if Super Bowl winner Eli Manning succumbed to injury. Winner: Grossman.

New York Jets – Kellen Clemens: When Favre retires sometime in the next few years, the Jets better hope they have someone better to take over. Winner: Grossman.

Oakland Raiders – Marques Tuiasosopo: BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Why is this man still on an NFL roster? Can someone tell me please? Winner: Grossman.

Philadelphia Eagles – Kevin Kolb: The Eagles reached for Kolb at the top of the 2007 draft when far better options were available. When McNabb retires, I doubt Kolb will be ready to follow in his footsteps. Winner: Grossman.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Byron Leftwitch: There’s a reason that the Jags went with the unproven Garrard over Leftwitch at the start of last year’s training camp, and it wasn’t that coach Jack Del Rio was in love with Garrard. Leftwitch should not start a game the rest of his career, and he deserves the clipboard duty. Winner: Grossman.

San Diego Chargers – Billy Volek: He was semi-decent as a Titans starter a few years back, but that’s all he has. Winner: Grossman.

San Francisco 49ers – Alex Smith: A former first-overall pick as their backup? Their starter must be amazing! Um… nope! Winner: Grossman.

Seattle Seahawks – Seneca Wallace: Wallace was thrust into the starting role after Matt Hasselbeck went down with an injury, and if this team weren’t so bad, Grossman might actually have some competition here. Winner: Grossman.

St. Louis Rams – Trent Green: He’s so bad, even the Chiefs didn’t want him. Enough said. Winner: Grossman.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brian Griese: Though he’s injured and extremely old, Griese was performing well enough in practice for coach Jon Gruden to decide to start him over Jeff Garcia. Looks like that didn’t exactly payoff, seeing as he’s now injured. Winner: Grossman.

Tennessee Titans – Vince Young: After Young got injured, Kerry Collins took over this team, and now has them as the only undefeated team left in the league. Looks like Young will be a backup for at least the rest of the year. Despite issues with his mental health and injury problems, Young’s core skill set is still a weapon, though I think his career might be over already. Still, with the potential still there… Winner: Vince Young.

Washington Redskins – Todd Collins/Colt Brennan: I’m very intrigued by Brennan, after the career he had at Hawaii. Still, because he has yet to start a game or even throw an NFL pass, Grossman wins yet again by default. Oh. And Collins is really old. Winner: Grossman.

Wow. Against all backups in the league, Grossman is actually 24-5-2, with 3 of those wins being against teams with no backup with NFL experience. Is Grossman actually better than the backups for 24 teams? That’s just sad. I’m starting to question my belief in NFL coaches. Do they not realize that almost 75% are screwed if their starters go down? How do you think it makes them feel that REX GROSSMAN is more than likely better than their own backup.

When my friend said what he did, I expected to do the research and find that Grossman was the worst backup i nthe league, but  I was wrong. The backup’s in this league are horrible, so the Bears should be thankful they have Rex as their backup.

Even if its only to motivate their o-line not to let Kyle Orton get injured.

My Pick Results

Posted in Sports with tags on October 14, 2008 by Jamie

Carolina + 1.5 @ Tampa Bay, 1:00pm (Right)
I said: Take the Bucs. Final Score: Tampa Bay 27- Carolina 3

St. Louis +13 @ Washington, 1:00pm (Right)
I said: Take St. Louis. Final Score: St. Louis 19 – Washington 17

Cincinnati +9 @ New York J, 1:00pm (Right)
I said: Take New York. Final Score: New York 26 – Cincinnati – 14

Oakland +7 @ New Orleans, 1:00pm (Right)
I said: Take New Orleans. Final Score: New Orleans 34 – Oakland 3

Miami +3 @ Houston, 1:00pm (Wrong)
I said: Take Houston. Final Score: Houston 29 – Miami 28

Baltimore +4 @ Indianapolis, 1:00pm (Wrong)

I said: Take the Ravens. Final Score: Indianapolis 31 – Baltimore 3

Jacksonville +3 @ Denver, 4:05pm (Wrong)
I said: Take Denver. Final Score: Jacksonville 24, Denver 17

Philadelphia -4.5 @ San Francisco, 4:15pm (Right)
I said: take Philadelphia. Final Score: Philadelphia 40, San Francsico 26

Dallas -4.5 @ Arizona, 4:15pm (Wrong)
I said: Take Dallas. Final Score: Arizona 30 – Dallas 24

Green Bay +1 @ Seattle, 4:15pm (Right)
I said: Take Green Bay. Final Score: Green Bay 27 – Seattle 17

New England +4.5 @ San Diego, 8:15pm (Right)
I said: go with the Chargers. Final Score: San Diego 30 – New England 10

New York G -7.5 @ Cleveland, 8:30pm Monday (Right)
I said: Look for Cleveland. Final Score: Cleveland 35 – New York 14

Mise-Au-Jeu Picks
1. New York J -9 over Cincinnati (Right)
2. Philadelphia -4.5 over San Francisco (Right)
3. Denver -3 over Jacksonville (Wrong)
4. Houston -3 over Miami (Wrong)
5. New Orleans -7 over Oakland (Right)
6. St. Louis +13 over Washington (Right)

Weekly Record: (8-4)
Mise-Au-Jeu Record (4-2)

Picking Apart The Spreads

Posted in Sports with tags on October 11, 2008 by Jamie

Told you I’d update more often. I figure I spend most saturday afternoons at home, doing work or whatever, so I can spend a few minutes every Saturday picking apart the NFL spreads, analyzing who I think will cover it. For the purpose of these picks, I’ll be using an average of the five gambling sites Yahoo! Sports odds uses.

A quick analysis of spreads, for those of you who are noobs. When a team is favored by 6, they are listed as “-6”, whereas the underdog would be “+6,” so in the below game, Tamap Bay is projected to beat Carolina by 1.5 points. How is that possible? It’s not, teams can’t score half-points, but spreads are generally set with fractional points so no tie can be argued. (If the spread is -4, and the favorite wins by 4, no one wins or loses money.)

So here they are (all games on Sunday unless otherwise noted):

Carolina + 1.5 @ Tampa Bay, 1:00pm
The Panthers are coming off a week 5 thrashing against the lowly Chiefs (34-0,) while the Bucs lost a heartbreaker at home. Look for the Bucs to catch the Panthers sleeping and win this game. With spreads as low as these, if you win the game, you usually beat the spread. Take the Bucs.

St. Louis +13 @ Washington, 1:00pm
I’m not even going to get into why and how the Rams are so bad, because they’re not. Granted, the Rams are 0-4 while the Redskins are a surprising 4-1, it looks like this game should be a Redskins blowout. But the Rams do still have their pride. With Marc Bulger back at QB and Steven Jackson ready to get back to his old self, look for the Redskins to take the game, but the Rams to keep it close. Take St. Louis.

Cincinnati +9 @ New York J, 1:00pm
The spread opened at something like 5.5, but with news that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be replacing Bengals QB Carson Palmer, it blew up. Look for the Bretts to blow away the Bengals in what will be enjoyable only for fans of the Jets (and Brett Favre fantasy owners.) Take New York.

Oakland +7 @ New Orleans, 1:00pm
Both of these teams are pretty bad, but in a close loss to Minnesota last Monday, the Saints proved their not as bad as people say they are. At least their better than the Raiders, so while this game might not be a Saints blowout, the Raiders are a lot worse than they’ve played this year. Take New Orleans.

Miami +3 @ Houston, 1:00pm
The Texans will avenge their loss to the Colts last week, and be the first team this season to stop the Dolphins wing formation. Take Houston.

Baltimore +4 @ Indianapolis, 1:00pm
I’m not just saying this because I’m a Texans fan, but the Colts are on the decline while the Ravens are rising. Should be a close game, so Take the Ravens.

Jacksonville +3 @ Denver, 4:05pm
The Broncos faced a tough defense last week against Tampa Bay, but look for them to step up their passing game against the Jags secondary. Who needs Scheffler, Young, and Royal? Take Denver.

Philadelphia -4.5 @ San Francisco, 4:15pm
The only reason the spread is so low is because the game is in San Francisco. I know the favourites aren’t going to win every game this week, but in this game, you should definitely take Philadelphia.

Dallas -4.5 @ Arizona, 4:15pm
The Cards have a good passing attack, and Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald will light them up. The problem? The Cowboys have Tony Romo and Terrell Owens. Take Dallas.

Green Bay +1 @ Seattle, 4:15pm
This could go down as the game of the week. Both teams are desperate for a win, but the Packers are more desperate. Take Green Bay.

New England +4.5 @ San Diego, 8:15pm
I don’t really want to pick this game, it seems too close, but I’ll go with the Chargers, who need this game so Denver doesn’t leap too far ahead in the race for the AFC West.

New York G -7.5 @ Cleveland, 8:30pm Monday
The Browns seem to be sinking this year, and could really use this win in the national spotlight against the Super Bowl champs. Look for Cleveland to keep it close.

With my weekly picks, I’m gonna do a new feature called “Mise Picks,” which feature suggestions for those people who by Mise-Au-Jeu lottery tickets. To win a Mise-Au-Jeu, you pick a certain amount of times to cover the spread, and then lay down some money, from $2-$100. If you take three teams (the minimum,) you could win five times your bet. Four teams? Eight times your bet. Five teams? Twelve times your bet. And the maximum six teams? 25 times your bet. unfortunately, if just one of the teams you pick doesn’t cover, you lose everything.

So here are the six teams most likely to cover, for you Mise-Au-Jeu fanatics:

Mise-Au-Jeu Picks
1. New York J -9 over Cincinnati
2. Philadelphia -4.5 over San Francisco
3. Denver -3 over Jacksonville
4. Houston -3 over Miami
5. New Orleans -7 over Oakland
6. St. Louis +13 over Washington