Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2 comments NFC Preview Disaster

Just for fun (probably more my fun than anyone else's fun) I am going to review J.S. and my NFL selections at the beginning of the year and basically just make fun of our inaccurate predictions. I am going to do the NFC first, not because enjoy picking on J.S., who wrote this, but because I flipped a coin and the NFC was decided to go first. I am still upset we have not heard anything from Simmons yet about the Patriots. Guess with the magazine column he already had a full work load for this week.

Here is the original link.

I have to say this before I begin, I want it on record - Oakland, 11-5 this year, they are my super sleeper

Oh yeah, he went out of his way to pick Oakland at 11-5. His predictions start off with an absolute bang. It does get better from here though.

Dallas Cowboys

Predicted record: 12-4

This team probably overachieved in offense last year, and regressed rather dramatically at just the wrong time, but the defense has the ability to be overwhelming, especially against the pass.

Pretty good call on the offense since it seemed to actually regress last year at the wrong time and they did it again. The defense was not quite as stout against the pass this year, especially since they ended up giving up more points than points they scored.

Actual record: 9-7.

Including a Michael Myers type revival the second to last week of the season where they were supposed to be eliminated and were not, followed by all the shit going wrong they did not need to go wrong to eliminate them. There is no reason this prediction should have been off because the Cowboys should have won the NFC East.


Predicted record: 10-6.

Did you know they were 4-4 on the road despite playing four division winners and the Superbowl champs away from Washington? Did you know they were awesome? Well now you do.

Did you know they were 4-4 at home, 4-4 on the road and 3-3 in their division? The very definition of average. I guess we all do now.

Actual record: 8-8.

With the big Jason Taylor trade netting them a completely horrible 4 sacks from him. Sadly, he made up 17% of the sacks on the year. Maybe they should sign Bruce Smith again. Both J.S. and I thought very highly of the Redskins this year. We were both wrong.

New York Giants

Predicted record: 7-9.

A word on Burress - that was an amazing display last year, playing on an essentially broken ankle and fighting through was gusty as fuck. I saw him make so many huge catches last year. It's total anecdotalness that we normally make fun of here, but I thought he was the MVP of the NFC last year, he was truly amazing, without him, they were a 6 win team, no fooling. Anyway, I can't see him lasting this year, I can't see the names of Jacobs, Ward and Droughns scaring anyone,

I guess J.S. did not call the fact Plax would shoot himself in the leg with a gun but he did say he would not last, if that counts as a correct prediction. Jacobs, Ward, and Droughns did not scare anyone, it was Jacobs, Ward, and Bradshaw that did the trick.

Actual record: 12-4.

I would have not predicted 12-4 either, especially after having Strahan retire and Osi get injured and be out for the entire year. They went from 6th seed to losing their best offensive and defensive players and going to 12-4 the next year. Quite an accomplishment actually.


Predicted record: 6-10

They were terrible in the red zone last year and little figures to change. Defensively, there is nothing on paper to suggest they will be able to stop the run at all, and while their secondary might be the best in the league, exactly how much will it be able to help them when their offense cannot keep them on the field?

For some reason I get the feeling this still pertains. I hate to say this because my favorite team may end up seeing them in the playoffs, but they still feel like a 6-10 team to me. I don't know why, but they remind me momentum wise of the New York Giants team from last year. I just feel like the Eagles just have a lot of momentum right now. So in essence, they remind me of a 6-10 team that can make the NFC Championship Game.

Actual record: 9-6-1.

I can't believe J.S. did not predict the Eagles would have a tie ball game on their record, how ignorant of him. I still don't know how this team is 9-6-1 but I have a feeling they are peaking at the right time.


Predicted record: 11-5

In the final five games, Tavaris suddenly looked confident, posting his first three 200+ yardage games and actually demonstrating competance. - the top six ratings from last year were all in the second half.

Seems like this happened at the end of this year as well. I wonder if this means he is not going to one hop throws to receivers and overall just look nervous as shit in the pocket. Let's just say I was nervous this year when Gus Frerotte started for the Vikes against my favorite team...that is not an endorsement of Tavaris Jackson at all.

Actual record: 10-6.

I can only imagine if the Vikings had a competent quarterback. What is the deal with the NFC North and not being able to find a competent quarterback (outside of Aaron Rodgers)? You would think either the Lions, Bears, or Vikings could come up with one quarterback we all could trust.

Green Bay

Predicted record: 7-9.

ESPN will have no time for your "strength of schedules" or "adjustment periods". They only have eyes for Favre, and God help Rodgers if the Jets (predicted sleeper by some) have a hot start. God help us all.

J.S.'s worries did eventually come true and everything seemed fine, but I think Rodgers was saved by the fact the Jets collapsed down the stretch and Favre pulled a complete shit job at the quarterback position.

Actual record: 6-10

This was a good call. Though none of this was necessarily Aaron Rodgers' fault because the Packers scored the 3rd most points in the NFC this year. They have been playing russian roulette with that defense in trading away Corey Williams before the year and letting the secondary go untouched the past couple of off seasons. I find it hard to believe Jordy Nelson was a better pick than any type of defensive pick in the draft.


Predicted record: 7-9.

It was a tired habit last year, me watching Sportscenter and seeing the Chicago defense dragged through the mud as though like, nine defensive superstars suddenly got terrible. My mouth hung open on a lot of NFL shows. It was clearly that they were too tired and on the field too much. The men are there, OLB Lance Briggs, MLB Brian Urlacher (who remains the best pass defending linebacker in the game, DT Tommie Harris, CB Nathan Vasher, SS Mike Brown and so on.

I am not sure if the defense regressed this year or not but it seems as if they are one good wide receiver away from being a #2 seed. The Panthers would have lost two games if it were not for Steve Smith and once the Bears find a good receiver, I think it will all be good for them. The defense was still good this year but it did take a step back.

Actual record: 9-7.

I still find it amazing they won 9 games with a combination of Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman as their QB's and Devin Hester (though he is good) as their best receiver. I would commit all my efforts to improving the offense as much as possible, more specifically the passing and catching game. J.S. got this pick backward basically.


Predicted record: 3-13.

This is a bad team that got slightly worse in the offseason. I believe their second half is far more indicative of their performance than the first half and their -105 point differential tells us basement dwelling, nerdy, stat geeks, that this team is way worse than 7-9. I choose to see that glass as half empty, they do look unfixable right now.

I am sure when J.S. wrote this he was thinking, "this is a huge indictment of the Detroit Lions and their offensive abilities," and then it turns out he was not being quite harsh enough. We don't really need to go over the numbers other than to say they averaged 16.8 points a game on offense and their opponents scored 32.3 points a game against them.

Actual record: 0-16.

Unlike the Dolphins, this does not look like it is going to turn around anytime soon. Bill Parcells is not walking through that door, Chad Pennington is not walking through that door, and 4 wins next year is not walking through the door either...the good news is they have the #1 pick. So they get to spend more money on mediocre players. Poor Calvin Johnson.

New Orleans

Predicted record: 13-3.

the talent on this team is immense. I am a huge fan of WR Devery Henderson down the field (23.3ypc in 2006, 20.5 in 2007) and covering Shockey, Bush, maybe McAlister at the same time along with scarily improving WR Marques Colston, they should be unstoppable offensively. The defense should be at least solid, the secondary just has to improve (even utilising holes in zone) and the schedule gets easier.

Shockey was injured, Bush was injured, McAlister was injured, Marques Colston was injured, and a guy named Buck Ortega got a catch this year. Drew Brees was fantastic and honestly I don't think this team is that far away. That being said, they gave up the 5th most points this year and that is going to be the same problem next year. To say J.S. missed on this one is an understatement but you can't predict injuries and who really knew the NFC South would be this strong?

Actual record: 8-8.

Basically they could have probably won the AFC West and the NFC West. It is only going to improve next year as long as Drew Brees is still breathing. I would go ahead and put the entire defense as a need for the draft and free agency.


Predicted record: 8-8.

This number is based on Delhomme playing in at least 13-14 games, the receiving corps is deep and I think Williams is ready to be a feature back. Perhaps most importantly, John Fox is a good coach, I still believe that deep in my heart, and the Panthers just have to find a way, Peppers' movement back to his average alone should get them one more win. I do not, however, see a playoff appearance in my crystal ball.

Nobody knew that Delhomme would play all 16 games, DeAngelo Williams was very ready to become a feature back, and the incredibly un-deep receiving core would actually catch enough passes to get the Panthers to 12 wins. Somehow they finagled their way to a #2 seed in the playoffs. Who knew? It did help they played the AFC West this year and they got a couple breaks in that they caught the Chargers when they weren't red hot.

Actual record: 12-4

Nobody knew they would start actually playing well at home and Muhammad had enough gas left to be an average 2nd receiver. Though J.S. missed this one as well, I think we should forgive him.

Tampa Bay

Predicted record: 6-10

Did I mention they won it with 9 games? Losing to Houston, San Francisco and Carolina down the stretch?

The schedule is toughish, but it's more the fact there's just no reason whatsoever to expect improvement from this team.

Two incredibly true sentence were put right there in front of us. Tampa Bay collapsed and collapsed hard at the end of this year which may or may not have had something to do with the fact the defensive coordinator who had been there forever decided he would announce during the season he was leaving. They won 9 games last year and won 9 games this year. J.S. went a little under on the wins but he had the right premise.

Actual record: 9-7

They do have young players but there is bound to be a year it just all falls apart at one time. I am not sure if this was the year, but if not, watch out next year.


Predicted record: 2-14

The only question is, why the fuck did they bother signing RB Michael Turner?

Their easiest stretch is undoubtedly the start of the year, Lions, @Bucs, Chiefs. If they don't win one of those, this could be the first 0-16 season. Get ready for history Atlanta!

I don't know nearly anyone on this team and Atlanta has made every possible effort to stop you caring about them. It sticks the middle finger up at any possible analysis.

If anyone says they felt any different than this, they are lying.

Actual record: 11-5.

They also have a great chance at making the NFC Championship game. I have spoken to Peter King and apparently this Matt Ryan guy is quite the stud, Roddy White has quit clubbing and focusing more on football, and the Chargers should have kept Michael Turner over L.T.

Positive karma for Bobby Petrino and Mike Vick happened this year.


Predicted record: 11-5.

I like Seattle this year, they are always under the radar due to their division and their expected solid performance. I think this year edition is probably as good as their Superbowl team, and defensively, only Dallas and Minnesota look their equals in the NFC. I see an 11-5 run, but a 12 win season would not surprise me. They will not have to deal with their best player having some crisis this time. Furthermore, I think they will go deep in the playoffs, NFC title game.

What the hell happened? Seriously. Even with losing every receiver on the active roster, having Matt Hasselbeck injured and the defense suddenly disappearing, it still would not have shocked me if they won the division. The NFC West was beyond bad. In Mike Holmgren's last season, this team laid a complete egg.

Actual record: 4-12.

I am beyond interested to see what happens next year when Jim Mora Jr. takes over. I would not be surprised if everyone writes them off and they pull of a 10 win season. That being said, another miss by J.S. here, though this one was hard to predict as well. This is the type of thing that happens when you stick your neck out in making predictions.

St. Louis

Predicted record: 9-7.

I made a horrific discovery about halfway through this preview - someone from the NFC West, other than Seattle, was going to the playoffs if I had my way. That set in motion a chain of thoughts, and much whiskey drinking to work out who I was going to put my balls on the chopping block for. I seriously considered both other lame squads but in the end, I'm doubling down on St.Louis. Last year they were my "sleeper" and that turned out so well I'm trying again. The offensive line CAN be good, I swear, Stephen Jackson IS awesome, Marc Bulger CAN be at least an adequate QB, WR Torry Holt IS one of the best all-purpose receivers in the game, TE Randy McMichael CAN catch balls, the D-Line IS underrated and the schedule, taken as a whole, IS workable.

This is why you should not drink whiskey, it alters perception and you start betting on Randy McMichael, who can smack a woman better than catch a ball, and make you think the Rams are your sleeper. On paper you can see it, until you look at the whole shit bag on television or in person and realize this team was good from a far but far from good.

Actual record: 2-14.

This team scored 14 points per game this year...with Steven Jackson and Torry Holt on the roster. Something was wrong, very, very wrong. It never got fixed and if they keep Jim Haslett around it probably will not get fixed.


Predicted record: 8-8.

It's funny but J.S. predicted this record as a bad thing, when in fact they could have lost a few more games and clinched the division. At least there were two teams in the AFC West that were competing for .500.

I don't really know what to make of a team that has some good young players, maybe primarily on the defensive side of the ball but looks kind of like a fantasy team.

No one really knows what to make of this team. There needs to be some semblance of a running game because the corpse of Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower are not getting the job done and did not get the job done.

Actual record: 9-7.

As high powered as the offense was this year, it only scored 1 more point than the defense gave up. Ball control, running offense, and tough defense, please meet your exact opposite.

San Francisco

Predicted record: 6-10.

Needless to say a makeover was needed, and San Francisco went headlong into the mania of Mike Martz. I'll let the idea of Smith dropping back nine steps and hanging around while the talents of WR Bryant Johnson (who has never caught 50 balls and his longest catch in five seasons isn't even 60 yards) and 97 year old WR Isaac Bruce slowly slog their way downfield, sink in. You there? It's going to be ugly.

It got ugly and was even worse than J.S. had predicted because Alex Smith had "season ending surgery" or as I like to call it, "let's just say there is something wrong with him to get everyone off his case." Except somehow the 49ers won 7 games and I have no idea how when a guy named Shaun Hill is running the offense.

While winning five games with that offense was remarkable, it's practically impossible for it to be that bad again, particulary with Martz in charge.

Which he did, so I wonder what will happen now that he has been fired.

Actual record: 7-9.

This team is one of those teams that needs to embrace ball control offense, not the pass happy offense they had last year so maybe losing Martz was a good thing. Either way, we know there is no way the NFC West can be anywhere as bad as it was last year.

I am going to try and do the AFC Review tomorrow, so I am sure that is going to be the greatest Happy New Year's gift anyone could imagine.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

0 comments Ten Things I Think I Think Peter King Has Not Thought Of: Small Market Team Edition

Still no Bill Simmons whiny ass article about the Patriots. It's funny, you get a next day column when something good happens to his teams, but when something bad happens, he reverts to his usual schedule (Colts winning Super Bowl, etc.) of one column a week.

1. FireJay has a good post up here which contains this article. I have a personal problem with the article because it says the Marlins are ruining baseball because they don't spend any money and use the revenue sharing for nothing baseball related. This whole "ruining baseball" argument is ruining my day right now. The Yankees are ruining the competitive balance of baseball by signing away all of the great players no other team tries to afford, that is argument some people make. These people therefore champion a salary cap in baseball. This guy uses diversion tactics to say the Florida Marlins are ruining the financial structure of baseball, which is completely different from the competitive balance. I don't give two shits about revenue sharing and what teams are doing with the money, my problem lies in the fact the Yankees are turning every team into a small market team. I don't want a salary cap but I also would like for others to pay attention to the problem and not get off topic on the Marlins choice in spending their revenue sharing money. Regardless of whether I agree with his argument or not, he makes some poor points.

Get over it. The free market is the best way to go.

I don't know how to "beyond agree" with something, but I do with this.

Football has parity, but it’s almost ridiculous how quickly teams change. There’s no team identity from year to year, and very few trades (which are exciting for the fans).

So the reason to not have a salary cap is that the teams in football change so quickly because of free agent signings and teams changing the roster around? In other words, the free market system is the problem?

There is a team identity every single year in football because young players can stay with the team that drafted them, so good teams keep their good players because they have the same payroll restrictions as other teams. Indianapolis has the same ability to sign Reggie Wayne as the New York Giants because the New York Giants don't have $50 million dollars the Colts don't have access to. The pro football system actually allows there to be a larger team identity for a longer period of time because a team can afford to keep its own players. It may sound like I want a salary cap but I really do not. It is very tempting though.

Trades are exciting, so are bench clearing fights, but I am not going to condone more fighting. This is stupid.

Basketball has an interesting mix of continuity and parity, but figuring out a deal in basketball is more a question of math than a negotiation of teams with needs. The maximum salary slots also create a sub-class of overvalued stars that just get shipped from team to team as the league waits for their bloated contract to expire (think Al Harrington).

I agree with the overvalued star part in the NBA but EVERY SPORT has to deal with bloated contracts that teams have to wait to expire, in fact basketball actually has this correct because to trade these contracts you have to take on a bloated contract in return. There is no salary dumping allowed without getting a larger salary in return. Actually, the NBA system does suck, but in theory it would work well.

No, the system baseball has is, for the most part, the best way to go.

Absolutely, bloated contracts like Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle, Barry Zito, and Andruw Jones never happen right? You get negative points for this sentence.

Teams have a chance of winning every year - just look at the small market teams that have found postseason success over the past five years

Actually in every sport teams have a chance to win every year. The Celtics went from bad to champions, the Rays went from bad to champions, and the Dolphins went from winning one game to winning their division. It happens in every sport. This is not necessarily exclusive to baseball.

Using a revenue-sharing system to penalize the Yankees for their huge payroll is not a terrible system - provided, of course, that the smaller market teams actually use the money for good use.

Mr. "I love a free market" wants to regulate how teams spend their revenue sharing money or at least make sure they use it for certain purposes.

The Marlins were a good team last year, going 84-77 in a division where 92 wins meant first place. Imagine if the Marlins decided to actually use the revenue-sharing money to sign Manny Ramirez for two years at $25 million. Throw in a little money for a starting pitcher, and this team could compete with the New York Mets immediately.

Simple as that! The Marlins payroll was $23 million last year, if they just double their payroll on two players they will compete with the Mets!

I would love to know where this magical impact starting pitcher is supposed to come from and how Manny is going to be convinced to take $12.5 million per year when he opted out of a contract that paid him much more than that. Therein lies the fucking problem. If the Marlins bid on a starting pitcher and the Yankees wanted that pitcher, they would blow the Marlins bid out of the water. The second the Red Sox, Dodgers, or Yankees heard Manny could be had for $12.5 million per year, they would up it to $15 million per year or give him an extra year and then the Marlins have lost Manny as well. That is the problem. The Marlins can't just decide to sign Manny, because even with the wonderful revenue sharing, they can't pay what the Yankees can pay in the long run.

I don't hate the Yankees at all and I don't want a salary cap. This magical little paragraph he just wrote about how the Marlins could improve their team, I don't think it could actually happen. The prices of these players get so jacked up by the free market, the Marlins can not be players in the free agent market, except at a lower level. Ask the Nationals how bidding on Mark Teixeira worked out for them. They were used to up the bidding until a larger market team gave him exactly what he wanted.

Even if they didn’t go as far as Manny, shouldn’t the Marlins be in on players like Pat Burrell and Ty Wiggington? They need a left fielder and a corner infielder, obviously.

What the fuck are these two players going to do for the Marlins? They certainly are not the key to winning the NL East. In fact, the Marlins are a horrible example to use because they are not a real team. They are the farm club for the other farm clubs to the Yankees. They draw 5,000 fans a game and have no interest in putting a competitive team on the field.

I am more concerned with the mid-market teams and their ability to compete with free agents. The simple fact is the Milwaukee Brewers can not go out and sign a team changing free agent if the Yankees or any other team wants this player. This is the worst possible thing for continuity on a team and for the fans.

On a personal note, I never really got excited the Braves traded for Tex, J.D. Drew or Gary Sheffield because I knew when they were free agents there is no way we could keep those players. That is what I am worried about, not the revenue sharing structure. It is hard to enjoy a player on a team knowing there is no way he will be on the team in the next year. Whose fault is that? Not the Yankees but also not the Braves because they can't bust their payroll to keep their self imposed payroll on one guy.

While this has worked for the Marlins, the fact that they are hoarding their revenue-sharing money, costs veteran players real money, narrows the field for prospective free agents, and adds to the perception of baseball as being a league of haves and have-nots.

No, no, no. The people who are narrowing the field for free agents are the free agents and the player's agents themselves. Once they put themselves in a certain salary range, it cuts out part of the league. When A.J. Burnett, Sabathia, and Tex go on the free agent market and the Yankees outbid large market teams (Red Sox, Braves, Dodgers, Angels) for these players, it feels like a problem to me. Last year the Yankees were the only team who could bid on A Rod anywhere near the salary range he required. The Marlins have no interest in competing, I am worried about those teams that do have an interest in competing. I don't know the solution but I don't think the Marlins are the problem.

2. Terrell Davis wants to remind everyone he is still alive.

These same guys who are taking cheap shots at T.O. and Roy Williams now are going to be wanting interviews from them a year from now and talking on air about what great players they are.

"The first guy that's got to go is T.O..." T.D. said. "T.O. I'm sorry you are a cancer. You got to go."

First off, this is not news. Second off, T.O. is not going to fire himself, so that message should have been delivered to Jerry Jones. You can't just cut great receivers either. Pain in the ass as he may be, you can't just cut him.

Can we stop talking about the Cowboys now please?

3. Last week I wrote this sentence:

Again, it is only one offseason, and really the Yankees have to sign free agents because they have no players in their farm system that can help right now and they don't have the players in the system to trade for players, but this scares me a little bit. What happens when Hanley Ramirez becomes a free agent?

Apparently the Red Sox did not want to wait that long.

Unfortunately for them, the trade offer was rebuffed.

The Marlins were said to be most interested in a centerfielder, and it's believed Boston's promising young centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and talented pitching prospect Clay Buchholz were among those mentioned in a potential package for Ramirez,

I wonder what would have gotten the deal done? That seems like a good start to a package and I wonder what else the Marlins wanted. This is why I don't even count the Marlins as a MLB team because they just sell off parts of their team to other teams.

The Marlins are not ruining baseball if you like the free market system, they are actually just speeding the process up and allowing the top players to play for the large market teams originally.

The Red Sox actually use their farm system to acquire players, so this does not disturb me quite as much, because any team could offer the prospects to get Ramirez.

4. I wonder if the dementia was inherited by his son, Dean?

Dean did fire Marty Schottenheimer and keep Philip Rivers over Drew Brees. Ok, that may be an arguable point since they both are good QB's but imagine the Chargers with Brees. Don't you think they would be just a little better than 8-8?

5. I am little shocked Mangini got fired and I agree with Alex Marvez, I think Favre's presence had something to do with it.

Here's where the debate gets interesting. Why did the Jets nosedive and is Mangini, like coaches often are under such circumstances, being made a scapegoat for the failures of others?

Probably because it is very hard to fire the players. I said it in my NFL preview this year and I will say it again, I was never 100% sold on the Jets defense, I felt like Gholston was a wasted draft pick and Kris Jenkins is a T.O. type locker room guy, but he just pouts and does not go to the press.

Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer unsuccessfully tried to curb Favre from throwing an NFL-high 22 interceptions by stressing discipline and patience.

I think Mangini should not have gotten fired and been allowed a do-over on this one. Favre is never going to curb his tendency to throw interceptions. It's not happening.

As reported exclusively Sunday by's Jay Glazer, Mangini's tendency to emphasize minutiae with players during weekly game preparation didn't fly with a headstrong quarterback notorious for having shaky study habits.

As "great" as Brett Favre is, I really hope the Jets did not fire a coach, even though some people didn't like him seemed to put together a decent team, to appease a 39 year old quarterback.

After the Dolphins loss, Favre said he didn't have a timetable and a decision wouldn't be made for at least a week.

By then, the Jets will be well into their head coaching search. That means Favre will be under more pressure than he ever faced in Green Bay toward making a quick judgment about his NFL future.

This is not going to end well at all. Peter King will surely write a story defending Brett Favre at some point, but there is no way he makes a decision on if he is coming back by February, and even then he will change his mind.

Whoever gets the Jets job will want to know whether Favre plans to play, his commitment to participating in an off-season program and if his problematic right shoulder requires surgery.

As this head coach should have the right to do, but this still is not going to end well.

6. Rod Marinelli was going to get fired but why the hell did they promote two people in the organization?

If anyone out there is a Detroit Lions fan, it is not going to get any better any time soon.

7. I think moving the Pro Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl is a bad decision.

Barring a schedule change, next season's Pro Bowl will take place Jan. 31, 2010, with the Super Bowl that year on Feb. 7. The league's plan is for players on the AFC and NFC championship squads not to take part in the Pro Bowl.

So when about 20 players don't play in the game because of injuries/they don't want to play, the best players of the best teams are not allowed to play, and the team's players who just lose in the NFC/AFC Championship opt out because they are still upset over losing...what is going to be left to watch? It's bad enough as it is now, but now you take the Pro Bowl away from Hawaii and fewer players may attend and players don't want to play in the game anyway so they will back out making even more players voted in non-attendance. Just cancel the game.

College football/basketball don't require the 1st/2nd team All American players to play a game, just have the teams named and don't require a game if it is going to get half assed.

8. Bill Simmons actually has a decent column up. Nothing egregious but also nothing that has to do with the NFL. I have a feeling it is NBA time in his world now. I just hope he starts following college basketball again, because he has no clue about that. Like zero.

9. The Jets are doing everything in their power to get Bill Cowher as head coach.

I think Cowher is a great coach but I also know that he coached in a great organization there in Pittsburgh, which obviously helped him be successful. They have had a great defensive scheme for a few years, made good draft choices and great ownership. The New York Jets situation is not like that and I wonder if he could duplicate his success in Pittsburgh in another city. I guess the same question was asked when Bill Parcells left the Giants and it worked out...

10. I think I am going to try and post J.S. and my NFL preview results here in a day or so. Our ability to predict the team's records was not very impressive. Here is just a hint, he thought the Raiders would go 11-5 and I said the Jaguars would go 13-3. I can't wait to make fun of myself.

Monday, December 29, 2008

3 comments MMQB Review: Peter Finally Lets Guard Down, Asks Matt Cassel To the Prom, So Is Double Dating With ESPN and The Cowboys

I think it is going to be about 3 more hours before Bill Simmons posts a whining column about how the Patriots went 11-5 and did not make the playoffs and I was planning on reviewing J.S. and my preseason NFL picks today, so I was not planning on doing a MMQB Review today...then I read the column and thought I had to. I want to do both of the others though this week, so if I ever get the time I may do two in a day...maybe. I can already write Simmons' article for him.

"Patriots are good, should be in the playoffs, not fair, Chargers 8-8 should not be allowed, Sports Czar rule, goes through list of games Patriots lost that were not their fault, goes through games lost because of cheating referees, mentions he is in a daze, talks about his children, Dad depressed more than he was in (named Celtic/Patriot event), everyone wandering around in a daze compared to (named cultural event), Patriots deserve playoffs, followed by some new playoff system that would benefit Pats this year, and solemn closing overestimating the importance of sports followed by him never mentioning the NFL for the rest of the year."

I remember in 1993 the San Francisco Giants won 103 games and did not make the playoffs. That is worse in my opinion. I am not going to say the NFL playoff system is not bullshit, because it can be, but this is also the way it is unfortunately.

Let's do some MMQB.

But this was a week for the ages. And lucky me -- I got to see it all in NBC's fifth-floor viewing room at 30 Rock, with nine high-def TVs enthralling the cast of our Football Night in America show.

If you didn't hate Peter King already, that was for you.

If they don't, blame Jason Baker, Carolina's punter, for ruining Brees' shot at the record. Baker shanked a 21-yard punt to set up the Saints' measly 45-yard TD drive. If it'd been a 37-yard punt, Brees would have been throwing for the record.

Fucking asshole, I am sure that was his intention, to get a really short punt and allow the Saints to score a shorter touchdown, thereby potentially losing the game and a first round bye, but dammit Drew Brees was not getting that record. He has no respect for the game.

In Orchard Park, Matt Cassel sprints off the field after doing his CBS postgame interview. Pats 13, Bills 0. How is this kid 11-5? How is this team looking for massive 4 o'clock help instead of beginning scouting reports on its playoff foe next week?

He is 11-5 because he has won 11 games and only lost 5, but unfortunately according to the NFL playoffs rules the Dolphins have to lose for the Patriots to make the playoffs. I personally think the Patriots should be grandfathered into the playoffs for all they have endured this year. Let's make it happen. They have endured so much, never before has a team lost its starting quarterback for the season.

Jake Delhomme says, "Not on my watch.'' He rainbows a 39-yard go route to Steve Smith

"Rainbows" is being polite, more like throws up a Hail Mary. What are the Panthers going to do when Steve Smith no longer plays for them? I don't think Hail Marys to Dwayne Jarrett is going to get them in the playoffs.

Kasay lines up for the winning field goal. But no! False start, Jordan Gross. Now it'll be a 42-yard attempt, not 37-.


There's one second left in New Orleans. Kasay squibs ... It goes out of bounds!

And it's not even the Super Bowl! He has really stepped it up this year. Is John Kasay really the guy to do squib kicks?

There are few things in this job I take more seriously than my National Football League MVP vote for the Associated Press.

Here is his actual list:

1. Coffee
2. Brett Favre
3. Annoying travel notes
4. Deanna Favre
5. Lattes
6. Doughnuts
111. Matt Ryan
117. Figuring out why hotels don't use better shampoo that make him not smell like a girl
118. MVP vote

Dallas has acquired the most famous talent in all of football since 1997 and not won a playoff game. Twelve years, and counting.

My face hurts from smiling so much at being able to add another year to the playoff game drought the Cowboys have.

Let's fix this team.

Peter King, personnel guy.

One: Jerry's got to stop taking draft picks and throwing them at stars.

It would also help out if the stars they acquired were any good at playing football. Then the losing the draft picks would be worth losing.

Two: Cut the 34-year-old baby, Terrell Owens.

Don't try to trade him and get value for him. Just cut him. Smart move. Peter King for Bucks GM!

Three: Order the players to please, please stop saying they're the most talented team in football. Terence Newman, who played like a Bowling Green walk-on trying to cover LeBron James in Philadelphia, said it again Sunday.

Very good idea. Do not empower your employees, just tell them how much they suck. You hear tons of quotes after a game from players who have bragged about little they believe in themselves and the team is so good because its not playing with any confidence.

Four: Jones is simply being stubborn in not firing Wade Phillips, or at least not hiring someone else and making Phillips the defensive coordinator.

Simple as that. Just make Phillips the defensive coordinator. There won't be any hard feelings on his part about being fired and he will be glad to work for the organization in a lesser capacity. What could be wrong with this idea? Peter has such a firm hold on personnel decisions, I am shocked he does not run a team.

4. Carolina (12-4). One of the best stories of this season: how DeAngelo Williams went to bed one day in the offseason as Blair Thomas and woke up as Adrian Peterson.

Simple as that. He went to bed as a no name 1st round draft pick that holds the NCAA record for all purpose yards and 100 yard rushing games and woke up as a great running back. It had nothing to do with this was his first full year getting the majority of carries in the NFL, nope he just woke up one morning and remembered how to run.

14. Arizona (9-7). I'd be surprised, bordering on stunned, if the Cards beat Atlanta.

I am not saying Arizona will win but the Cardinals are playing at home and to write them off this early seems a bit premature. This negativity from the same guy who was touting how great Anquan Boldin was earlier this year and how Kurt Warner deserves the MVP award. I don't get it.

15. Houston (8-8). Andre Johnson caught 115 balls for 1,575 yards and eight touchdowns this year. I have a feeling we're going to be talking about Johnson for a long, long time.

I love these little predictions after the fact where Peter states the absolute obvious.

"I have a feeling we are going to be hearing from this Adrian Peterson kid more and more. I don't want to go on a limb but I think Matt Ryan is going to be a good NFL QB."

What is this feeling he gets? Is it a result of looking at actual statistics he has seen for Johnson and the feeling is known as "the truth?" I hate it when he does this.

"I had a blast working with these guys. It was a lot of fun.''
Brett Favre, sounding like he'd played his last game in a storied NFL career Sunday.

Man the tanks and hide the children, we are going to be in for a whole winter/spring/summer of the Favre Watch. Is it coincidence that Eric Mangini was fired today and Favre was quoted as saying he did not enjoy playing for him? Probably not.

I will go ahead and announce Favre's intentions right now.

Brett Favre is not retiring, he may go to a different team next year or play for the Jets again but he will be back. He just wants attention. I would be surprised, bordering on stunned, if Brett Favre retires. That being said, I hope to God he retires because I am beyond tired of him.

Stat of the Week

This week is another chance to see how awesome the Patriots are at personnel decision making. It would be fair to just not talk about the Patriots and the Cowboys anymore, I mean they are not in the playoffs, so shut up. Unfortunately, Peter King is from Massachusetts, he is clearly a diehard Red Sox fan which means he probably favors the Patriots as well, I respect the Patriots, they are a great team and should have made the playoffs, but the weekly tributes to Belichick and the Patriots ability to make smart personnel decisions has to end. Anyone who follows football knows how smart they, let's focus on other things.

When the Patriots let the best kicker of his day -- Adam Vinatieri -- leave via free agency in 2006 after 10 stellar seasons, they were widely derided for allowing a few bucks to get in the way of keeping one of the best clutch players of the Super Bowl era.

I think "derided" is a bit of an overstatement for this. When Vinatieri signed with the Colts he was offered a $3.5 million signing bonus and a huge contract for a kicker, it was pretty clear to everyone the Patriots could not/would not match this. I think it was more disappointment the Super Bowl hero was leaving the team and several were upset, but no one derided them. Quit taking drama classes.

As usual, the Patriots are having the last laugh on the fourth estate -- and the rest of the NFL too.

(Peter King thinking) If I could just get my tongue inside Belichick's butt one more time this year...there we go. That should do it.

In the last three years, Gostkowski, kicking outside most often, has been more efficient in field goals, with more touchbacks on kickoffs, for a quarter of the cost of Vinatieri, who's been kicking inside most often. Gostkowski was named to his first Pro Bowl this year. And Gostkowski is 24 years old. Vinatieri is 36.

Good teams make good personnel decisions. The Patriots are a good team. This was a good personnel decision to not re-sign Vinatieri and it looked like a smart one then and still does.

Rather, it's a tribute to Gostkowski being able to kick in high-pressure and weather-affected situations so early in his career, and to the Patriots for recognizing that change is essential in pro football for teams to stay on top.

We all know kickers take a few years to develop much like a quarterback and learn how the long snapper snaps the ball and how the holder holds it. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks to perfect this. I am shocked Gostkowski has been able to do so much at such a young age. Good for him, he is a marvel. We should clone his DNA so we could have generations of kickers who can adjust to their jobs in such a small amount of time.

d. Larry Fitzgerald's hands cannot be matched.

(Peter King thinking as he types) "Well, except by Brett...Why won't Belichick call me back dammit!"

Unfortunately these hands don't seem to much help against the Falcons, or at least that is what Peter thinks, because he would be surprised, if not stunned, if Fitzgerald catches a pass against the Falcons.

e. Now that Phil Savage has been fired, and examining the Browns' GM job in the light of day, it might not be the great job everyone thinks it is. Cleveland is without third-, fifth- and seventh-round picks in 2009, has to find a trading partner for the flawed Derek Anderson, has some major divas in Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow, and has about 19 people who seem to act as spokesmen for the team when the mood hits them.

Sometimes when Peter writes things it makes me throw my hands up and look around the room as if I were trying to find someone who thinks what Peter just said everyone thinks. Who ever said the Browns job was a good one? They had one good year where they did not even make the playoffs (at 10-6 by the way), and that was last year. This team traded a lot of draft picks to compete this year and it all went up in smoke, the players get staph infections constantly, and the whole organization looks in chaos. I am not sure there is anyone who thinks it is a great situation. It does have some potential.

j. It's true: Bill Parcells can walk for 30 days, starting Tuesday, and still get paid the $12 million he's owed by new majority owner Steve Ross of the Dolphins. But don't think it's a done deal, or that he's decided to do it. I've heard Parcells isn't Ross' cup of tea, and if he isn't, then yes, Parcells will leave and take the money.

Bill Parcells and Brett Favre are in a duel to see who can waffle and take the longest time to make a decision on where they will end up next year. ESPN is already planning a 30 minute lead in on SportsCenter to cover all of the angles on this issue. I would actually be shocked if they show any more bowl games, Parcells situation, Favre's non-retirement, and the Cowboys choking takes precedent over everything right now. Fuck it, cancel SportsCenter, we need a report from Ed Werder describing the Cowboys state of mind right now!

The other problem is Mangini's not a beloved figure in his locker room.

I am sure Brett Favre has nothing to do with this situation.

4. I think if Joe Flacco completes 65 percent of his throws with two interceptions in January, the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl.

I would take that bet. If you are going to take completion percentage as the only measure of success and also give me two turnovers, I say the Ravens are not going to the Super Bowl.

f. I credit Matt Cassel for managing a game with wind gusts up to 55 mph -- and for a very big Sammy Baugh-esque 57-yard quick-kick punt in the third quarter, pinning the Bills at their 2. How about this stat line for the man who played 15 and three-quarters NFL games after not starting a game since high school: 11-5 record, .634 completion rate, 3,693 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 89.4 rating. He may have played his last game as a Patriot, but he will have a long -- and I predict, glorious -- future in the NFL.

Peter would also like to credit Matty Iccccccccccccce 2 for being so damn good looking.

I am not betting against the Matt Cassel but I am going to say most Patriots do not have as much success after they leave the team. So predicting a glorious future for Cassel does share a bit of risk. What does Peter care though? Cassel is dreamy and plays for his favorite team, so let's throw caution to the wind. He had a great year but the Patriots are a very good team around him as well, so maybe that helped him put up his numbers a little.

How often in this space have we heard how great Matt Cassel is? We get it, he is awesome. No one is arguing. Let's focus on playoff teams now.

h. Speaking of really good players you don't know yet, here's one you'll get to know next week in the wild card game at Arizona: Atlanta rookie middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who is playing with as much confidence on defense as Matt Ryan has on offense.

Actually back when Peter was touting Jerod Mayo as the defensive rookie of the year, I mentioned Lofton. Right here. Seems to me like you were the one who was late on that one King Peter.

5. I think if Brandon Jacobs plays eight healthy quarters in January, the Giants are going back to the Super Bowl.

Peter must be picking the Giants to make the Super Bowl.

b. The Giants seem remarkably unconcerned about January for a team that had a 1-3 December -- and they had to go to overtime for earn the one.

Um...Peter must not be picking the Giants to go the Super Bowl? Is he bi-polar or have multiple personalities?

d. The Patriots are one of the best eight teams in football right now, but they shouldn't be in the playoffs. Fair is fair. No violins because they went 11-5 and didn't get in.

I 100% agree with this statement. So why are we talking about them again if we don't want to discuss this? Oh yeah, you love them.

If they hadn't allowed Miami to use a high school formation to knock them senseless in September, if they hadn't gotten a silly David Thomas unnecessary-roughness penalty or a Matt Cassel interception two games later at Indianapolis in November, if they'd stopped Brett Favre on a third-and-15 overtime pass play in November ... any of those things go the other way, and the Pats go 12-4, are the third seed in the AFC this morning, and face Baltimore this weekend.

Peter King probably favors the Patriots being from Massachusetts and liking the Red Sox and all. He is not a blatant homer or anything, but reading this paragraph from a non-homer only gets me more excited for the Bill Simmons whining article. I can't wait.

Remember, I set the format for it up earlier in this post at the top, I really want to predict his column before it comes out.

I have been told by those close to the story that Brady is actually ahead of schedule. We'll find out which it is when the Patriots have to put the franchise tag on Matt Cassel come free-agency time in late February.

The tag would mean only that Cassel would be guaranteed at least $14.3 million on a one-year contract, and then the Patriots could either chose to keep Cassel as Brady insurance or try to make the best deal they could for the most compensation they could get for Cassel. If they hang onto Cassel -- which I don't expect to happen -- then it's a sign they don't trust Brady's rehab.

Shut the hell up about Matt Cassel and the stupid franchise tag. Everyone gets it right now. Everyone understands. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up about this issue. Even Patriots fans have to be tired of hearing about this because it reminds them Brady may not be back on time. Peter has gone over the issue of the franchise tag at least three times in his column and I think everyone gets it by now.

Can we please talk about other teams? Please?

g. More fans should feel about their team the way Jeff Miller feels about his Giants "Superfan'' blog. There's something endearing about a blog that's so devotional to a team.

Somewhere in bed with a hooker (because the Sports Gal has left him I believe) Bill Simmons flips on his computer and smiles knowing his weekly column on ESPN has at least one fan.

i. Here's my movie pet peeve: I saw the ads for "Milk'' for six weeks before I could actually go see it in my town in Jersey. I still can't see Frost/Nixon, which frosts me. Used to be you'd see signs for a movie that opened Dec. 25, and you'd plan to go. Now you have no idea. The ad may say it opens Dec. 25, but you may not have it at your Cineplex 'til Jan. 20.

This is a national fucking disaster, throw that in with people not coming to a full and complete stop at a stop sign, and I think we have anarchy on our hands. Why would a movie advertise and try to get people to want to go see the film long before it comes out? That makes no business sense. They should just put a movie out and not tell anyone about it, lower expectations and don't build up the film as any good...just a really smart move. You know what don't even let critics review the movie. It works for horror movies doesn't it? Why not potential Oscar nominated films?

Peter really, really wants to see these movies and is now probably going to go see them the night they come to his town. He must be a real fun guy to hang out with at a party, all he would talk about his what irritates him and how much he loves his job and hanging around in sweaty locker rooms with naked men. He would be a treat.

I may double post today, it depends on how I feel and if I find anything else.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

0 comments Update on the Yankees Starting Rotation

I just saw at the bottom of my television screen while watching college football on ESPN that the Yankees ARE NOT going to re-sign Andy Pettitte and will look to see if Phil Hughes can crack the starting rotation at the 5th starter. I wanted to get this important information out to you guys as soon as possible because I have been getting a lot of email about it. I am glad ESPN has dug up this vital information for all of us. I have been watching football all day and will post an update when ESPN updates us on what the Cardinals or the Mariners are going to do about their 5th starter.

Ok, enough sarcasm we all know that is not going to happen. There was a post on FireJay similar to this also, so go check that out, but seriously this shit has got to stop. ESPN really, really believes there are only two teams in Major League Baseball because they constantly update us all on what the Yankees and Red Sox are doing. ESPN feels the need to update every quote Hank Steinbrenner makes, every free agent the Yankees contact, and anything else that pertains to them. You are not the YES network, shut up, and just pretend you try to cover every team equally. God I wish there was another channel that carries the bowl game I am watching.

Friday, December 26, 2008

9 comments Bill Simmons Still Writing For ESPN...Ruins Christmas Wish for Millions

Bill Simmons has a holiday mail bag up full of weird and bizarre "real" emails from his "readers." If you like douchebags that age in range from 18-25, talk like Bill Simmons, and are probably going to brag about this hot chick they hooked up with in college for the rest of their lives, then you are really going to enjoy the full mailbag. You can probably imagine what I would say to his comments.

I will cover the rest of the low lights for the rest of you. By the way, there is no appearance from the Sports Gal again, and I am starting to believe she and Bill may be separated at this point. I would never want anything bad to happen in anyone's personal life, but you can't blame her if he tells her the same jokes over and over like he does to his readers.

Maybe I needed a boost after the Celtics' 19-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Christmas Day, thanks to Kobe and a gritty 15-man Lakers team (I'm including the refs).

4 sentences in and he is already whining about the Lakers whipping the Celtics yesterday.

I compared Bill Simmons to a boy band previously, because he has adoring fans that want to be just like him and there is not a whole lot of substance to what he does, and I think I may finally have a better comparison. I think he the writing equivalent of Maroon 5. The reason I say this is because at first glance there seems to be some substance there but once you turn your brain on, you realize he is doing the same thing over and over again, desperately attempting to appeal to the masses. I realized this Tuesday night when I saw Maroon 5 appearing on a "Crossroads" episode with Sara Evans on Palladia (only the awesomest music channel in the history of the world). Generally, the "Crossroads" episodes combine two artists, one that is a country music artist and another that has tinges of country music in his/her/its influences. Maroon 5 has ZERO country music leanings, absolutely none, so why in the hell did they appear on an episode of "Crossroads?" To appeal to the masses and get their shitty music out to more deaf ears. It was at that point I realized they were exactly like Bill Simmons...Initial glances make you think there is substance but once you really pay attention you realize what they do is just a desperate plea for attention and both are more impressed with themselves than they should be. Also, Maroon 5 sucks live and Bill Simmons is probably not very clever in real life.

Q: I'm 23 years old. I live in Seattle. I have a girlfriend who loves those damn "Twilight" books and promised sex if I agreed to watch the movie with her Friday night. We ended up waiting in line for 45 minutes and the theater was filled with high school females. There were maybe five guys there total, and I was the only one with a girl, so read between the lines there. Once we got home she was too tired to do anything and went to sleep. The next day my alma mater, the University of Washington, loses a double-overtime thriller to Washington State, probably the worst team in collegiate football history. Have I officially hit rock bottom?-- T. Chan, Seattle

This email was written a solid month to a month and a half ago. I just wish he could give us a mailbag that reference events that at least happened this month. You just know Bill Simmons has a folder in his email called "Yup, these are my readers" where he puts his really weird emails.

SG: Sure looks that way. We're about three weeks away from FX creating a sitcom called "It's Always Rainy in Seattle."

I love "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and I am pissed Bill tries to make a joke even in reference to the show. The show is not about it really being sunny in Philly, so the joke about rain and Seattle is not funny...especially since it is quite often rainy in Seattle...almost 200 days a year if I remember correctly, so the title would neither be ironic nor funny, but merely factual. When I start pulling out real life weather examples to prove Bill wrong, you know I am pissed.

Q: I recently read that the world's oldest woman died. She said she never drank alcohol or tried tobacco. I also read that last year's "world's oldest person" also refrained from doing those things. How does that make you feel that we have no chance of being the world's oldest people at some point?-- Eric, Philly

Nearly 40 year old Bill Simmons is about to reminisce to everyone about his crazy Holy Cross days now. Oh yeah, don't think a private school that did not admit women until 1972 (though it is primarily women now) and is known for its wonderful landscaping was not an institution of craziness back in the early 1990's.

SG: I knew I didn't have much of a chance when I was in a Quarter Keg race back in college where everyone had to make themselves throw up in a giant garbage can to keep going, only after about 15 minutes, you just had to look inside the garbage can and you'd start throwing up.

Crazy times in Worchester, Massachusetts! I think everyone loves hearing about college stories no one you personally know was involved in that happened many years ago (If I am wrong and someone really wants to hear how I beat a friend of mine at ping pong, left handed and on my knees---no sex jokes please---I will be glad to tell it). No one cares about this, yet still on some college campus, a 20 year old that has not heard of the Quarter Keg race will attempt to institute it in Bill's name. His master plan is working.

Q: So there's generally a ton of weed and tequila at our fantasy drafts. One rule we've put into effect is if you pick a player who's already been drafted, you must do a shot of Don Julio. Counter-intuitive, I know, but that caused me to draft Matt Leinart in rounds eight through 11 two years ago. What do you think of this idea for your Sports Czar campaign?-- Luke, San Francisco

Sports Czar thing=not going away. Bill loves this. Please someone stop this. Can I get ruling on this?

SG: Love it. Love it to smithereens.

Of course you do. I think Bill is going to singlehandedly be responsible for a college death in the near future. I am just warning everyone, a college student wearing a Wes Welker jersey is going to fall to his death or choke to death on his vomit trying to be like Bill was (according to him) in college.

Q: I had a stunning realization when I awoke this morning: Isn't Greg Oden the real Benjamin Button? I mean the injuries, the 45-year-old face, the creaky knees and geriatric hobble? This means for us Blazers fans things will only get better as he gets "younger." Phew.-- Phil Taylor, Brooklyn, N.Y.

I am so tired of defending Greg Oden, just like I got tired of defending Aaron Rodgers this past offseason, but he is not doing that poorly. He is averaging 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in 22 minutes. No, he is not Shaquille O'Neal but he is not a complete bust.

I notice how Phil Taylor from Brooklyn, New York is a Trail Blazers fan and I wonder if he is jumping on the bandwagon early or has just given up on the Knicks until they become a good team again. I say by 2010 either Phil Taylor, who has never lived in Portland probably, will be a huge Blazers fan or have jumped back on the Knicks bandwagon.

PATRIOTS (-6.5) over Bills

A few readers pointed this out: In 2009, the Pats could become the best team to lose a Super Bowl and the best team not to make the playoffs. Great.

(Sound of the entire Patriots fan base feeling sorry for itself and drowing their sorrows in a Samuel Adams lager and growing out their Scott Ian of Anthrax type beards)

When it is the Patriots losing big games and not making the playoffs the Patriots are the best team to not win a Super Bowl and not make the playoffs. When it is the Buffalo Bills losing 4 Super Bowls in a row, the Bills are chokers and not the best team to not win a Super Bowl, and the same thing for the Atlanta Braves in the 90's regarding their massive failures in the World Series. The Patriots miss the playoffs one year and choke in the Super Bowl and all of a sudden they are the best team to do both and are not considered chokers like any other team would be. Perspective is a funny thing.

Maybe the 2004 Yankees were the best team to not make the World Series and did not really choke against the Red Sox!

Q: I read your comment in the last mailbag about women in Atlanta being horny, successful and fun-loving, looking for love and questioning their self-esteem. Although you made that assessment after just two e-mails, after living there for eight years, I can say that you're on the money. If you're a heterosexual male going through a dry spell, forget about Vegas and make your way to the ATL. Their advertising tag line should be, "Come to Atlanta where the nookie is plentiful and free."-- Michael, Columbus, Ohio

I think it tells you something about Michael that he thinks so highly of Atlanta and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

I know people who attended the following schools: Pepperdine, the University of California at Santa Barbara, USC, UCLA, Rollins, North Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State and the University of Texas. Here's how many of them regretted their choices: Zero. Meanwhile, the majority of my friends attended cold-weather schools … and only a handful of them would travel down that same road again. Again, why spend four years of your life in cold weather when you don't have to do it?

I just want to point out Bill went to Holy Cross, which the last time I checked was in Massachusetts, which has cold weather. Would he change his decision and go to a warm weather school? Never, because Bill makes wonderful decisions all the time and everything he does it awesome, like go to a cold weather college and then recommend people go to warm weather colleges.

I want to be an ass and point out there is no such school as North Carolina. You don't call UCLA, University of California, so don't call UNC-Chapel Hill (I assume that is what he meant) North Carolina. I feel better now.

I went to school in the cold and I really liked it. There is nothing like driving cars in an empty parking lot in the snow, skiing whenever you feel like it, busting your ass on ice on the way to class, taking a sled to class, and trying to parallel park on ice. It becomes fun after a while, I promise.

I feel like I am writing a personal ad right now, I will try to up the snarkiness.

And why pick a college with crummy sports when you don't have to do it?

So Pepperdine, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Rollins should be crossed off Bill's list then of potential warm weather colleges. I don't think he proofreads his own columns. He just hits send and then smiles happily at his keyboard, then goes to a Bill Simmons fan site and sits there naked for hours just playing with himself.

(Great image huh?)

So don't stress out about it, expand your horizons, don't be afraid to take a chance and please know that I'm telling you this only because I wish somebody had told me.

I guess he does regret his decision. You know what decision I regret? Reading this fucking column and trying to dissect Bill's retarded ass readers and their stupid ass questions.

Q: I renamed my fantasy football team after you. I did that because now, when I post all of my clever insults and below-the-belt jabs, it says "Posted by: Bill Simmons." Sadly, my team finished in last place, so this was the highlight of my fantasy season.-- Tom, Greenville, S.C.

These are the exact type of fanatical readers Bill has and it never ceases to amaze me. This guy needs to get locked in a broom closet for about six days until he never ever admits he did this or at least repents that he named his fantasy team after an ESPN columnist.

Q: I was out until about bar time Thursday, rolled into work at 8 a.m. Friday feeling like my face had fallen off somewhere between 11 p.m. and midnight, and I had failed to notice. I got the required coffee and greasy breakfast and sat down without a remote ability to perform actual work, so I hopped over to and quickly realized I had a mailbag waiting for me from the previous afternoon AND there would be a Part 2 later on. Honestly, it was like the heavens opened up. Not sure whether the greasy breakfast or the mailbag helped my hangover more, but I insist we incorporate Friday morning mailbags into your contract. You are the literary equivalent of an Egg McMuffin. Yes, that's a compliment.-- Sarah B., Chicago

I wonder how many emails Bill really gets that are weird. This mailbag his reader is referencing came out November 13th, so clearly "Sarah" wrote this email that day and Bill has been saving this email for a month and a half so he can write a "my readers are so fucking crazy and let me prove it" mailbag.

I bet Bill looks at himself in the mirror and routinely becomes more and more impressed with what he sees.

Q: So I had this idea for a movie. The bachelor version of a guy goes forward in time and finds his married self and kicks his butt for selling out his bachelor self and his bachelor values and going back on everything he promised he wouldn't do. The bachelor version finds him in the future by following his minivan to a toy store. The climatic encounter comes when the bachelor self finds the married self standing in an hour-long Black Friday line holding a Starbucks. And yes, I thought of this plot while standing in an hour-long Black Friday line amongst mostly female Black Friday shoppers in Christmas sweaters.-- (Name withheld), Denver

This movie could be called "The Bill Simmons Story." Here are things I vividly remember Bill saying he would not do that he has done already. I have no proof of these things but I know they existed.

1. Write about his personal life. At one point he knew no one cared.

2. No complaining about your favorite team for five years after they have won a title. At this rate, Bill would never write another column because his teams just keep winning and he would not be able to complain about anything.

3. Become obnoxious like New York Yankees fans.

4. Mention his children and what they are doing.

SG: We have Nic Cage! He's already signed on! We'll call it "The Time Machine Mentor" or "Love Mulligan" and bang this thing out for next August. Stay tuned. And since you didn't leave your name, I'm writing it myself.

And Bill just stole this poor guy's idea. Asshole.

Or Bill just made up this email and did not want to have people mock him for thinking of such a stupid movie. If I had to make a choice between Bill being an idea thief and making up emails...I am not sure I could make the decision.

Q: I dare you to think of anything better than taking a girl home from the bar on Halloween and watching her put on her costume as she's leaving the next morning. Yeah, can't be done. Hands down the best hookup moment possible.-- Adam V., Hibbing, Minn.

That is kind of weak but Adam V. does live in Minnesota and probably goes to a cold weather college so he can be excused in Bill's eyes.

Q: Hey, Bill, it's been a while since I e-mailed you and I am sure that you have missed me. I just wanted to stop in and let you know how much you suck. You are not a journalist. You are not even a sports journalist. You should be fired. It really makes me mad that people who actually work for a living are losing their jobs or are unemployed and you still get to sit there pretending to matter. I hope that soon ESPN comes to its senses and gets rid of you, but it probably wont. Anyway, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a good Christmas and New Year's.-- Brad, St. Louis

That would be how I felt if I changed my name to Brad and moved to St. Louis. I am shocked Bill put this in there, especially since the one time ESPN allowed comments on his pages the entire worldwide web went haywire and they never allowed the normal public to comment on his idiocy ever again. I thought to save his little feelings they had a permanent filter on Bill's email that would never allow him to hear the negative comments made about him.

Q: Beer + Weed + Bill Simmons = 1.9 GPA for fall quarter. Thank you, Bill, for helping me achieve my lowest GPA since the seventh grade.-- Tysen A., Bellingham, Wash.

SG: Um … you're welcome?

Come on, we all had those three in college and somehow managed to pass our classes. Tysen A. from Bellingham, Washington, you may just be a dumbass. Look into it...

My buddy Geoff and I had a running joke since the mid-80s about every Doobie Brothers concert ending with the stagehands drawing straws to see who had to spend the next three hours squeegeeing all the saliva from McDonald's mike. Never got old.

It never got old to you and your friend Gee-off? You told us this joke for the first time and it is already old.

Everyone has running jokes with their friends that we find hilarious, but not everyone is so self involved they feel the need to tell these jokes to a mass audience as an example of how funny our friends and ourselves are.

Q: How hilarious would it be if President Bush pardoned O.J.???!!! I just think that would be a great ending to a terrible presidency! He'd go out with a bang.-- Gian Gonz, Austin, Texas

There is no way you can tell me this is not a fake name. I went to and tried several searches for this person and came up with several people with the name "Gonz" but no Gian.

I get way too into proving Bill makes up his readers sometimes and I realize that.

Let's do three emails in a row, followed by Bill's response that includes a reference to pop culture, which is all Simmons has to really write about outside of his Boston teams. It usually goes like this (question from "reader," Bill either completely rejecting the idea and giving what he thinks is a better idea, completely ignoring the question and talking about a story that involves him, or accepting the idea and then improving upon it, and finally a pop culture reference in some fashion because he can't just say something, he has to compare it to something else). Let's look at some examples. I call myself a Simmonsologist because I am only 1 of 8 million people that notice these things.

Describe it and give us some other examples of people sporting the "Steve Young Face" other than Katie Couric during her Palin interview.-- Sean, Halifax

SG: See, I'd prefer to call it the Mike Myers "Nobody told me Kanye West was going to go off the cue cards" Face, which might have been my single favorite face ever.

Accepting the idea and improving on it because his idea is better.

Q: Shouldn't Scarlett Johansson's breasts get their own billing on the promotional posters and ads for "The Spirit?"-- Matt, Washington

SG: Absolutely. And I think they should do a press tour. I want to see Billy Bush interview her chest. I want to see Vanity Fair do a cover story on her chest. I want to see her chest appear on Letterman, Kimmel and Colbert.

Accepting and improving upon the idea. Then he gets a little off track and talks about how awesome he is and throws in a pop culture reference 15 years old.

By the way, if you never read the story about JackO and I seeing "Heaven's Prisoners" and me ruining the Teri Hatcher nude scene for him, click on my "Hardball" review and scroll down a few paragraphs.

Q: Is it just me or does JackO seem way too excited when he answers the phone for the B.S. Report? Like it's the only time the phone has rang the entire day.-- Adam, Chicago

SG: Believe me, I have this haunting fear that JackO got fired two years ago but pretends to go to work every day -- a little like Jules in "St. Elmo's Fire" -- and when we find out, it's going to lead to him having a mental breakdown, then all of my college friends trying to break into his apartment while he tries to kill himself by opening every window on a cold day.

Agreeing with the reader (it's Christmas, Bill has become agreeable lately) and then a pop culture reference going on 24 years old. This never gets old, unless there is a sportswriter for a major sports network doing it every single fucking week. At that point it becomes unbearable and you end up writing about it every single Friday so his idiocy ends up taking more of your time than just reading the column and forgetting about it.

Q: CC Sabathia's all-time stats against the Red Sox: Nine Games, 6.3 IP Average, 63 Hits, 15 Walks, 44 Strikeouts, 5.75 ERA, 2-7 W-L. I feel pretty good that the Yankees are gonna pay this guy $20 million a year to blow against the Sox.-- Jason, Vienna, Va.

All with the Indians, who by the way, have never had the offense the Yankees are going to have next year. I am not defending Sabathia, just saying he never had Tex, A Rod, and maybe Manny in his everyday lineup. Those are some bad stats against the Red Sox but I am not sure past history is going to determine future performance.

Q: We got Tex. We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.-- Uncle Rick, New York

Apparently Bill's Uncle Rick is way too excited for the Mark Teixeira era in New York.

SG: That's what my uncle e-mailed me right after the Yankees signed Teixeira. And after a brief emotional swoon, I'm firmly entrenched in "Why should I get bummed out that we lost out on a chance to spend $180 million on a guy who has never cracked the top six of an MVP vote?" mode.

I am not a Tex fan but I don't think cracking the top 6 in the MVP vote necessarily means a whole hell of a lot. Let's just say this is Bill talking himself into the fact the Red Sox are being fiscally responsible and did not make a mistake in not upping their offer.

Here is a quote from John Henry about the Yankees (Bill does not condone this comment but I thought it was funny to see the Red Sox owner act as if the Red Sox would not be the Yankees if the Yankees did not exist).

"From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a monumental challenge," Henry said. "We sought to reduce the financial gap, and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they have leaped away from us again. So we have to be even more careful in deploying our resources."

I mean, come on, everyone knows the Yankees are in a different world but the Red Sox are the closest behind them. Just because they make smarter personnel decisions, does not mean they are not throwing money around (The Red Sox did pay $102 million for a pitcher that had never pitched in the is working out though).

Just like when John Schuerholz issued the statement the Braves would not be working with Rafael Furcal's agents again, Henry needs to get over it and try to live in the real world. Just like the Red Sox are the Yankees in some ways, the Braves were trying to get Furcal at below market price and failed. At some point you have to quit asking players to take hometown discounts and stop whining about your payroll restrictions when you have the second highest payroll in baseball and have won 2 World Series in the past 5 years.

SG: Sorry, I had to condense the 400 taunting Lakers e-mails from Thursday night into one super-annoying e-mail. Look, I think we learned one thing other than it's hard to beat a good team at home when they're getting every call

Oh of course, I forgot. It's the referees fault the Celtics lost. Here I thought Bill would not make excuses and just accept the Celtics lost, like a real man does, and not make up reasons why they lost like a whiny little bitch would do.

And just an FYI: You can't get revenge for a 39-point loss in the deciding game of an NBA Finals by beating someone in a regular-season game at home. I am almost positive.

It must be nice to have a weekly column on the most popular sports web site where you can air your grievances and make horseshit excuses. FYI: The Celtics lost and I am pretty sure the NBA Finals were last year and they are playing a new season so last year doesn't matter anymore.

How bad would Bill have whined if Kendrick Perkins had gotten hurt last year and the Celtics had lost in the Finals? You don't hear him acknowledge even once Gasol played the entire series out of position at center. If it were Perkins who had gotten hurt and the Celtics had to use P.J. Brown at center, he would use that excuse at every possible chance as a reason the Celtics lost the NBA Finals.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and these may actually be Bill's readersbut this is definitely how Bill writes unfortunately.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

0 comments Danny Knobler Tells Me How I Should Feel, Cursing Ensues

I am very tired of talking about this subject but I am going to do it anyway. Let's talk Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees, but mostly let's talk about Danny Knobler pissing me off by assuming he knows everyone's feelings about the Yankees and the Tex signing.

Not hate.

Let's not hear any more talk about how the Yankees are affected by the bad economy, too.

I don't know of anyone in the past three weeks that has mentioned the Yankees are going to be affected by the bad economy. No one. After they signed A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia to $250 in deals, I think anyone who ever thought they would be affected negatively re-thought that line of thinking.

The Yankees have $88 million coming off the books, are opening a new stadium, and are tired of being shown up by the Red Sox as the best team in the AL East. It all spelled out to a massive Yankees spending spree and that is what we have gotten. Despite what Buster Olney tries to convince everyone, these are the exact same ol' Yankees we have all come to love. They don't draft young players and let them develop in their system, they go out and spend massive amounts of money signing free agents and trying to make trades.

I have had some people question me on this issue with mentioning Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Cano, and Chamberlain as key contributors to the team, which is true. The problem is three of those players Rivera, Jeter, and Posada came through the system nearly 15 years ago. Cano and Chamberlain are possible great players but haven't proven themselves to be leaders in the same vein as the other three quite yet, so I am not counting them.

Don't let anyone fool us all, when the Yankees spend $450 million this year and $350 million last year signing free agents, they are the same old Yankees. They may focus on the farm system more but none of the key contributors to this team have come through the system in the past 3 years. Now that I have gotten that out of the way...

You don't have to like them. You do have to admire them.

I don't hate the Yankees and I definitely don't like them at all. I sure as hell am not going to admire them. I can admire the business set up they have which allows them to pay the free agent contracts to players because of a loyal fan base and their own television station that allows them unbelievable amounts of income. I do not admire the way they run their team though. Don't fucking tell me I have to admire the Yankees. They choose the best pitcher and the best hitter on the free agent market every year and make an offer to them, blowing everyone else out of the water if need be. Even the Red Sox. That is what has scared me about this offseason is they are blowing large market teams out of the water when it comes to free agency.

There is nothing to admire in this way to run a ball club. I don't like the Red Sox but I admire the way they run their team so much more, and that is actually what makes me dislike them more because they don't run out and buy all of their players. They have developed players through the farm system that are currently contributing to the team at a high level.

There is no damn reason to get your pulse racing and get excited about how great the Yankees are because I am not even sure they scout players. They just pick out the best players and try to sign them. That's it. Sure it works out for them sometimes, other times it does not. It's not like they are finding diamonds in the rough or players that only would fit in their lineup and signing them to medium free agent deals. They don't have to because they have a lot of money, hence I don't admire them for this. Their margin for error is so much larger than other teams, so they don't have to worry about signing the wrong players. Sure it may screw up the team for a bit and leave them short at a certain position but they can rebound because they run a great business. I admire the business not the team.

The Yankees set out to get both CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and they made sure to offer enough money to get it done.

If only all the other teams had thought of doing this. What were they thinking? I know what they were thinking, they were thinking "we don't have $88 million to spend on free agents." You hear certain columnists saying, "but the payroll is not increasing so this is different," which is bad reasoning. Why did they have all that money available? Because they had previously signed free agents with huge expiring contracts, that's why. The only reason the payroll is not increasing is because there are not enough free agents out there in spots the Yankees need that would even add up to $88 million dollars, otherwise spending would increase.

Other teams tried to offer a lot of money to Sabathia, Burnett, and Tex, but the Yankees won because they are able to pay 110% of a player's worth and no other team can do that. Even the Red Sox.

I am not advocating a salary cap but baseball is in real trouble certain teams are going to price other teams out of the market in regard to free agents. What makes football so engaging for fans is every year certain teams could make the playoffs (except the Lions, who have and always will suck) and the reason for this is there a certain amount of parity when it comes to signing free agents and every team under the salary cap has a reasonable chance of acquiring talent. Again, I don't want a salary cap, but I believe there is a real danger baseball has certain teams pricing other teams out of the market for players.

But whatever you think about the relative merits of Ramirez and Teixeira, the Teixeira signing has to be seen in context of the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry.

Sure, in a way, but I get so tired of hearing ESPN say, "now that Teixeira has signed, what does this mean for the Red Sox?" The world is bigger than those two teams but somehow at Bristol, Connecticut they can't seem to realize that. I realize the Yankees took Tex from the Red Sox and that is a big win for them but my world is certainly bigger than two teams and their rivalry.

I don't want a salary cap in baseball, I think that is a bad idea, because if the Yankees want to spend $300 million on a player, then let them do it. Does it annoy me they can outbid anyone they want at any point? Sure it does, but mostly it annoys me when they outbid my favorite team for a player's services and then complimentary columns are written like they fucking painted a priceless painting or did something other than offer more money than another team. Even though a salary cap would seem fairer, I don't think baseball is a good sport for this because the team with the highest payroll does not always win and that has been proven. I will say that professional football is an interesting as it is because teams can not go out and just spend as much money as they want on a player. There are ramifications for doing this and this is part of what has made football so popular. I admire teams in football because they do have certain parameters they have to work around and still put a winning team on the field every year.

Regardless of a team winning the World Series with such a high payroll every year and whether that happens or not, I think it is scary that other teams serve as farm teams for the New York Yankees. I am not worried about the Yankees signing players away from the Twins, Marlins, and Royals, we have all come to expect that. What concerns me, and the context I see this in, is so far this offseason the Yankees have greatly outbid the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Anaheim Angels for three player's services. Those are not mid-market or small market teams. Those are the teams that are in large markets, have large fan bases, and should be in the running for these players based on this fact. That scares me a little.

No, money doesn't guarantee championships. The Yankees spent more money than anyone else last year, and they didn't win. They spent the most money the year before that, and they didn't win.

So the past three years the Yankees have spent the most money in the offseason and I am supposed to admire them for this? Can't you see this makes zero sense?

Was that the deciding factor? No, but it is a factor. Put it together with huge amounts of cash (always the biggest factor), and you have the Yankees acquiring basically whoever they want.

Again, it is only one offseason, and really the Yankees have to sign free agents because they have no players in their farm system that can help right now and they don't have the players in the system to trade for players, but this scares me a little bit. What happens when Hanley Ramirez becomes a free agent? Is he Jeter's replacement? What about Tim Lincecum, is he next to be in pin stripes in a few years?

When the Yankees get around to announcing the Teixeira signing, they'll no doubt remind us how much money they had coming off the books at the end of the 2008 season. Jason Giambi ($23.4 million) is gone, and so is Bobby Abreu ($16 million). Carl Pavano's four-year, $40 million contract finally expired.

Two overpaid players coming off the books that were signed by the Yankees and one overpaid player they traded for.

What they should never do is suggest that the economy affects them the same way that it does almost everyone else.

Seriously, no one is suggesting this at all. No one. Only you, and only you could be bringing this up and actually being serious about it.

The goal is to win, remember? A whole bunch of teams spend as much money as they can trying to achieve that goal.

What a misleading statement from this asshole! Other teams spend "as much money as they can," sure they do but the Yankees can spend more and therein lies the problem. I don't want a salary cap by any measure of the imagination but the perception and reality is that Milwaukee made the best offer they could to Sabathia and could not get him. They missed by 2 years and $61 million dollars. They can't offer more money in trying to achieve their goal of winning, that is their economic reality. No team in it's right mind is going to not spend as much money as it can to win ball games, but the ceiling for some clubs is higher than others. MLB teams can't become feeder teams to the New York Yankees. This may not happen but when they snap up every top free agent it certainly seems that way.

You don't have to like them. But you sure should admire them.

Admire them for what? Being able to spend more money than everyone else? That makes no sense. I admire teams that don't have the luxury to grab any player they want off the free agent market. You would not admire the United States if it used the fact it has one of the world's largest militaries to invade other countries and spread "freedom" to other lands, the U.S. does have the resources to do this so we should admire them right? Maybe an extreme example...I would admire the Yankees a lot more if they would show a little restraint in their pursuit of winning.

I said Mark Teixeira would be going to the Red Sox, I was wrong.