Archive for October, 2011

Football Friday: Paranormal Activity

Posted: October 28, 2011 by dontbeskerritt in MLB, NFL

Sorry, I’m wiping the crust from my 3rd eyelid after Game 6 of the World Series kept me up later than I expect.  In one of the wildest, wackiest games in baseball history, much less World Series history, the Cardinals forced game 7 by coming back twice when they were down 2 in the 9th inning or later.  There were 6 home runs including the game-winning homer and 5 errors.  There were Ron Washington celebrations and Nolan Ryan stank faces.  The game had everything that you want in a game and somethings that you don’t want, but it makes the game that much more awesome.  So I know we do the weekend TV preview at the end, but I want to make sure you watch Game 7 of the best World Series since 2001 (I know ’02 went 7 games but I don’t think I watched one pitch of that series).  I know its Friday, but I would hate to see Say Yes to the Dress beat Game 7 in ratings tomorrow so I must implore you:

Game 7 – Rangers vs Cardinals 8:05 pm FOX

This is why I told you for the last couple of weeks to take you girl out instead of watching terrible college football and NFL matchups.  You got to store up the points for nights like these.

To Think I Laughed When Cam Couldn't Call a Play to Jon Gruden

This game inspired me to write about what I think is wrong with the way we watch sports.  Everything is about math and stats these days.  Baseball is terrible with this new sabermetrics; instead of strike the hell out of that batter, games are decided by BABIP, LIPS, WAR, VORP, and UZR.  Do you know what any of that bull crap means?  Do you think people were thinking about that when the Cardinals were down to their final strike twice?  It’s amazing that when the pressure is turnt up, the game gets real simple.

Football has become the same way.  Us geek boys and fantasy nerds has turned the game into a stats class.  Coaches, GMs, and now the fans are taking the magic out of football.  I don’t want to harp on the Tim Tebow thing cause I know its been beaten into your brain, but don’t you think a lot of the Tebow backlash is because he doesn’t play quarterback the way we want to see the QB position.  He doesn’t read progression or pass the ball to receivers on the run.  He literally plays the “run and get open offense” (we call it the Dez Bryant offense in the ManCave) but it succeeds to an extent.  Michael Vick was the same way when he came out.  And it drives us crazy.

We as fans want explanations for what happens on the field or the court.  Announcers always have to explain what occurs, so we don’t even trust what we see with our own eyes.  Analysts like Skip Bayless wax poetic about the reasons this team won or lost, even so much as to play sports psychologists and entrances us with his craziness.  We want to know why something happens on the field, so we can impress our friends who probably thought of the same thing.  We forget that what draws us back into sports is the unexplainable occurrences; the magic that occurs on the field.

You can practice all you want for a game.  You drill plays over and over again until you do them in your sleep.  It’s all about execution of the offense and being in the right position on defense.  But what happens on the field and court?  Chaos ensues.  The other team is actually trying to win, how dare they?  Those first 15 plays you run, swallowed by the opposing defense (ask the Ravens).  You were suppose to be up by 21 by the end of those 15 plays, now you’re scoreless against Jacksonville in the 4th.  Coaches and fans always try to make sports as scientific as possible, when it is as much spiritual as it is science.

See It...Believe It

Can you explain Michigan State’s wild hail mary last weekend?  Or that short Denard Robinson could lead Michigan’s comeback twice over God’s team, Notre Dame?  Did you know that Ron Artest would make that 4th quarter 3-pointer against the Celtics in 2010?  If they replayed the 2008 Super Bowl, how times out of 10 would the Giants have beat the Patriots?  Why doesn’t LeBron have a ring right now, especially since he has had arguably the best team in the league each of the last 2 seasons?  You have any ideas for the Music City Miracle and the Immaculate Reception?  Sometimes sports isn’t about out-smarting your opponents.  It’s about belief; belief in yourself and in the team, as Coach O’Shea told us at halftime before the Annexation of Puerto Rico play. (The IceBox isn’t the IceBox anymore LOL)

So let’s stop trying to have an explanation for the Cardinals, Tebows, Newtons, and VCUs of the world.  I know it drives us crazy when people we think that are not as talented, or not as smart achieve success.  It defies all that we learned about being the best and brightest and smartest.  Those teams and players I mentioned were suppose to be afterthoughts in this year, because they were not conventional, or too dumb to call plays, or not athletic enough for the better teams.  But they had the belief in themselves, and the heart to persevere.  And they made fools of us all in the end.  But hey, weirder things have happened.

So this weekend on your ManCave TVs enjoy the magic of sports, instead of trying to figure out all the answers to why your fantasy team hasn’t scored over 100 points total so far this season.  It’ll make the weekend that much better.  Best game in bold on your projection wall TV, italics for the TV that you play madden on, regular, you might as well save electricity and keep that off for a while (especially on Sunday).

Saturday, October 29

12-3pm: Michigan State vs Nebraska (ESPN), Missouri vs Texas A&M (FX), Purdue vs Michigan (ESPN2)

3:30-7pm: Oklahoma vs Kansas State (ESPN), Georgia vs Florida (CBS), Baylor vs Oklahoma State (ABC or ESPN2)

8pm: Stanford vs USC (ABC), Clemson vs Georgia Tech (ABC), Wisconsin vs Ohio State (ESPN)

Sunday, October 30

1-4pm: Minnesota vs Carolina, Miami vs New York Giants, Arizona vs Baltimore

4-7pm: New England vs Pittsburgh, Washington vs Buffalo, Detroit vs Denver

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Week 7 was a running back frenzy! Despite all these mind boggling passing performances, it was great to see running backs take control of the game. Time for your weekly dose of Studs and Scrubs.

Studs!

1. It gives me great pleasure to recognize Demarco Murray from the Dallas Cowboys! breaking two records last week. Murray stepped up as the number one option last week with Felix Jones out with an injury. I was excited to finally see what this kid can do, and he didn’t let me down. He broke Emmitt Smith’s record of total rushing yards in a game, and he also broke Tony Dorsett’s rooking rushing record. He finished with 25 carries for 253 yards and 1 TD. It all began with this…. 

Quickness and speed. He showed defenses around the league that the Cowboys have the talent to have a dominant running game. Jones, Murray, and Tanner can cause problems for many teams. The rookie proved to be well worth the draft pick, showing Dallas they don’t need to run Felix 25 times a game. Spread those touches out between the two. It may have been the Rams, but the emotional confidence of completely dominating a team on offense and defense is very contagious in the NFL. Demarco Murray sparked the Dallas Cowboys with his spectacular performance. The Eagles are up next, lets see what the kid has in store for them. Enjoy your accomplishments because this week you are an NFL STUD!

2. Not to be out done is the underpaid Matt Forte. Despite some of the hiccups the Bears have had this season one constant is Forte. Unlike Desean Jackson who is playing not to get hurt, Forte is showing the Bears he has earned his big payday.  It is hard to respect the idea of a recession when athletes are signing $100 million contracts. Some players deserve their money, and others should probably give the majority of it back. No holdout or any public gripes consistently to the media Forte just shows up everyday and proves every down he should be paid. The Bears have over 2,000 offensive yards this season and nearly HALF are because of Forte. He is an all around threat. Whether it is running in between the tackles, running outside, or catching passes from the slot or out the backfield. This guy just produces. Forte had 145 yards on the ground and added 38 receiving yards. After watching this game it was easy to say Matt Forte won that football game for the Bears. Another good performance for Forte this week congrats you are an NFL STUD!

Forte

Show Me The Money

CHICAGO PLEASE PAY THIS GUY!

3. Will he play or won’t he play was the question for many weeks about this individual. This week Arian Foster was phenomenal. He finished the game with 115 yards on the ground adding another 119 receiving and a total of 3 TD. All I can say is wow! The Texans embarrassed the pitiful Titans led in every offensive category by Foster. It is fair to say he has recovered from his injury. I actually wondered to myself what would the Texans do without the phenom A. Johnson. Foster, unlike outspoken Keyshanwn Johnson his performance spoke for itself saying “Just give me the DAMN ball”.  Houston did exactly that. Although the league is now built to let quarterbacks shine by throwing for unbelievable numbers every single week. Rest assured great running games are not gone just yet. Congrats Foster, I hope your Texans can keep this up in December and January, but for now you are an NFL STUD!

Scrubs!

1. The Colts are just pathetic! Please read How Good Could The Colts Be With Manning. You may argue that the Colts wouldn’t be in this situation if Peyton was playing. However, I believe the Colts put themselves into this situation. Peyton Manning is 35 years old and this organization ran it as if Peyton had access to the fountain of youth. Every QB is not Favre and will play until death. At a point as a  franchise you need to being thinking long term; start developing a transition to your new franchise QB. Never be afraid to cut a man loose for the greater good. Peyton has had a great career, but maybe his time will be cut short. I blame the Colts front office for not allowing anyone to even learn the system so they could make a transition when needed. Congrats you NFL SCRUBS you are reaping the benefits of piss poor planning.

2. The “Suck for Luck” race is real folks. The Dolphins are the front runners in this race. After purposely blowing a lead in the fourth to Tebow. All evidence causes us to believe the Dolphins do not want to play football this year. They have given up on developing a somewhat respectable football program this season. Regardless, of the circumstances always step on the field, and at least play for pride. The Dolphins are the worse! Congrats you NFL SCRUBS!

3. OOOOVVERRR PAID!!! This should be screamed every single time Chris Johnson touches the football. After another abysmal performance Chris Johnson and the Titans lose again. Chris Johnson totaled 18 yards rushing and 27 yards receiving, against a below average Texan defense. Foster eclipsed Johnson total yards on one single play. The same way players can receive bonuses for reaching milestones, I believe some should be deducted pay for playing as bad as Chris Johnson is. Its shameful CJ is getting too much money and Forte can’t get his team to pay him anything! CJ this season is pathetic and a disgrace to the running back position. NFL SCRUB!

Weekly NFL Picks: Week 8

Posted: October 25, 2011 by ccouncil127 in NFL, Weekly NFL Pics

Congrats to Richan for getting his first win of the season this week! Here is how things ended up this week:

Richan 4/ Dara 3/ Marissa 3/ Carmen 3/ Yannick 3/ Lebron 3/ Renard 2

Here are the standings after week 7:

Renard- 27

Lebron- 26

Carmen- 25

Richan- 23

Marissa- 23

Dara- 23

Yannick- 22

Aaaaaand here are Richan’s picks for this week….

SD v KC DET v DEN NE v PIT DAL v PHI MIN v CAR CLE v SF
Carmen SD DET PIT PHI CAR SF
Marissa SD DET PIT DAL CAR SF
Dara KC DET NE DAL CAR SF
Renard SD DET NE PHI CAR SF
Lebron SD DEN NE DAL MIN SF
Yannick SD DET NE PHI CAR SF
Richan SD DEN NE PHI MIN SF


Overreaction Monday: Tebo…Week 7 Edition

Posted: October 24, 2011 by dontbeskerritt in Just Turrible, NFL

I’m just going to get this out-of-the-way right now.  Congrats, to Tim Tebow and the Broncos for their improbable comeback. Improbable because the Broncos were so woeful for 55 minutes, that it was impossible to believe they would be so…effecient for 5.  Tebow was clutch, the special teams came up with two big plays (onside kick and 52-yd FG), and a the defense whcih held the Dolphins to 12 yards rushing in the 4th.  But as Bomani Jones tweeted yesterday, nothing happened in that game to change the minds of Tebow supporters and haters.  So onto the rest of the overreactions

1. Suck for Luck Systems Are Go

It is truly impossible to throw games in the NFL.  It’s not like there are only 5 guys you need to get on the same page, or 9 that you have to say “don’t swing here or there.” Football needs supreme coordination to get 22 guys to sabotage their own team’s games and even their own careers for a draft pick that they may never seen play.  However, I’m here to say that the Dolphins are trying to do the impossible.  That’s the only explanation for their sucktitude.

You ever heard of a girl hanging out with uglier girls to make themselves look good; that was the Tebow plan yesterday.  I don’t wanna take away from Tebow, but that Broncos-Dolphins farce was more about the Dolphins than the fighting Tebows.  From top to bottom, that franchise sabotaged October 23 to get the pole position for Andrew Luck.  First, the front office decides to honor the 2008 National Champion Florida Gators during halftime of the game to sell tickets.  Tim Tebow, their opponent yesterday, played on that team.  Are you kidding me?  How do you honor your opponent, just to get some ticket sales?  How do you skip over the Miami Hurricanes to honor the Gators?  Terrible FAIL by the Dolphins management, but of course, sh*t rolls downhill.

The Best Thing from the Broncos-Dolphins Game

Tony Sparano, I used to like you.  I thought you and the Dolphins were the model the Redskins should go by; hiring an unknown looking to bring a fresh, innovative approach to playing, rather than old, recycled ideas (Shanahan, I’m looking at you).  You looked good with the Wildcat.  But now you look like you are about to be fed to wildcats.  You go for 2 when you’re up by 12?  Do people even do that in Madden?  You left points on the board.  I don’t care who you are playing, YOU DON’T LEAVE POINTS ON THE BOARD!!!  Instead of being up 16, and the Broncos having to go for 2 twice, they only had to go for it once, and succeeded because sh*t rolls downhill.

The players on the field was terrible in the last 5 minutes.  As stated before, only 12 yards rushing in the 4th quarter.  They went to prevent defense…even Tebow could drive down the field with the prevent.  The Dolphins couldn’t recover an onside kick.  On an obvious QB sneak for the tie, the Dolphins coaches were the only one that didn’t know that the Broncos would go for the QB sneak.  Matt Moore got strip-sacked in OT which set up the win.  The Dolphins dysfunction was sealed by Matt Prater’s 52-yd FG.  I just hope that the sh*t is cleaned up before it gets down to their first-round pick.

2. “Get the Cart” for Atlanta’s feelings

I don’t know if you heard about the “Get the Cart” line that was allegedly said by Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril to Matt Ryan when his rubber ankle was injured on Sunday.  Roddy White and the Falcons claimed that Suh and Avril said that as Ryan writhed on the field in pain.  Since when do athletes go and tattle to the media about what happens on the field?  I never played football and my competition days are limited to cross-country and church league basketball.  But I know I heard some crazy things in my day on the church court, so I can imagine there are worse things that are said and done on NFL fields.  So stop the whining Roddy; your team got a much-needed win on the road and are back in the NFC South hunt.  No one cares that your feelings were hurt by the intimidation tactics of a fraudulent team.  I’m beginning to think Drake runs the Falcons.

3. AFC Mess

DUHHH RAAAIIDERS

 

The AFC West is going to come down to which QB can come out of a game with 2 or less interceptions.  There were 8 interceptions in the Chiefs-Raiders game and 0 passing touchdowns (unless you count the 2 pick-6’s).  Philip Rivers got picked off twice, both in the 2nd half when the Chargers were up.  But of course, Tebow the Great had 0 interceptions.  While I think the Broncos are way out of the race, the QB ineptitude is so bad in the division that the Broncos will be around at the end.  Rivers is good for 2 interceptions a game, trust me he is killing my fantasy team.  Kyle Boller, who probably took his last snap as a NFL game manager, and Carson Palmer set football back to the days of the Wing T.  Matt Cassel was almost as bad as the Boller/Palmer duo of death.  I had great hopes that the Raiders could steal that 6th playoff spot from the Jets.  I even had the Chiefs sneaking and getting the spot.  Now I wish that the Jets and Bills could get in the AFC Playoffs and leave the entire AFC West in their own AFC Mess.

How Good Could the Colts Be WITH Manning?

Posted: October 24, 2011 by RenzReport in NFL

Heading into Week 8 of the NFL season, the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts are now 0-7.

A solid debate took place last night in the ManCave on how good the Colts could be based on their 2011 Schedule with a healthy Manning. What are your thoughts?

2011 Colts Schedule

Week    Date           Game
1             11-Sep      IND 7 @ HOU 34
2             18-Sep     CLE 27 @ IND 19
3             25-Sep    PIT 23 @ IND 20
4             3-Oct       IND 17 @ TB 24
5             9-Oct       KC 28 @ IND 24
6             16-Oct     IND 17 @ CIN 27
7            23-Oct     IND 7 @ NO 62
8            30-Oct     IND @ TEN
9            6-Nov      ATL @ IND
10         13-Nov    JAC @ IND
11          Bye
12          27-Nov   CAR @ IND
13          4-Dec       IND @ NE
14          11-Dec     IND @ BAL
15          18-Dec    TEN @ IND
16          22-Dec    HOU @ IND
17         1-Jan        IND @ JAC

When Will the Trophy Become the National Championship Trophy?

This article is tough for me to write because I would really be whining talking about the Pitt Basketball team.  Only Duke and Kansas has had a better win percentage than Pitt in the last decade.  The school is consistently a 20-win team, with 10 wins in the rugged Big East.  The Panthers have won 3 Big East regular season titles under Jamie Dixon.  The Panthers have gone to 11 straight NCAA Tournaments (2 with Ben Howland).  They have done all of this based in Western Pennsylvania, not exactly the hotbed of basketball recruiting.  In fact, before DeJuan Blair (RIP Schenley HS), the best Western Pennsylvania product recruited to Pitt was Sean Miller, who graduated in 1992.  I am very proud of what Pitt Basketball has become as a basketball power, and yet…

I can’t call Pitt a basketball powerhouse because we have never, NEVER, been to the Final Four.  Not even accidentally.  The closest the Panthers have gotten is our only Elite Eight appearance in 2009, when Scottie Reynolds and Villanova ran a cross-court play in 5.5 seconds to eliminate Pitt from the Tournament (Pitt was a 1 seed too).  That is still our only Elite Eight appearance. 11 straight Tournament appearances.  I can’t do math, but that isn’t a good ratio.

Pitt is terrible in tournaments.  The Panthers have only won 2 Big East Tournaments since 2002.  Jamie Dixon only has one of them.  Pitt has 3 Big East titles, with only one B.E. Tournament title in 4 appearances in the championship game under Dixon.  The NCAA Tournament is even more heartbreaking.  In 11 straight appearances, Pitt has been a top 4 seed 8 times.  One Elite 8 appearance, 0 Final Fours.  In fact, they have only made the Sweet 16 5 times in that period.  Pitt Basketball is cursed, as proved by the bizarre ending to the tournament last year, with a foul in the last seconds that was 84 feet away from the basket.  Pitt lost 71-70; the third straight year Pitt has lost by 3 or less in the tournament.  Will Pitt ever get that 3 points in a tournament to put them over the top?

The Scene of the Crime

You can say that coaching is the problem.  While Jamie Dixon has one of the best resumes for his work at Pitt thus far, people still have a problem with his philosophy especially on pick-and-roll defense (see pic to the right as an example).  You can blame the recruits Pitt gets; there really hasn’t been anyone that could make a play with the ball in his hands.  You could say Carl Krauser was our best player with the ball in his hands but see a first round Tournament game vs Pacific (yes Pacific) to see why we don’t want to relive those Krauser days.  Those playmakers are usually one-and-done types and Pitt never, ever, recruits those guys. Pitt has one of the best pure shooters in the country in Ashton Gibbs.  But as the Big East Tournament last year proved, where UCONN refused to let Gibbs spot up and shoot clean looks.  As Kemba Walker proved last year, if you have a player that could create his own shot, you can go as far as he is willing to take you in the NCAA Tournament and who knows if Gibbs can do that this year.

However, all is not doom and gloom for Pitt.  They may not be able to get Western PA talent because there is none, but they do get bruisers.  Pitt has a fierce recruit named Khem Birch who is compared to Kenyon Martin.  He replaces Gary McGhee (see picture above and to the right) who was as athletic as a parked Ashton Martin.   So Pitt is going to keep on rebounding and beating up opponents in the paint.  Brad Wanamaker is gone to Italy but Travon Woodall is a suitable replacement.  Nasir Robinson will be motivated to prove he isn’t brain-dead.  And Gibbs will shoot the lights out again.

But as with all Pitt sports, will it be enough?  Will Pitt ever be able to create the magic and moxie that is needed to make a run at the Final 4?  You saw VCU last year; sometimes its more than just what the players can do and how they execute, there has to be a belief around the team that nobody can get in the way of their run.  After 11 straight tournaments, including last year’s disaster, can Pitt create that magic within themselves?  Or will the pressure to prove that they are an upper echelon basketball program stymie them again like it has the last 2 tournaments?

Pitt basketball is not Duke, UNC, or Kansas.  Pitt football is not Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan.  The Great Mystery of Pitt Athletics probably has nothing to do with what the teams do.  The football team is remodeling and the basketball team is searching for the next level.  The mystery has to do with us the fans, with our expectations.  We need to just enjoy this golden era of Pitt Athletics and hold on to the hope for the day that all of our squads (the volleyball and swim teams were pretty good when I was there) are at the upper echelon of their sports.  Everything is alright Pitt fans, that day is coming soon. After the video, the games of the weekend.  How about taking your lady to church on Sunday and staying for potluck?  This may be the Sunday to do it.

Saturday, October 22

12-3pm: Oklahoma State vs Missouri (FX), North Carolina vs Clemson (ESPN), Kansas State vs Kansas (check local TV)

3:30-7pm: Auburn vs LSU (CBS), Georgia Tech vs Miami (ESPN), Maryland vs Florida State (ABC or ESPN2)

8pm-11pm: Washington vs Stanford (ABC), Wisconsin vs Michigan State (ESPN),  Game 3 World Series (FOX)

Sunday, October 23

1-4pm: San Diego vs New York Jets, Atlanta vs Detroit, Denver vs Miami

4-7pm: Kansas City vs Oakland, Green Bay vs Minnesota, Pittsburgh vs Arizona

Results Take Hard Work

Posted: October 21, 2011 by RenzReport in NFL

No matter what we want to achieve in life it takes hard work!  Never forget that!  This applies to all areas of our life!  So no matter what, work hard at what you want to do and only fate will stop you, not man!