Monday, November 30, 2009

AB4AR's Week 12 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 12 Recap

Green Bay 34 Detroit 12

In this year's example for why the NFL needs to remove the Lions from their yearly spot on the Thanksgiving schedule, the Pack absolutely demolished the hapless Cats.  Aaron Rodgers tuned the Detroit secondary up to the total of 348 yards and 3 TDs and Charles Woodson had another fantastic all-around game, punctuated by his 2 INTs.  If there was an NFL Heisman Award, Woodson would have to be considered a front runner, as evidenced by his endzone celebration.  Matt Stafford, only a week removed from the game of his young career, did all he could to steer the "crappy rookie QB" discussion from Mark Sanchez to himself by throwing 4 picks.

Dallas 24 Oakland 7

What the flu vaccine is the the flu, the Oakland Raiders defense is to struggling offenses.  Tony Romo threw for 309 yards and 2 TDs and Miles Austin racked up 6 of his 7 catches, 130 of his 145 yards, and his 1 TD in the first half of a game that was 3 times not as close as the final score indicated.  While Bruce Gradkowski did perform better than Jamarcus Russell would have, sideline cameras showed Russell constantly looking confused and disinterested on the sidelines with his hat pushed up above his ears.  The dude is so bad that he even sucks at standing on the sideline!!  Ryan Leaf, get ready to move out of the top floor of the "All-Time NFL First Round Draft Busts" Hotel.

Denver 26 NY Giants 6

The Broncos picked themselves up out of the grave like a backup dancer from the "Thriller" video as the Giants replaced them in the finale of the Thanksgiving blowout trifecta.  Eli looked lost trying to navigate Denver's D and now has a stress reaction to go with his plantar fascia-whatever-you-call-it.  Making matters worst, Brandon Jacobs has gone from the beast of RB beasts to that crappy kid in Pee Wee football who is forced to play RB when the #1 defense is scrimmaging the #2 offense in practice; he tip-toes parallel to the line and goes down easier than Alyssa Milano on a #3 National League starting pitcher (ZING!!)

Indianapolis 35 Houston 27

Talk about a collapse.  After being up 17-0 early and 20-7 at the half, the Texans imploded like the Cowboys' practice facility and all but killed their playoff hopes as they fell once again to Peyton 'N Friends.  Although you can't really blame Houston's secondary for playing a little passive in the second half after all the bogus pass interference calls against them on the Colts opening 3rd-quarter drive.  If running stride-for-stride with a guy is considered PI now, then I guess Champ Bailey and Darrelle Revis will have to retire.  Manning was his typical cool, calm self as he used his laser rocket arm to toss 3 TDs and keep the Colts unbeaten, locking up the division in the process.

Philadelphia 27 Washington 24

Donovan McNabb threw for 260 and a touch, but it was his leading the Eagles' late 4th-quarter drive that helped set them up for the eventual game-winning FG.  And he did it all without puking in the huddle!  Our little boy is finally growing up.  McNabb led the late drive without #1 WR DeSean Jackson, who left with a concussion.  RB Brian Westbrook immediately tried to console Jackson by telling him "it's okghgsk, yioufs haveothsl ts ijfghit rhtiur eit, andhgjet yuoisw wil hsiheb ok."  This just in, LeSean McCoy is good, I mean really good.  Hey everyone!!  Come see how good LeSean McCoy is!

NY Jets 17 Carolina 6

The Jets followed a winning formula to victory yesterday, ratcheting the offense back to a 3rd-grade level for Mark Sanchez and letting Jack Delhomme do what Jack Delhomme does best.  Sanchez was 13-17 for 154 yards and managed to not fuck anything up too bad while Delhomme tossed 4 INTs, one of which was returned for a touchdown.  Surprisingly, Carolina stuck with Delhomme as their running game was nowhere to be found.  If you can limit your turnovers and just wait for Delhomme to inevitably commit his 3-5 per game, you should have a good chance to win against the Panthers.

Seattle 27 St. Louis 17

Justin Forsett became the latest member of the "guys I should have picked up off the waiver wire" club as he broke loose for 130 yards rushing and 2 TDs on just 22 carries yesterday, leading the Seahawks to their first road win of the season against the Ewes.  The Rams were helped by the good Kyle Boller: 282 yards and 1 TD, but killed by the bad Kyle Boller: 2 INTs.  To celebrate their first road win of the year, the Seahawks all went out to Chuckie Cheese for pizza and Whack-A-Mole.

Cincinnati 16 Cleveland 7

The most un-entertaining game of the weekend ended in a much-needed win for the Bengals to keep their division lead intact.  Cleveland's hapless offensive performance (169 total yards) should guarantee Eric Mangini a spot in the NFL unemployment line in the off-season, and Brady Quinn's 100-yard performance combined with Charlie Weis' firing guarantees that as of right now, there is nothing good that came from Weis' tenure as head coach.  Larry Johnson, subbing for the still-injured Cedric Benson, ran for 107 yards on 22 carries, albeit an incredibly gay 107 yards.

Atlanta 20 Tampa Bay 17

Who needs Matt Ryan and Michael Turner when you've got Chris Redman, right?  After losing Ryan and Turner to injuries, the Falcons had to turn to Chris Redman (I know, I didn't think he was still in the league either) to lead them to victory, and lead he did.  Redman threw for 243 yards and 2 TDs in relief, including the game-winning TD pass to Roddy White as time expired.  Redman's heroics ruined a great day for Josh Freeman, who went 20-29 with 250 yards, 2 TDs, and an RBI single in the bottom of the 6th.

Buffalo 31 Miami 14

After stumbling threw the first 3 quarters, the Bills exploded for 24 points in the 4th quarter to beat Miami and deal a serious blow to their playoff hopes.  Terrell Owens put together his 2nd consecutive productive week for the first time in almost 3 seasons as he had 5 catches, 96 yards, and a TD.  Ricky Williams 115 yards and 1 TD wasn't enough to overcome Chad Henne's Delhomme-esque 3-INT performance that sealed the Dolphins' fate.

Tennessee 20 Arizona 17

Despite putting up 532 yards of total offense, the Titans needed every last second to defeat the Cardinals yesterday.  Chris Johnson had 154 yards and a TD on just 18 carries as he continued his march towards 2,000 yards, but it was Vince Young's 387 yards and game-winning TD pass with no time left that won it for Tennessee.  The pass by Young capped off a 99-yard drive in which he completed 3 4th down passes to keep the drive alive.  If Young keeps playing like this, I'm not going to be able to make any more suicide jokes.  Matt Leinart surprisingly didn't play awful, but just like in the National Championship Game a few years ago, was severely upstaged by VY.

San Francisco 20 Jacksonville 3

Alex Smith had a workman-like 232-yard, 2-TD performance to lead the '9ers, and while he didn't throw any picks, David Garrard's 2 lost fumbles hurt the Jags in their loss.  I've been preaching the power of the hyphenated-name duo all year and yesterday proved exactly why.  Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker combined for barely over 100 yards and 0 TDs.  Coincidence?  Not likely.

San Diego 43 Kansas City 14

If you're going to turn the ball over 4 times like the Chiefs did yesterday against a quality opponent, then you better be prepared to take a beating.  A beating was something that Phillip Rivers and company were only so happy to deliver as he threw for 317 yards and 2 TDs, both to Antonio Gates, who after toiling in the single-digit points scored dungeon for weeks, decided to break out for 7-118-2 on the day when I inexplicably leave him off my fantasy roster.  Damn you, Antonio Gates.  Damn you to Hell.

Minnesota 36 Chicago 10

Brett was Favre-tastic yesterday, throwing for 392 and 3 TDs, completing 6 passes each to Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, and Chester Taylor.  Harvin's first career 100-yard receiving game gets him closer to a potential Rookie of the Year Award, and another beatdown gets Lovie Smith one loss closer to joining Eric Mangini in the unemployment line.  Has anybody seen Matt Forte?  Seriously, what the fuck happened to that guy?  Is he alright?  Should we send somebody over to his house to check on him?  Maybe Jay Cutler could throw an errant pass through his window so we could get inside.

Baltimore 20 Pittsburgh 17 (OT)

In a game that lived up to its hard-hitting, defensive battle billing, the Ravens pulled out a much-needed overtime win to vault back into the last AFC playoff spot.  3rd-string QB Dennis Dixon actually did a couple things to help the Steelers win, scoring 2 TDs, and didn't do anything to make them lose, until that fateful pick in overtime.  Can't really blame the guy, though, since he would never have been in that position if Big Ben wasn't such a pussy.  Come on, dude, concussion my ass!  Rub some dirt on it and get out there.  I think I'm starting to develop a bit of a man crush on Ray Rice, and I am not ashamed of it.

MNF Prediction

New England 34 New Orleans 31

By the time this one is over, we'll be calling it the Game of the Year.  This baby will have everything: scoring, turnovers, big hits, gutsy calls, tons of made up adjectives and adverbs by Jaws and Gruden, and gallons of semen shot out of both of their cocks as they describe the QB play of Tom Brady and Drew Brees.  Bring your rain coat and goggles, Tirico, because you're in for a long night.  I don't know why, but something tells me New Orleans will need one timeout on their last drive of the game but won't have it, and that will end up costing them a chance at a game-tying FG.

MNF Predictions for the season (winners): 9-3

Jeter Wins SI's Sportsman of the Year. (And It's About Damn Time)

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter has been selected Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, becoming the first member of the New York Yankees to win the award.

The magazine made the announcement Monday.

"It's unbelievable. It was completely unexpected. It came out of the blue," Jeter told The Associated Press during a break in the photo shoot. "When I heard it, what can you say? It's one of the greatest honors you can achieve in sports."

The 35-year-old Jeter is the first Bronx Bomber to be tapped for the award that has been given out since 1954. Swimmer Michael Phelps was last year's recipient.

"That's even harder considering all the great Yankee players that have played for this organization," said Jeter, standing under the banners depicting Yankees greats that hang in the Great Hall of the new stadium. "So I hope I've done them proud."

Sports Illustrated Group editor Terry McDonell certainly thinks he has.

"This verifies my idea that he is on the level of Ruth and Gehrig," McDonell said. "He's the greatest shortstop in the history of the game."

All business between the lines, Jeter has become one of the untarnished ambassadors in the steroids era of baseball through steady play and quiet leadership on and off the field.

"He's so classy," McDonell said. "He brings a dignity and elegance to the game."

Jeter's 2009 season was remarkable. He batted .334 with 18 homers and 66 RBIs with 30 steals to help lead the Yankees to their first World Series title in nine years -- a frustrating drought for the player who won four championships in his first five seasons.

And as calls swelled for Jeter to switch positions after his contract expires in 2010, the 10-time All-Star went out and had one of his best defensive seasons: He made a career-low eight errors in winning his fourth Gold Glove.

He also passed Yankees icon Lou Gehrig's club record for hits, won the Hank Aaron Award as the AL's top hitter, and was given the Roberto Clemente Award for excellence on and off the field.

The World Series victory might have been Jeter's most cherished accomplishment this year, but what clinched the sportsman award for him was his philanthropic work. Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation has doled out over $10 million in grants since 1996 to organizations that help keep young people away from alcohol and drugs.

"It's about the manner of the striving and the quality of the effort, too," McDonell said. "Off the field he has grown so much as a member of the community."

For Jeter, who only looks as far ahead as the next game, he's nowhere near the end of an illustrious career that could culminate with 4,000 hits.

"I'll take it one hit at a time. That's a long way in the future," said Jeter, who has 2,747 hits. "I'm going to play as long as I'm having fun. Right now I'm having a blast." (story courtesy of the AP)

Another day, another award for Derek Jeter. World Series champion? Yeah, sure. Whatever. Gold Glove? Meh. Silver Slugger Award? Yawn. Hank Aaron Award, Roberto Clemente Award, and now Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Reading through that glorious description of Jeter's season made me both a little misty and little aroused at the same time. For Yankee fans, reading a list of Jeter's accomplishments is like romance novels for middle-aged women and this was no exception. Not bad for an overrated, washed up player whose best years are behind him.

To be honest, I'm not surprised Jeter won the award. As this season has shown, his accomplishments both on and off the field are more than enough to declare him worthy. What does surprise me is that it took this long for him to finally win, and that no Yankee has ever won this award in the 50+ years that SI has been in existence? Here I thought the media had only developed their intense negative bias towards the Yankees in the last 5 years or so, and now it's clear that SI has had it out for the Bombers since their inception.

You're telling me guys like Roger Maris, Thurman Munson, and Mariano Rivera were never worthy of Sportsman of the Year? Michael Fucking Phelps won it last year and all the dude did was win some swim meets, stutter and stammer through interviews with his horse mouth, and take a few bong rips at a frat party. If Sports Illustrated cared even a little bit about being fair and having this award mean something, they will go back and not only award Roger, Thurm, and The Sandman an award for one of their past seasons, but also award Jeter the award for 1998, 1999, and 2003.

Now of course the critics will be coming out of the woodwork today and for the rest of the week pointing out that Jeter's OBP was the lowest of the last 5 winners of the Sportsman of the Year. And you can pretty much take it to the bank that some stat geek at ESPN has created a formula proving that Jeter's VORSOY (Value Over Replacement Sportsman of the Year) is the 3rd-lowest out of all AL shortstops. But the bottom line is Jeter continues to be among the best at what he does on and off the field and there is still an overwhelming majority of his critics and peers who recognize just how special an athlete he is. That universal respect is something that can't be quantified and it's that respect that holds more value than any ridiculous stat created just for the purpose of trying to make Jeter look like less than he is.

So congratulations, Captain. It's been a long time coming and when you add everything up from this past season, there really isn't anybody more deserving.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where's The Shooter?

When you hold a team, any team, below 30% shooting from the field, foul out 3 of their top 4 frontcourt players, and hold the other, a potential NBA Lottery pick, to 6 points on 2-12 shooting, you shouldn't just win a college basketball game, you should fucking dominate it.  The only way you wouldn't win a game like that is if your team can't knock a shot down to save themselves and can't rebound against a team against which you have comparable size and much better athleticism, and that's exactly what happened to the Huskies last night.

After three lackluster performances against shitty teams to open the season, it looked like UConn had finally put all the pieces together on Wednesday night when they steamrolled through LSU.  They rebounded aggressively, giving the Tigers no second chances, ran their offense, and knocked down shots, both inside and out.  To say last night was UConn taking a step back would be like saying the US deficit is a few bucks short right now.  The Huskies were flat-out awful, getting out-rebounded 56-43 by a Duke team who Doug Gottleib called "alarmingly non-athletic" after a WIN Wednesday night against Arizona St.  25 of those rebounds were of the offensive variety, giving Duke enough second chance points and trips to the free throw line to override their horrible shooting night.  When Brian Zoubek, a guy who is practically a zombie straight out of the George Romero playbook, and Lance Thomas, the slowest, weakest, most unathletic black guy this side of Curt Menefee, each grab 11 rebounds against you, then you know there's a big problem in the middle.  And that problem's name is Charles Okwandu.

Seriously, what the fuck is he doing out there?  And more importantly, why the fuck is Calhoun playing this guy?  He is terrible.  I must have been higher than Jerome Dyson at Spring Weekend when I called Okwandu an "intriguing possibility" 2 weeks ago in my season preview column because the only thing intriguing about him is how he managed to secure a basketball scholarship when he possesses absolutely no basketball skills.  I wouldn't pick him to play on my team in a playground 3-on-3 game at an elementary school.  The dude can't stay with his man, has no clue how to play pick-and-roll defense, gets abused in the low post by players smaller and lighter than he is, is never in good rebounding position, and even when he is, he goes up softly with one hand to try to tap the ball back to himself instead of aggressively grabbing it with 2 hands.  I'm not even going to waste time breakding down all the holes in his offensive game because quite frankly, he has no offensive skills on which to comment.

I know Calhoun likes to have size, but Jesus Christ, I'd rather take my chances with AO and Gavin, or go small with AO, Sticks, and Jamal than let Okwandu go out there and basically have the Huskies playing 4-on-5.  If I had the money, I would bail out the kid who killed Jasper Howard just so he could go back to the Student Union and shank Charles Okwandu.  And I'm only half-joking when I say that.

Speaking of Sticks, where the fuck was he last night?  Was that even him wearing the 21 jersey or was he back at the scrap metal yard?  4 rebounds against Duke's front line?  FUCKING 4???  I know he got frozen out on the offensive end of the floor in the 2nd half worse than Michael Jordan in his first All-Star Game, but that's still no reason to be so passive on the boards against a team that he can run and jump circles around.  Come on, Stanley, you're a fucking senior!  You're the one that needs to take the reins against the Dukes and Villanovas of the world and lead the team, not sulk and get lost in the shuffle because you aren't getting touches on the offensive end.

As bad as the whole rebounding thing was, I could look past it if the Huskies could have made a few shots, just a few.  But offensively they looked 20 times worse than they did defensively.  When the fuck is somebody going to step up and knock down a jump shot??  The Huskies made 2 for the whole game last night, and one of those was by Gavin Edwards!  The offense last night was basically dribbling or passing around the perimeter for 20-25 seconds and then having either Kemba or Jerome go flying towards the basket and throw up a forced off-balance runner or weak layup, trying more to get a foul call than to actually make the shot.

There was no ball movement around the wing to try to get somebody an open jumper, and when they did get one, whoever had the open look either missed it or didn't take it.  Jerome was 6-20 from the field last night and Kemba was 4-12.  Nobody wants to shoot on this team because nobody fucking can.  It's an embarrassment to the program and to the sport to have a bunch of scholarship guards and wing players who can't knock down a 15-footer or an open 3, and a bunch of scholarship big men whose collective post-up game resembles that of a middle school girl.

And if you're going to forego ball movement and open shots for trying to draw fouls, at least make your fucking free throws.  For all the good players that have come and gone over the last half decade, one thing Jimbo never seems to recruit is guys who can make foul shots.  It was a problem 2 years ago, it was a problem last year, and it's already a problem this year.  15-28 from the line just ain't gonna cut it against good team, especially when the majority of the misses are coming from your main guys (Oriakhi 2-4, Dyson 3-9, Walker 1-2, Sticks 0-1).  Shooting 50% from the line negated all the good they did in getting Duke's entire front line in foul trouble. Despite the fact that they had foul issues, Duke continued to play aggressive defense because they knew UConn wasn't going to take advantage of the opportunities at the line.  The only dude out there with any hair on his nuts when it comes to the charity stripe seems to be Gavin Edwards (I can't believe I just fucking wrote that!), who made all 6 of his attempts last night. 

There were a few bright spots last night.  AO was tough on D and on the boards with 13, but still needs to learn that this isn't high school ball anymore and he can't bring the ball down when he's making a post move or trying to shoot.  And Gavin Edwards played another decent game coming off the bench, with 12 points and 5 boards (again, I can't believe I just fucking wrote that).  But UConn's Big 3 stumbled and bumbled all night on both ends of the floor, and in a game that the stats say they should have won, it was that lack of composure and leadership on their part that cost the team the game.

Jimbo needs to start getting on Stanley, JD, and Kemba now to grow up and lead the team, and he needs to take the training wheels off of Coombs-McDaniel, Trice, and Darius Smith, and see if these fucking kids can play and make a shot because if he's counting on Gavin Edwards and Alex Oriakhi to lead the charge heading into Big East play, it's going to be a long year.

And somebody, for the love of God, give Okwandu H1N1 or mono, or anything to keep him off the floor.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Red Sox Already Resorting To Basketball Tactics To Land Roy Halladay

So the big buzz around the baseball world today is that the Sawx are "putting on a full-court press" to try to acquire Roy Halladay and bolster their pitching staff for next year.  In the words of the great Matt Foley, motivational speaker, "Well LA-DEE-FREAKIN'-DAH!!!"

As if using an aggressive man-to-man pressure defense is really going to work to bring in the guy that they coveted most during this past season's trade deadline but didn't have the stones to pull the trigger on because they didn't want to give up any of their prized prospects.  Newsflash, Theo. Toronto's asking price isn't going to be any lower this time than it was a few months back, so unless your "full-court press" includes kidnapping Halladay's family and threatening their lives, you might as well start cleaning out Clay Buchholz's and Daniel Bard's lockers now if you're serious about this.

And even if Boston does make this deal, are they expecting the Yankees to suddenly shit their collective pants?  Like Brian Cashman is going to wake up on December 5, read the headline on that the Sox made the deal and simultaneously hit the panic switch with his left hand while he frantically searches for the cell phone to start calling Randy Wolf's agent with his right?  Puh-fucking-lease.

If this past season proved anything, it's that the Yankees are the deeper, more talented team across the board than the Red Sox, and adding Roy Halladay makes them only marginally better than the Yankees at best.  The back end of Boston's rotation has just as many question marks as New York's does, and with Josh Beckett looking like he may have already peaked in his career, throwing him in with Halladay and Lester as a great trio of starting pitchers is like saying store brand cranberry sauce is one of the premiere Thanksgiving foods along with Turducken and homemade pumpkin pie.

And that's not even factoring in the undeniable reality that the Yankees' bullpen is deeper and more clutch than Boston's and that Boston's lineup has aged far less gracefully than that of the Bombers.  Jeter, A-Rod, Hideki, Damon, and Matsui are like the finest of fine wines when compared to the spoiled milk that is Boston's 30-something collection of Ortiz, Lowell, Drew, and Varitek (if they're dumb enough to bring him back).

So go ahead, Theo, make your move on Halladay.  Cash, Hank, and Hal will only be too happy to watch you give up 3 to 4 blue chippers just to try to pull back even with the Yankees.  I don't think even Bill James can concoct some formula to figure out how Halladay will help your bullpen from imploding in big moments or your rapidly aging (and even more rapidly declining in production) lineup from continuing their downward trend.  And if you want to get it done before the winter meetings, be my guest.  That just gives the Yankee minds more time to come up with a counter-strategy.

It really doesn't make a shit of a difference if you put on a full-court press, half-court trap, or a matchup zone to get Halladay, because while you're out there flailing and flapping like Forrest Griffin, the Yankees are sitting back, letting things play out with their free agents and biding their time to make some late-offseason moves, and readying up that counterpunch right hand to floor you like Anderson Silva.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The President of Endicott College Knows What's Up

So for anybody that doesn't know, here's the deal.  Every year at Endicott College, they do some goofy fire hydrant painting thing for school spirit and this year it turned out that one of the hydrants got painted in the colors of the Yankees.  I know, great choice.  Blue and white pinstripes just make everything look better.  Only problem is, Endicott College is located in the heart of Red Sox country and so the resulting painted pinstripes caused quite a stir.  Today was the day for the painting to take place, and my friend Gary, an Endicott alum and diehard Yankee fan, was gracious enough to send this picture.

Thanks to Gary C., friend of the blog, for the pic

Goddamn that thing's a beauty, huh?  But wait, it gets better. In addition to allowing the Yankee fans on campus, an overwhelming minority, to shake their dicks in the faces of all the Red Sox fans, the President of the college, ALSO a Yankees fan, sends out the following email today to the entire student body.

Dear Endicott Community,

I have always believed that laughter, purpose, and hard work were keys to my success. From these key words come many actions and responses. Sometime, they are misconstrued. Take for example the painting of the fire hydrants – a campus tradition.

Over the years they have recognized the Red Sox, Bruins, Dunkin’ Donuts, and our team successes. They have been bulletin boards for all to see and enjoy. They are both in good fun and purposeful.

The apparent outcry against painting a fire hydrant for the Yankees, while not surprising, is over the top. Yes, to some, the Yankees are the dreaded “Evil Empire” but to others it is a symbol of their hometown and their region, and they are proud of it. We have a right to celebrate their victory. While some may mourn the outcome of the 2009 season, the rivalry between Boston and New York is what sport is about. It provides entertainment, energy, and passion not only for the season, but throughout the year. It is one of the great values of sport.

Yes, I support the Yankees, but I also support great teams. My grandfather was a policeman at Yankee Stadium and his brother a fire boat captain. After 9/11 I witnessed a city in the midst of destruction and we watched the people from New York rise from the ashes. They became a symbol of courage and determination to the world.

Okay, now to the issue. This week our little tradition grew to a degree none of us expected. It has been on the national news. It has gotten groans from New England, cheers from New York, and laughter around the country.

Unfortunately, someone or more than one person from our community decided to use the controversy as a way to damage the car of a very kind, gentle and, by the way, strong Red Sox fan, as a way to “get back.” Sorry, your actions are far more damaging and demeaning than anything we do with a fire hydrant. Those involved have no idea how to benefit from the words, “play ball, play football, and simply, play.”

Our actions tell a lot about the character of Endicott students. On Monday, can we find some joy and pleasure in knowing that some 20% of our student body have a reason to celebrate and 80% of our students have the opportunity to say, “Wait until next year!” Let the rivalry begin again.

I am glad that this fire hydrant has energized your passion and your loyalty. Can this same passion be directed to our bigger problems: energy, hunger, and crime, or will complacency return when the event is over?

I will always stand with and for our students. I am proud of Boston. Endicott and I take pride in each of you. In return I ask that we, as a community, enjoy when others succeed. Please set aside anger and envy, and say, “Maybe it will be our turn next year!


Dr. Wylie

Oh, Dr. Wylie, you had me at "we have a right to celebrate their victory."  Just an absolute masterpiece.  Where do I start?  The guy makes reference to the Yankees winning the World Series twice, plays both the 9/11 and "Solving the World's Crises" cards to perfection, calls out some group of vandals who trashed a car, and from start to finish carries himself with the dignity and well-spoken grace that only a Yankee fan could. 

If this fire hydrant painting/school president combo doesn't perfectly portray "Red Sox Nation" as the biggest, most fraudulent, media-created shit pile in the history of sports, then I don't know what does.  Do you honestly think that if a group of Red Sox students tried pulling a stunt like this at NYU that they would have gotten away with it?  The Yankee fan majority would have painted over the fire hydrant before the red in the Red Sox logo was even dry, and the beaten the shit out of the perpetrators to send a message.  Christ, even pussy Mets fans probably would have had something to say about an outside enemy team's logo being displayed on their turf.  But what do the Red Sox fans at Endicott do?  Nothing.  Not a fucking thing.

And therein lies the difference between Yankee fans and Red Sox fans.  Yankee fans are proactive and find creative ways to express their celebration of their team's success, and when the team is down they are still out proudly portraying their colors.  Red Sox fans throw on their green hats and pink girl jerseys when their team is doing well and run around telling you how awesome Josh Beckett is, but then scurry back inside their homes when the times get tough, resorting to tired, unintelligent bitches and moans about how "A-Rawd is a fackin cheatah," or "Jeetah is a fackin queeah!"  All these supposed Red Sox fans on campus at Endicott should just take their Boston gear and fucking burn it because if you're going to let something like that happen and just stand by and watch, then you aren't a true fan.

I know the guy was just doing his Presidential duty, but Dr. Wylie ended up providing just one more in the long list of examples of how the Yankees and their fans are great and real while the Red Sox and their fans are a bunch of weak, media-hyped fugazis.  Bravo, good sir. Bravo indeed.

AB4AR's Week 11 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 11 Recap

Miami 24 Carolina 17

Despite outgaining the Dolphins and holding the ball for more time, the Panthers fell to mighty Miami, who somehow is 5-5. Ricky Williams was a one-man wrecking crew as he smoked the Panthers to the tune of 22 carries, 119 yards, and 2 TDs, with a receiving TD thrown in for good measure (get it? Smoked? Because he's a pothead). Chad Henne once again stayed out of the way and did just enough to not fuck the game up and all of a sudden the Dolphins find themselves back in the wild card race in the AFC.

Dallas 7 Washington 6

This game had everything an old-school football fan could want: low scoring, low yardage gains, back-and-forth punting, failed 3rd down conversions, and field goal attempts. Tony Romo had an underwhelming 158 yards, probably due to the fact that Jessica Simpson was spotted wearing a Cowboys hoodie earlier in the week, but did find Patrick Crayton for the game-winning TD in the 4th quarter. After losing Ladell Betts to injury, the 'Skins are now down to Rock Cartwright as their #1 back and are rumored to be bringing in John Riggins and Ernest Byner for workouts this week.

Detroit 38 Cleveland 37

Straight of the "Who Woulda Thunk It?"-Department came this barnburner from 2 of the worst organizations in professional sports. The QBs combined for 726 yards and 9 TDs through the air, helping to take Brady Quinn's career off of life support for at least one week and to establish Matt Stafford as "The Man" in Detroit. Stafford's gutsy throw on the last play of the game with a super-fucked up shoulder earned him plenty of fans and gives the Lions hope moving forward. As far as Cleveland goes, you just don't know what else to say. Even when they put up 37 points they still manage to lose thanks to a pass interference call in the end zone on the last play of the game. Actually, that's kinda fitting for them, I don't know why I'm surprised.

Green Bay 30 San Francisco 24

The Pack hurled themselves headfirst back into wild card contention with a much-needed win against a game 49er team. Aaron Rodgers threw for 344 and 2 touches, and Ryan Grant picked up 129 yards and a TD on 21 carries to help the Pack hold off a furious 4th-quarter comeback from Small Hands Smith & Co. The victory wasn't without loss, though, as Green Bay will be without Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the rest of the year with matching ACL tears. Mike McCarthy said they will look into cloning Charles Woodson for the next game since there isn’t anybody else in the Packers' secondary worth 2 shits.

Kansas City 27 Pittsburgh 24 (OT)

Matt Cassell made plays when he had to and the Steelers' D couldn't make stops when they had to, and somehow the Chiefs ended up winning the game. Ben Roethlisberger did his part, throwing for 398 yards and 3 TDs, but it was his 1 concussion suffered late that will be the biggest blow to the Steelers, who suddenly find themselves 6-4 and dropping back in the pack in the AFC.

Minnesota 35 Seattle 9

Brett Favre was surprisingly efficient, 22-25, and tossed 4 TDs to boot as the Vikings continued to roll. I'm not trying to besmirch what these guys are doing this year, but could they get an easier schedule? I could pick 10 guys out of my office and beat up on the Browns, Lions, Rams, and Seahawks. Right now the Vikings are looking like your typical small conference BCS buster. We just don't know how good they are yet since the only real "good" team they played, the Steelers, they lost to. Give me some games against Indy and New England before you convince me that the Vikes are Super Bowl contenders.

NY Giants 34 Atlanta 31 (OT)

Eli transformed from a floppy-armed girl back into an NFL quarterback this week, and it paid off as his 384 yards and 3 TDs helped the Giants regain their heartbeat in the NFC. Matty Light played more like Milwaukee's Best in the first half, but then helped bring the Falcons back with a very good 2nd half. It still wasn't enough and now Atlanta needs to step it up with their remaining schedule, which is chock full of home games, to stay in the playoff hunt.

New Orleans 38 Tampa Bay 7

Tampa Bay turned the ball over 4 times and against a good team like New Orleans, that isn't going to help you win, whether it's Josh Johnson, Josh Freeman, or Bobby Abreu playing QB. After a few weeks of lackluster performances, the Saints finally played up against week competition and never seemed to break a sweat as they improved to 10-0. Drew Brees had 3 TDs to pace the Saints attack.

Jacksonville 18 Buffalo 15

Did anybody else realize that the Jags are 6-4?? How the fuck did I not know this? If the playoffs started today, they would be one of the wild card teams. I guess that's what happens when you have 2 guys with kickass hyphenated last names and a decent QB who doesn't turn the ball over. And hey!!! A T.O. sighting!!! Holy shit on a stick, I thought that guy had died! Don't get excited though, because 9 catches for 197 yards and a TD now brings Owens' season totals to 12-216- and 1, or something close to that.

Indianapolis 17 Baltimore 15

Joe Flacco was inconsistent all day, but it was Ed Reed's "I'm Keith Hernandez" lateral attempt on a late-game interception that sealed the Ravens' fate. As much as I love Ed Reed, sometimes he makes you wonder what he's thinking about when he returns a pick or punt; he's always looking to lateral! Dude, this isn't Madden or backyard football. Hold onto the fucking thing and just go down! And I'm not even a Ravens fan, so imagine what they're all saying today. Peyton Manning had 299 yards and a touch, but it was his 2 picks that helped keep the game closer than it should have been.

Arizona 21 St. Louis 13

Kurt Warner got hurt (I know, I'm just as shocked as you are at that statement), but did enough before he left to help the Cards hold on for a 21-13 win and lock a Joe Stevenson-style guillotine chokehold on the NFC West division. Tim Hightower picked up the slack for Warner with 110 yards on just 14 carries, and Steven Jackson continued to be the best player on a bad team with 21 carries, 116 yards, and 1 TD.

San Diego 32 Denver 3

If no one else will call it, I will; the Broncos are done. Fucking done. Turn them over on that side and take them off the grill because they are D-O-N-E done. They turned the ball over 3 times and basically laid down to the Chargers, who got only pedestrian games from LT and Phillip Rivers. Legedu Naanee did have a 2-yard TD catch, which gives me an excuse to write Legedu Naanee in my column for the first time ever. Legedu Naanee, haha, that's a funny name.

Oakland 20 Cincinnati 17

Who knew that if you remove arguably the worst pound-for-pound player in the NFL from his spot at the most important position in the game it would give you a chance to win?? It's bonehead moves like leaving Jamarcus Russell in for 10 weeks that should have Tom Cable looking to slap himself around instead of his wife. Of course none of this would have happened if Cincy could have held onto the ball after a kickoff, but still, Bruce Gradkowski's 183 yards and 2 TDs at least make the Raiders close to respectable on offense. Larry Johnson had 2 carries and 5 yards in his Bengals debut, and in my opinion, looked pretty queer in his new uniform. Maybe all that gay-bashing was just him trying to cover up for something...

New England 31 NY Jets 14

It's been almost a full day since this game ended and I'm still trying to figure out what the fuck Mark Sanchez was doing out there yesterday. 8-21, 136 yards, 4 interceptions, 3 of which were of the absolute "Are You Fucking Kidding Me???"-variety, and a lost fumble are just not going to get it done against the Pats. I know the kid's a rookie, but holy fuck, that was bad. I don't even want to know what Rex Ryan did in the locker room after this game, but I know he had to be holding back more tears on the sideline because watching the Dirty One struggle that bad was making me a little bit misty. Wes Welker's 15-catch, 192-yard day probably didn't do anything to ease Rexie's pain either.

Philadelphia 24 Chicago 20

Donovan McNabb led the Eagles on a late 4th-quarter drive to take a lead they would hold onto for a much-needed win. More importantly, they did it with enough time left that Andy Reid couldn't fuck it up by mismanaging the game clock, making horrible challenges, or running out of timeouts. With Jay Cutler: Emo Quarterback at the helm, Devin Hester might want to be re-think his UnderArmour commercial and do a new one where he's being constantly overthrown on deep routes and tackled for 2-yard losses on poorly-set up WR screens.

MNF Prediction

Tennessee 31 Houston 27

I'm still not completely sold on Vince Young, as he hasn't shown he can overcome adversity yet, but with the way Chris Johnson is running right now, I don't see anybody stopping him, certainly not the Texans. Schaub and Co. will make things interesting, but Ryan Moats' and Steve Slaton's acute fumble-itis will come back to haunt Houston late in the game.

MNF Predictions for the Season (Winners): 8-3

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Big Fat Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

UConn 33 Notre Dame 30.

Second straight year losing to an inferior Big East opponent on Senior Day (no offense, UConn, but as a former alum I know that our football program isn't what we're known for).  Consider the writing on the wall.  Jack Swarbrick won't come out and say it but we all know it's over for Fatshit, and after today's game it is certainly warranted.

It's like you said back in '04, Charlie; what you are is a 6-5 football team.  And that just isn't good enough.  Do the smart thing and just step down tomorrow.  A classy move like that will at least give you a chance to keep your XXXXL hoodies and the pallet of Hostess cookies in your office closet, but it won't help the fact that Clausen, Tate, and Floyd are all leaving for greener pastures in the NFL after this season.

Thanks for playing, big guy, and thanks for leaving the program in worse shape than it was before you waddled onto campus.  Now where's that chain?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Outstanding Yankee Offseason Issues and How to Handle Them in a Nutshell

Jose Molina- Like him, but he's overpriced as a backup who is almost always a guaranteed out at the bottom of the lineup. For the money the Yanks are spending on A.J., he needs to suck it up and learn to work with Jorge, and for the stupidly high amount of money that the Mets might throw at Molina, the Yanks should let him walk and make room for Francisco Cervelli a/o Jesus Montero.

Chien-Ming Wang- Has been beyond useless for the last 2 seasons and has major questions about his mental makeup after hitting these bumps in the road, but let's not forget this is the same guy who won 38 games from 06-07. He isn't worth $1 million right now, let alone 4-5, and won't be ready to pitch until mid to late summer so nobody will want him. If he's smart, he'll agree to come back to the Yanks for a barebones minor league deal and finish re-habbing. If he's dumb, let him leave and focus on Hughes, Kennedy, and Ivan Nova.

Andy Pettitte- Dude more than earned his $5.5 mil last season and as a reward should get a 1-year deal for $10-12 mil, 2 for 20 if he wants to pitch that much longer. His stuff obviously isn't going to get any better, but his ability to pitch and think on the mound has, and his pick-off move is still second to none. You see any better options for a #3 starter next year?

Hideki Matsui- It's tough to argue with the guy's production and clutch hitting, but the fact that he's a defensive liability and cripples the team's lineup flexibility in interleague situations does make him less valuable. If he can swallow his pride and admit that he would rather continue to DH and contend for titles than try to prove he can still play the outfield, then he's definitely worth bringing back for one year at $10 mil. But no more than that, because the majority of the DH at-bats need to be reserved for Jorge in 2011.

Johnny Damon- Can still play the outfield, which gives him more value than Matsui, but is getting older and stumbled to the finish last season before heating up a bit in the playoffs. Damon has said he wants to be back, but he will have to prove that wanting to win is more important to him than wanting to get a big, Jeter-esque contract that Scott Boras is looking for. A 1-year deal at $8-10 million is more than fair and I could live with a team option for 2011, but getting locked into long-term deals with aging players is what got the Yankees into trouble in the past so if that's what Damon is looking for, I would have no problem saying adios, friend-o, and bringing in Austin Jackson for an audition to win the spot next year.

Curtis Granderson- If they can get him without giving up A-Jax then I'm all for it. He makes them younger and more athletic in the outfield, gives them one more lefty power bat to punish the short right field of the new Stadium, and also more speed on the basepaths to make the Yankees even more dangerous playing the smallball game. He's a defensive upgrade over anybody at any outfield position that the Yankees currently have and would give them leverage over Johnny Damon and Matsui to convince them to sign 1-year deals if they want to stay.

Former Yankee 2nd Round Draft Pick Dominates The QB Position

Jesus Christ, is there anything the Yankees can't do? Even their minor league scrap metal turns to gold in other places. Brandon Weeden may have sucked a fat one as a pitcher and been a huge waste of a 2nd-round draft pick, but goddamn! That motherfucker can play some quarterback!

10-15, 168 yards, 2 TD passes (both in the 4th quarter) to lead Oklahoma St. back from a 21-10 3rd-quarter deficit to a dramatic 31-28 victory. Mike Gundy may be a man, and he may be 40, but that dude clearly doesn't know what the hell he's doing when he's got a blue-chipper like Weeden buried as the 3rd-string QB.

So if Oklahoma St. ends up winning the Big 12, that's kinda like the Yankees winning another division title too, isn't it? It's stories like this that make me proud to be a Yankee fan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Is This Guy Not AL Manager of the Year?

I get it, Mike Scioscia is a good manager, maybe the best in baseball.  But hasn't everybody already been singing that song for the last 2-3 years?  What did he do this year that was so great and so different from what he's been doing that it garnered him winning AL Manager of the Year over Joe Girardi?  He took one of the most talented lineups in baseball (which he has consistently had since he began his tenure as Angels manager), and led it to another 90+-win season that ended without a World Series title.  What's so special about that?

In that city where the fans need extra props to produce crowd noise, in that division where the pennat race is over sometime between May and June 1st, Scioscia and his team did exactly what they always do, except they had a player die early on in the year.  Call me crazy, but I can't imagine Nick Adenhart is strumming his harp with a little extra happiness because his former team got trounced in the ALCS and his manager won Coach of the Year.  So is Scioscia being given the award for "keeping his team together" and "leading them through an unimaginable tragedy"?

Please; what keeps those players together and keeps them trying to win is their paychecks and the thought of being able to hold up that big trophy and then videotape the parade 2 days later with their families on top of a float, and the bottom line is Mike Scioscia did not do enough this season to make that thought a reality and Joe Girardi did.  There's no doubt that Joe Girardi was the best manager in the American League this season.  Case in point:

**Hampered by injuries and innings limits, Girardi found a way to get respectable value out of the 4- and 5-spots in his starting rotation for more than half the season and not only did it without sacrificing wins, but in doing it guided his team to the best record in baseball.  You can't try to tell me that at the beginning of the year Girardi was counting on getting wins in the summer and early fall when, there was still a hint of a pennat race, from the likes of Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin.  And yet he did it.  He started who he had to start, got the most out of what he had to work with, and kept winning.

**Despite having these issues that sapped innings from the back end of his staff, Girardi expertly managed his bullpen from Day 1, using his whole complement of pitchers available in a way that gave him the opportunity to win and think situationally day-to-day while still not relying on any 1 or 2 guys so much that their arms became tired and they had to go on the DL or were shot once the playoffs rolled around.

Torre was criticized for years for his tendency to fall in love with Mo and whoever was the setup guy at the time and burn them out by August.  Girardi got big innings from Mo, Hughes, Aceves, Robertson, and Coke all year and still left them all with plenty of gas in the tank come postseason time.  The only Yankee reliever in the top 30 in the AL in relief innings pitched was Aceves, and as the lone guy in the pen who was used as a long reliever, you don't mind that.

**Joe didn't tinker with the lineup, trying to play matchups or get guys out of slumps just for the sake of doing it throughout the year.  He based his players' off-days almost solely on who he thought needed rest to keep them fresh for the long haul.  People questioned his sitting Matsui for the entire interleague schedule outside of pinch hitting duty and that worked like a charm as Matsui was a beast for the rest of the year after interleague was over.  Instead of worrying about a bad game or two, Joe looked at the big picture and kept his guys rested just enough to keep them fresh but not so much that they became cold heading into the postseason.  Once the playoffs hit, everybody on the everyday roster was relatively healthy and ready to go, something that most teams can't usually say after 162 regular season games.

**Joe also didn't tinker with the new vibe and attitude around the team this year with the addition of the new faces.  In fact, he almost seemed to rein back his tough exterior and include himself into the new feeling around the clubhouse.  He let guys like Nick Swisher and A.J. be who they were instead of forcing them to follow the strict "Yankee way" and him and the team ended up being better off because of it.

**Most importantly, Joe did an excellent job managing the workload of his big 3 starters down the stretch of the regular season to keep them rested enough for the grind of the 3-man rotation he used in the playoffs.  It became obvious pretty quickly that Joe had his mind set on the 3-man playoff rotation for some time, and while some people questioned it, he stuck to his guns and it ended up being the best call he made all year.

You can argue with a lot of the decisions he did make in the playoffs, but the one you can't argue with is the 3-man rotation; it's what gave the Yankees the best chance to win and it's what eventually won the series for them as they could count on one of their big 3 every game and not worry about what they were going to get from a cold, possibly not up to the challenge 4th starter.  After being worked to the bone last season, CC showed what a little rest can do for him, and there's no way Andy comes back to win Game 6 in the World Series without a little extra rest at the end of the regular season.

Joe knew what he wanted to do in the playoffs, both with his everyday lineup and his pitching staff, and he managed accordingly down the home stretch.  His strategy allowed him to stick with that plan all the way through the playoffs and it allowed his team to win the World Series.  Did he have the most talented lineup in baseball?  Absolutely he did.  But Girardi also managed to get more out of the most talented lineup than Torre did in his last few years, and did it in a high-pressure situation in a big market for the most famous organization in professional sports a year after his first year at the helm resulted in the team missing the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Mike Scioscia did a good job this year, don't get me wrong.  But Joe Girardi did a great job, and it's a crime that he isn't being recognized as the best manager in his league.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mike Scioscia Is A Funny Man

The Yankees beat the Angels in six games in this year’s ALCS, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia is apparently already thinking about a rematch. Scioscia spoke at a fundraiser recently, according to the Orange County Register, and spent most of the luncheon telling stories from his playing days. When asked about the Yankees, though, he said, “I don’t care if the Yankees go out and spend $350 million next year, we’re going to beat them because we have the team.”

Story courtesy of the Lo Hud Yankee Blog

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  Somebody better tell Mikey to lay off the free mimosas at the next luncheon because that is the only logical explanation for why he would make this statement.  That or he's still so punch drunk from the lube-less ass rape that the Yankees carried out on his team last month that he isn't thinking straight.  It's stupid tough talk like this that gets you knocked the fuck out in the bar and gets you embarrassed again by the Evil Empire in 2010 after they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a $200 million roster was more than enough to drop your sorry team like the overrated sack of shit that they are. 

But if that's how Mike wants to play, then that's how we'll play.  Hank and Hal, you heard what Mr. Scioscia said; fuck last year's spending spree and fuck the economy, take Cash off his leash and let him grab the offseason by the throat and drag it through the street for every other GM to see like he did last year.  Sign Jason Bay AND Matt Holliday and trade for Curtis Granderson to fill out the new outfield, and let Damon and Swisher be your 4th and 5th outfielders on the bench.  Bring Matsui back at $15mil for this season so he can continue to destroy anybody that gets in his way.  Throw $100mil at Lackey to be the 3rd starter and round out the rotation with Pettitte and Hughes.  Or just to be a dick, package Melky, Brett Gardner, Eric Hinske, and a couple of Double-A pitchers for Scott Kazmir and make him the 5th starter just to add insult to injury.  Sign Chone Figgins to be your utility player off the bench and your pinch runner and stock up on an extra lefty in the bullpen and that should pretty much cover $350 million.

And if there is anything left over, use it to by Mike Scioscia and his family World Series tickets for Game 1 at the Stadium, right behind homeplate.  Because that's the only way that punch drunk bastard is making it back to the World Series next year.

AB4AR's Week 10 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 10 Recap

San Francisco 10 Chicago 6

In a game that borderlined on unwatchable, Jay Cutler provided some excitement and high comedy with his 5 interceptions and 15 sour puss faces on the sideline.  Frank Gore was the only player on either side who put up decent numbers with 104 yards rushing and the lone TD of the game.  Not surprisingly, ESPN executives announced after the game that it would not be considered for a "Game of the Year" ESPY.

Carolina 28 Atlanta 19

Michael Turner amassed 111 yards on just 9 carries, but it was his ankle injury that forced him out of the game that caused a bigger impact.  Left without his bulldozer, Matt Ryan had trouble navigating the perilous streets of Pantherville and stumbled to a 2-pick performance that had Jake Delhomme asking him what his secret to success was.  Not only did Delhomme fail to throw a pick for the first time since high school, the entire Carolina team managed to hold onto the ball for the whole 60 minutes, thereby not wasting the 30-carry, 174-combined yard, 2 TD performance from the Williams-Stewart combo platter.

Washington 27 Denver 17

If you had Week 10 in your office pool for the "When will Denver's mid-season collapse officially begin?" then congratulations.  Kyle Orton's injury and Denver's defensive struggles against a team who handed its play-calling duties over to a BINGO caller could spell doom for the Broncos down the stretch.  Clinton Portis' concussion and Ladell Betts' 114 yards and a touch on 26 carries could spell the end of Portis' time in a 'Skins uni.  And H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T spells what I said when I realized Jason Campbell didn't throw an interception in this game.

Cincinnati 18 Pittsburgh 12

In a battle of defenses and kickers, the Bengals came out on top to officially end all speculation as to whether or not they are for real.  Neither QB played particularly well, but Carson Palmer made a few more big throws than Big Ben, and did it all without raping anybody, which helped his team score the extra points they needed to win.  With Troy Polamalu out again with a knee injury, Steeler fans must be concerned about who will pick up the slack in appearing in Head and Shoulders commercials.

Jacksonville 24 NY Jets 22

Maurice Jones-Drew leaped ahead of Mike Sims-Walker in the Hyphenated-Names BCS poll with his 24-123-1 stat line and his heads-up play to take a knee at the 1-yard line late in the 4th that allowed Jacksonville to run the clock down and ensure their game-winning, chip shot FG attempt would be the last play.  After mangling his timeout management to almost Herm Edwards levels of bad and having his defense fail in the biggest drive of the game, Rex Ryan might want to stop focusing on firing up Jet fans and leave himself a voicemail reminding him to do his fucking job.

Minnesota 27 Detroit 10

It's bad enough when you give up 133 yards and 2 TDs to Adrian Peterson and 344 yards and a TD to Brett Favre, but when you counter your defensive ineptitude by putting the game in the hands of your rookie QB and having him throw 51 times, you're not asking to lose, you're begging to lose.  I guess we shouldn't be shocked since nobody knows losing like the Detroit Lions, but come the fuck on; at least pretend like you want to win.

Miami 25 Tampa Bay 23

The Miami Dolphin RBs combined for 32 carries, 184 yards, 1 TD, 1 game-ending injury, and 2 counts of marijuana possession on the way to their last-second win.  Bobby Abreu-Freeman looked good in his 2nd start at QB for the Bucs, but got outplayed by Chad Henne, who orchestrated a 14-play, 80-yard game-winning drive that used up all the time left on the clock.  Rookie or not, getting outplayed by Chad Henne has to sting a little.

New Orleans 28 St. Louis 23

You can pretty much pencil the Saints in for a lose in the next 2 weeks after their 3rd straight lackluster performance against inferior competition.  They were outgained 434-420 by the Rams, which doesn't bode well for the defense and Drew Brees looked shaky again, throwing for under 200 yards and 2 picks, which doesn't bode well for the offense.  On the plus side, Reggie Bush actually ran the ball like he had hair on his nuts for a change, but the Saints seem bored right now and need a loss to get them re-focused for the stretch drive towards homefield advantage in the playoffs.

Tennessee 41 Buffalo 17

Sure Vince Young was good again, 210 yards and 1 TD, but Chris Johnson is just an absolute human truck stick: 26 carries, 132 yards, 2 TDs on the ground and 9 catches, 100 yards in the air.  The guy isn't on even my fantasy team and I just got hard reading that stat line.  Buffalo fans have to be asking themselves who is more useless at this stage: Marshawn Lynch or Terrell Owens.  And everybody needs to chill with the Bud Adams middle finger deal; if you had to go sit in the middle of a shithole stadium in Buffalo, NY, you'd be flicking people off too.

San Diego 31 Philadelphia 23

LT's football pulse picked up with another 2-TD performance and 96 yards to boot and Phillip Rivers was Manning-like in his efficiency as he went 20-25 for 231 yards and 2 scores.  Donovan McNabb's 450 yards and 2 TDs weren't enough to compensate for Philly's lack of running game without certified mush-head Brian Westbrook.  Westbrook is so banged up and useless that Michael Vick was seen trying to drown and electrocute him in the locker room after the game.

Green Bay 17 Dallas 7

Ahh there's Tony Romo.  I hadn't seen him in so long I was worried he had been kidnapped or something.  In fairness to Romo, the Packer D was insanely good in this game, which makes it the first time this year I've been able to say that.  Charles Woodson was amazing with 8 tackles, a sack, 2 FFs, and a brilliant interception on the goal line.  A week after being dead in the water, the Pack have once again risen to Super Bowl Contender status, at least in the minds of all their unintelligent fans.

Kansas City 16 Oakland 10

Kansas City took advantage of another vintage Jamarcus Russell performance (9-24, 67 yards) but did themselves a disservice in trying to lock up a top-5 pick next year with their win over the Raiders.  Jamaal Charles, now the feature RB after Larry Johnson left the team to go on a nationwide tour promoting homosexuality and equal rights, had 103 yards and a touch on just 18 carries.  I bring this up only because it now makes me 1-10 in my preseasons fantasy sleeper predictions.

Arizona 31 Seattle 20

In a game that had a combined 934 yards of total offense, it's hard to hit every major stat, but the big ones were Kurt Warner's 340 yards and 2 TDs which gave him 200 in his career, and Justin Forsett's 123 yards on the ground and 1 TD for the Seahawks.  The Cardinals get the big win they needed to mantain control of the division, something that should come in handy with the 49ers, Rams, and Sea-hahahahahahaha, oh Christ, I almost got through that without laughing!!  Who the fuck am I kidding?  Those teams are awful and Arizona owns this division.

Indianapolis 35 New England 34

In one of the most exciting Sunday night games in recent memory, these 2 upstart teams battled to the finish behind their young, relatively unknown QBs.  Mark my words, if this Peyton Manning and Tom Brady continue to play like that, they are going to become big stars in this league.  The one negative was New England's coach's decision to go for it inside his own 30 that late in the game.  I don't who the fuck that guy thinks he is, but calls like that that end up costing your team a win will have you out the door pretty quick.  You might want to do something with your career and establish yourself before you start pulling stunts like that.

MNF Result

Baltimore 16 Cleveland 0

From one of the best games to one of the worst, all I can say is at least the Ravens covered the spread.  As for Cleveland, when you can't even be competitive against a team who is clearly going through the motions, it's time to just forfeit the season and go on vacation.

MNF Predictions for the Season (Winners): 8-3

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Bad, Yo

I Weis'd things up and forgot to bring my notes on yesterday's NFL schedule to work with me today to knock out over lunch, so no NFL recap today, at least not until after the game.  But in the interest of not letting down all you dear readers who come to my Monday NFL recap column for betting advice on MNF, I did predict Baltimore will beat Cleveland 30-6 tonight, so there you go; take -11 for Baltimore and send me my cut in the morning.

In the mean time, you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow to get your "Jamarcus Russell sucks" and "Tony Romo is a choke artist" jokes.  Deal with it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What. The. Fuck.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?????!!!!!!!!!!!

Sure the lady who got her face ripped off by the chimp a few months back being on Oprah this week was hideous, but the Notre Dame football season and the continued underachieving that this team does under Charlie Weis is far more scary and disgusting to look at, if you ask me.  There's only so many times I can sit on my couch every Saturday and watch a team with an All-America-quality QB, 2 All-America-quality WRs, an army of good RBs, and other big-time HS recruits scattered throughout the lineup on both sides of the ball play down to their competition before I just say "Fuck it, get somebody else in here."

And the worst part is, nothing ever seems to change!  Every fucking week the same mistakes are being made; the same guys on the offensive line are going offsides and missing assignments, the same group of shitrags in the secondary are blowing coverage and missing tackles (can somebody please inject Sergio Brown with a needle full of swine flu?  Thank God that guy is a fucking senior; he couldn't cover a sleeping child with a blanket). And the same team that is infinitely more talented on paper than their opponents 9 times out of 10 is going down to the wire for a last-second victory, or falling short in a comeback attempt that should never be taking place because they don't execute and don't play hard for 60 minutes.  And after each of those games we get to see the same image of this fat fuck slowly waddling off the field with a bewildered look on his face and sit down at the press conference and spew the same cliches about needing to focus on winning the next game.

All that right there adds up to poor coaching.  You can bring in all the top-10 recruiting classes you want, but when you can't get anything out of them other than 7-5 and 6-6 seasons then it means you don't have what it takes to coach at this level.  These guys are anywhere from 18-23 years old, they aren't pros yet and can't be expected to self-motivate and stay focused 24/7.  They've got classes to take, parties to go to, chicks to fuck, and draft prospects to worry about.  College players need way more hands-on, in your face, constant pressure and drilling than pro players do.  Weis still hasn't figured this out after 5 years; he still thinks he's coaching the fucking Patriots and that suddenly it's all going to come together and the collective natural talent will come together and overcome everything else or that bringing in a name like Jon Tenuta will solve all the team's defensive problems.

It ain't that easy, Fat Boy.  The bottom line is, you suck as a coach, your assistants suck as coaches, and that combined suckiness is why your team is 6-5 and on a one-way train to Nowheresville again.  So go clean out your office, pack up your Ho-Ho's and Ring Dings, take your framed copy of your bullshit book that I now regret wasting 2 hours of my life reading, and get the fuck out before I wrap a fucking chain around your neck and do the university and the football program a favor.

Try shoveling soup ladles full of nacho cheese down your fat gullet now, ass.

Friday, November 13, 2009

UConn Men's Basketball Last-Minute Season Preview

I've been meaning to write this preview for the last 3 days, but since I've been busier than shit at work and drunker than shit the last 2 nights, it just didn't happen. When you're as popular a guy as I am and a budding media mogul, you have to make time for the little people and sometimes the blog has to take the hit. So because I'm behind the 8-ball and the opening game is tonight, here's the abridged version of the UConn season preview.


The Huskies will be hard pressed to replace the production of Hasheem Thabeet and Jeff Adrien, but they have the benefit of having a bunch of new bodies to pick up the slack. Freshman F/C Alex Oriakhi is a textbook Jim Calhoun-style big man who can rebound and defend like a maniac and has an offensive game that's already light years ahead of where Hasheem was at in his first year. Charles Okwandu, a 7-1 junior, is an intriguing possibility to replace Thabeet's shot-blocking presence and should get a look early in the season since Calhoun already knows what he'll get from Gavin Edwards and Jonathan Mandeldove, which is nothing. Stanley Robinson, now a senior and team leader, and freshman Jamal Coombs-McDaniel give the Huskies all kinds of freakish athleticism (Jay Bilas hasn't patented that yet, so I'm going to steal it) at the 3-spot and should combine to terrorize opposing teams' matchup strategy. While he's no sniper, Coombs-McDaniel is a good enough shooter that teams will have to pay attention to him, allowing the Huskies to keep the floor spread and lane open for drivers like Robinson and their quick guards.

The key player for this group will be freshman center, Ater Majok. After having to sit out last season, he will finally become eligible at the end of the fall semester. Having already been with the team and learning the system for a year, he is ahead of the curve compared to other freshmen and shouldn't have the jitters and brain farts that usually come along with being a young player in D-1 basketball.

While the major contributors in this group are all unknowns outside of Sticks, there is enough size, athleticism, and raw talent spread around to create the formidable, intimidating frontcourt that UConn is known for as they gain experience and get used to the college game.


Just like the frontcourt, the guards this season are either well-established guys in the rotation who will be counted on to lead and account for the loss of AJ Price (see: Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker), or fresh from the high school womb-young'ns with 0 college ball experience. Dyson and Walker will be the straws that stir the drink. As they go, the Huskies will go. Both are fearless, hard-nosed players who look to drive and create opportunities at the rim for themselves or their teammates, and who harass opposing guards to such a degree on defense that there will be a national hotline set up for players to call in for counseling and support. Both guys can hold their own shooting the ball, but are not nearly the marksmen that Price was and so hopefully they worked on their outside shooting enough in the offseason to command respect from opposing defenses.

Backing them up will be a tandem of freshmen, Darius Smith and Jamaal Trice. Trice will be looked at to provide scoring and shooting off the bench, think Rashad Anderson Light, while Smith will probably end up being the backup point guard because quite frankly, Donnell Beverly fucking sucks and can't run an offense.

The good news is these 4 plus Beverly actually give the Huskies more depth in the backcourt than they've had in the past couple seasons, but the bad news is that depth is very inexperienced and will be pressured by the never-ending train of good Big East defenses. How quickly Trice and Smith adjust to the college game will be a key for this team all year long as Calhoun can't afford to run Dyson and Walker ragged every night like he did with AJ Price last year. Their style of play leads to injuries and Dyson has already shown a tendency to get banged up easily so limiting their minutes as much as possible will keep them fresh for the long haul. Of course Jimbo won't do this at the expense of losing games though, so the frosh need to step up and show they're capable of handling the pressure.

Overall, this season is wide open in terms of possibilities. This is a team that can be a carbon copy of traditional UConn teams and be a Big East and National title contenders if the veterans step up their games and leadership skills. This is also a team that can struggle to find its identity and be hampered by its inexperience and youth and resemble the 2005 Husky team. Coach Calhoun will have more work to do than he has in past years, both in managing and motivating his seniors and molding his freshmen, but if anybody can do it, he can. I mean, you don't just win 800 games by accident.

Season Prediction:

22-6 regular season, 3rd in the Big East
Semifinals of Big East Tourney
Sweet 16 in the NCAAs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Money Well Spent...And Then Some

For all the praise and semen that the media threw at Theo Epstein and the Red Sox for their "smart," cheap offseason signings and the bitching and moaning about all the money the Yankees threw at their big free agents, the numbers of this season prove why the Yankees were the ones that made the smart investments. Observe.

John Smoltz' and Brad Penny's combined stats during their time in Boston were:

IP       H     BB ER     K   ERA   WHIP   W-L

171.2  219  51  119  122 6.24   1.57    9-13

For the $10.5 million in salary they were signed to, that works out to approximately $1.167 million per win. Factor in that both players were eventually released mid-season because they were so ineffective and it goes without saying that the Red Sox would have been better served to take that $10.5 million and donate it to charity, spend it on supplements for Sloppi and Varitek, or just burn it right in center field.

The Yankees' 3 pitching signings produced the following totals:

IP          H    BB    ER     K    ERA   WHIP   W-L

631.2  583 240 270  540  3.85   1.30   46-25

For the $37.286 million in salary that they were paid (5.5 mil Pettitte, 16.5 mil A.J., 15.286 mil CC), those numbers work out to $810,565 per win. Factor in the more than respectable ERA and WHIP numbers and the fact that these 3 ate up over 600 innings, that makes their combined worth much more proportional to what they were paid, and may even make their worth a steal when you consider what they were paid.

As if those numbers weren't glaring enough, Smoltz, Penny, and the incredible Dice-Gay (who made $8.333 million this year to pitch to an ERA of almost 6.00 in the regular season) combined to put up goose eggs across the board in any stat in the playoffs for Boston. By comparison, CC, A.J., and Andy's numbers look like so:

IP     H   BB   ER   K    ERA  WHIP   W-L

94.1  76  36    36    81   3.43    1.19    8-2

Those numbers are damn good, and even more impressive when you consider the ERA and WHIP values are disproportionally high due to A.J.'s 5.27 postseason ERA and 38 baserunners in 27.1 innings. These 5 guys all started 5 games in the playoffs and in those 15 starts, they got quality starts in 13 of them, lights-out performances in at least half of them (see: CC in the ALDS, Burnett in Game 2 of the WS, etc.), and series-clinching wins from the cheapest member of this trio (Pettitte) in all 3 playoff series.

Sure player salaries are incredibly out of this world for what these guys do for a living, but for the most part there is a reason why better players command bigger salaries and why those guys are paid that much; they fucking produce!!

The Red Sox thought they would try to be cute and play financial smallball to get themselves another title and it backfired on them in the form of a washed-up old man coming off of arm surgery and a has-been fat guy whose biggest baseball highlight is still the fact that he fucked Alyssa Milano.

The Yankees shelled out big bucks for guys in their primes and got a still-productive veteran at a bargain price and rode all 3 to a title. The differences in approach and result are night and day, and are even more glaring when you consider Andy's season totals alone outdo the combined numbers of Penny and Smoltz for the same price.

I also would mention that Boston's only major position player signing, Rocco Baldelli, put up numbers similar to Brett Gardner while Teix and Swish combined for 68 HRs, 204 RBIs, and 1 Gold Glove, but that would just be rubbing it in.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Message To The Readers

I'm sure by now everyone is asking themselves "how the hell is Brad going to continue to churn out incredible, hilarious, insightful posts every day now that the Yankees have locked up their 27th title and there's no more baseball until next spring?"  My answer to you, baby birds, is don't worry, because I've got this shit all figured out and I'll continue to chew up your humor and analysis and puke it down your throats until opening night 2010 at Fenway with a little help from the UConn Huskies.

That's right, the fucking UConn Huskies.  I know people might have been thinking 'Yankee blog= obvious New York college coverage' but you would deader than dead wrong.  If you came here expecting a daily dose of Canisius or Rider commentary then you can just gargle a ball because it ain't gonna happen.  And if you came here looking for some witty observations of Syracuse's season then you can gargle and rinse with my whole nutsack because that sure as shit ain't gonna happen.  I mean, even if I did root for Syracuse, why would I waste valuable blog space and time writing about a team that lost to Le Moyne?  FUCKING LE MOYNE!!!!!  That's where kids who weren't quite good enough to make the Syracuse lacrosse team go to school, not basketball players.

So UConn it is, and let's just get it all out there now and let it be known that it will only be the men's team getting covered because let's face it, chicks' sports aren't real sports and the UConn women are just going to win anyway so there's no point.  There will still be plenty of Yankee goodness to keep you pinstripers happy, but the Huskies will be filling the void left by the Bombers and their offseason starting this Friday against William & Mary (whoever the fuck that is), and ending after March Madness.

And if you can't handle that, I just don't give a fuck.  Watch ESPN all winter and listen to them blow Duke and North Carolina and talk about the Red Sox hot stove news for all I care.  Now somebody hit the fucking music!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Touché, Buddy

Now as a Yankee fan, I'm obligated to agree with the crowd here and say that this guy is absolutely an asshole and a homo, but I'm also going to give credit where credit is due because it takes a set of big, hairy balls to walk through the Canyon during the parade dressed to the 9s in your Sox gear after your team completely shat the bed in their playoff series.

In fact, this dude shows more heart in this video than the Red Sox showed throughout their entire season.  There's no way a guy with this much gall goes a combined 3-32 with 0 RBIs and 9 Ks like the 3-4-5 hitters in Boston's lineup did in the postseason, or have a Three-Mile Island-style meltdown in the 9th inning when your team was looking for you to close out a win and shift momentum in your series like the Great Papelbon did in Game 3.

If I'm Theo, I'm tracking this fucking dude down and locking him up to a 3-year deal tonight, and then figure out where he's going to play and where he should hit in the lineup later.  After the team-wide fold job they put on in the second half of the year and the playoffs, you have to show your fans that you have a commitment to winning, and signing this dude shows that commitment.

Or you could re-sign Tim Wakefield and leave the door open for Jason Varitek to come back next year...

AB4AR's Week 9 NFL Wrap-Up

Week 9 Recap

Atlanta 31 Washington 17

On a day where Matt Ryan wasn't at his best, Michael Turner put the Falcons on his back with 166 yards and 2 TDs to make sure the Falcons didn't fall to the lowly 'Skins. There were some good signs for Washington, though; Jason Campbell threw 2 TD passes, even though one of them was to the Falcons. And CB Dante Hall showed some fight on defense, but it was mostly with the Falcons' sideline and coach, Mike Smith. So yeah, I guess the Redskins still just suck. Nevermind.

Arizona 41 Chicago 21

Even without Anquan Boldin, Arizona's offense was in full effect yesterday. Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower combined for 149 yards on the ground, making them the most potent Cardinal RB tandem since....well since.... OK, so the Cardinals have never had a good RB tandem, making these guys the first. It was also a monster day for the quarterbacks as Kurt Warner and Jay Cutler combined for 630 yards passing and 8 TDs and Matt Leinart went 0-1 with an interception. If that doesn't look very good next to Warner's numbers, you have to remember that just getting on the field is a monster day for Matt Leinart.

Cincinnati 17 Baltimore 7

The Cincinnati defense, now armed to the teeth with former USC Trojans, proved itself more than worthy of competing with the big boys of the NFL as they shut down Flacco and the Ravens' offense. Cedric Benson carried the offense again, with 117 tough yards, and in probably the biggest example of karma in recent NFL memory, notorious all-around asshole Chris Henry had to leave the game with a broken forearm. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Indianapolis 20 Houston 17

Peyton Manning threw an unheard of 40 passes in the first half yesterday. The Colts' coaching staff, concerned about how that early workload would affect his availability for Game 4, eased up in the second half to keep him fresh. Thanks to a late TD and a Ray Finkle impression by Houston kicker Kris Brown, the Colts will march into their annual meeting with the Patriots undefeated. Head coach Jim Caldwell could be a candidate for Coach of The Year, assuming he actually has anything to do with coaching the team.

New England 27 Miami 17

Everything seems to be falling into place for the Patriots; Brady looked sharp again, Randy Moss has a more Moss-ian day (6 catches, 147 yards, 1 TD), than we've seen lately, and there was even a Laurence Maroney sighting! Most importantly, the Pats have finally learned to contain the Wildcat offense as yesterday marked the second consecutive time they stifled the Dolphins. That probably won't have any bearing on the game against the Colts next week, but whatever, I have to fill space somehow. Peter King isn't the only guy who can fill his weekly column with useless info.

Tampa Bay 38 Green Bay 28

That silence you're hearing is all the Packer fans mourning the passing of their team's season. When you give up 6 sacks to a bunch of no-names, let a rookie QB who looks like Bobby Abreu throw 3 TD passes and lead a game-winning drive against your D, and get torched on a simple fade route by some guy named Sammy Stroughter, you know it's just not your year. Yesterday also marked the first time that Aaron Rodgers did appear to be holding the ball too long, but when the guy spends the whole first half scrambling with 2 injured feet, you can't really blame him.

Jacksonville 24 Kansas City 21

Mike Sims-Walker had another monster game and is beginning to challenge teammate Maurice Jones-Drew for the title of NFL's best hyphenated-named player. KC did have a small glimmer of hope in watching Matt Cassell play a good game and almost lead a late comeback charge. Cassell and new acquisition Chris Chambers looked good together after only a few weeks. Who knew that a young QB could play better with more weapons around him? Only an offensive genius like Todd Haley could figure that out.

Seattle 32 Detroit 20

Clearly inspired by my calling him out in last week's column, Matt Hasselbeck threw for 329 yards and a TD yesterday in leading his Seahawks to a come-from-behind victory over the Lions (although having to come from behind against the Lions isn't necessarily something to be proud of). After leading 17-0 early, the Lions fell apart behind Matt Stafford, who was suffering from a bout of Sanchez Disease (or was it Delhomme Syndrome?) as he threw 5 picks.

New Orleans 30 Carolina 20

De'angelo Williams had 149 yards and 2 touches for the Panthers, but it was his late fumble on his own 2-yard line that sealed Carolina's fate. After replays showed Williams coughing it up after barely being touched on the arm, cameras on the sidelines showed him saying "I was down!" to the team's RB coach. D, if you can convince yourself that you were down, then more power to you, but you sure as fuck were standing straight up in the air. Panther fans have to be upset, but hey, at least Jake Delhomme didn't blow the game. Oh by the way, Drew Brees threw for 330 yards and a TD.

San Diego 21 NY Giants 20

The Giants secondary is the Brad Lidge of their team; after a late 4th quarter TD gave them the lead, they absolutely imploded on the Chargers' last drive, giving up open play after open play, and culminating in Vincent Jackson catching a long TD pass with nobody within 5 yards of him. Last week the panic button was hit, this week the casket is being picked out for the G-Men's season. Big shout out to Shawn Merriman for getting 2 sacks and having his name mentioned for the first team this season without the words "choked Tila Tequila" included.

Tennessee 34 San Francisco 27

After his dynamite performance last week, Chris Johnson obviously took this week off and slacked his way to 135 yards and 2 TDs in the Titans' 2nd consecutive win. Vince Young played well, running for a TD and also not turning the ball over and not threatening to kill himself for the 2nd week in a row. Alex Smith and his small hands threw 3 picks in the loss, crippling the '9ers' chances.

Dallas 20 Philadelphia 16

Andy Reid's unconventional decision to play for the 4-point deficit rather than play to win cost his team dearly as Dallas got the first downs they needed and ran the clock out after the Eagles kicked a late FG down 7 instead of going for it on 4th down. Tony Romo played well again, Roy Williams got the touches he had been practically begging for, and the Cowboys established themselves as the best team in their division and a possible challenger to the Vikings and Saints for NFC supremacy (I know, I can't believe I just wrote that either).

MNF Prediction

Pittsburgh 24 Denver 13

The Steelers seem to have their swagger back and will drive Kyle Orton crazy tonight with their constant blitzing. Denver's D may have been exposed last week in the same way the Giants were by New Orleans a few weeks ago, so expect the surprisingly high-flying Steelers to air it out and attack the Denver secondary.

MNF Predictions for the season (Winners): 6-3