Archive for August, 2012

Football Friday: It’s Back!!!

Posted: August 31, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in College Football, Must See TV
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It’s Gonna be a Different Look at Happy Valley this Year, for Better or Worse

Hope it feels as good for you to see Football Friday as it was for me to write it.  College football returns in full force with the NFL a few days behind it.  Just like last year, we are going to set your Mancave for you with the 3 best games throughout the day, with the best game in bold and on your main screen, 2nd best in italics on your other TV, and the 3rd in regular type and on the TV you use for video games, if you even both to watch it at all.  This college football season should be even more interesting with USC back off sanctions, totally new conferences, and Penn State with names on the back of their jerseys for the first time since…EVER.  Should be a sizzling season. My National Championship prediction: USC vs LSU.

Saturday, September 1

EARLY AFTERNOON: Ohio vs Penn State (12pm, ESPN)/Notre Dame vs Navy (9am, CBS)/Marshall vs West Virginia (12pm, ESPN2)

LATE AFTERNOON: Southern Miss vs 17 Nebraska (3:30pm, ESPN2)/Miami vs Boston College (3:30pm, ABC)/Bowling Green vs 23 Florida (3:30pm, ESPN)

NIGHT: 2 Alabama vs 8 Michigan (8pm, ABC)/Hawaii vs 1 USC (7:30pm, FOX)/14 Clemson vs Auburn (7pm, ESPN)

2012 NFL All-Swindle Team

Posted: August 28, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

Yeah Troy, this List Shocked Me Too

For the Mancave Season preview, I wanted to use a word that is passed around the cavers alot for reasons unbeknownst to myself.  The word swindle is defined by trusted resource, as someone who tries to play you over or play games with you.  In the NFL, there are many players who have had high expectations placed on them by reason of draft position, contract, their own big mouths, etcetera.  Only recently they have not fulfilled their end of the bargain according to their respective fanbases.  I going to go through the best of the worst of the guys I’m looking to step up their play in this upcoming season.

Yeah dude, only 2 Points!

QB: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – Let’s start it off with a surprise.  Matty Ice entered the league as Atlanta’s savior and led the Falcons to the playoffs in his rookie season.  These are the results in his next three seasons: No playoffs, Blowout loss in divisional round as #1 seed, blowout loss as wildcard scoring only 2 points.  2 points? 2 POINTS ?!?!?!?!  So technically, he really didn’t score anything. 2 POINTS?!?!?!?!                     (Honorable Mention: Kevin Kolb, ARI – Sam Bradford, STL – Whoever is the Jets Starting QB)                                              

RB: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans – I lauded CJ2K last season as he held out for a better contract, the NFL player’s only weapon they have against management.  He got his money, making him the richest running back ever at that time.  Well, he came into the season and proceeded to amass the least amount of yards (1,047) and score the least amount of touchdowns (4) in his career up to that point.  Now that’s a swindle!  (Honorable mention: Shonn Green, NYJ – Rashard Mendenhall, PIT – Reggie Bush- MIA an eternal member)

WRs: Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys – When you have to do this for a grown man, you have problems.  Oh yeah, he hit his own mom too.

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers – It’s bad when you hold out into the season as a rookie and expect to make an impact.  It’s worse when your team is awesome in your third year, you still stink, and the team doesn’t even skip a beat.                                                                                                                                                           (Honorable Mention; DeSean Jackson, PHI – Kenny Britt, TEN – The T.Ocho Show)

TE: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers – He was supposed to make the Green Bay Packer offense unstoppable when he got hurt in their Super Bowl run.  But it turns out you can’t stop him from running bad routes or having inconsistent hands.                                                                        (Honorable Mention: Marcedes Lewis, JAX – Owen Daniels, HOU)

Offensive Line: Trent Williams, WAS – Can’t block JPP or DeMarcus but can smoke some good green/Jason Smith, NYJ – Big, High Draft Pick who is always hurt/ Andre Gurode, DAL – Can’t snap/Steve Hutchinson, TEN – Too old and expensive/David DeCastro, PIT – Sorry to put a guyon that got hurt in preseason but the Steelers are back to a steel curtain defense and a swiss cheese offensive line.

Defensive Line: Osi Umeniyora, NYG – Talks alot, always feels disrespected, not that good anymore/Ndamukong Suh, DET – 10 sacks and a TD his rookie year. 4 sacks and a stomp his sophomore year/Tyson Jackson, KC – He was the 3rd overall pick in 2009. Let’s just say he has less sacks than his number of his pick.

LBs: Brian Orakpo, WAS – If holding calls, seen and unseen by refs counted, he would be the next Lawrence Taylor.  Too bad we count sacks/Bart Scott, NYJ – Can’t wait for him to shut up/AJ Hawk, GB – I haven’t heard his name since Ohio State/Jonathan Vilma, NO – Because the Commisioner told me too

Two swindlers playing football at the same damn time

CBs: DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins – Just watch this.  And this.  And especially this.

Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets – HBO swindled him during Hard Knocks. He’s swindled the Jets with his play for two seasons.                                                                                                         (Honorable Mention: Stanford Routt, KC – Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie, PHI – Asante Samuel, ATL)

Safeties: Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers – I just want to fight Steelers fans.  But this guy would be nothing without Ryan Clark and that system. It’s feast or famine with him.

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants – Gave him a lot of money couple of years ago.  Hasn’t done well in the New Jersey lights. (Honorable Mention: Laron Landry, NYJ – Roman Harper, NO – Whoever plays safety for the Eagles)

Coach: Jeff Fisher, Saint Louis Rams – This is more for his years as a Titans coach. After the Longest Yard Super Bowl in 1999, the Titans won only 2 playoff games.  You would think Fisher was Lombardi son, but no, the Titans went 2-5.  He never really built around his talent, and handled Vince Young poorly.  The Rams suck and they have an overrated coach.  It’s not going to be pretty under the gateway arch.  (Honorable Mention: Marvin Lewis, CIN – Andy Reid, PHI – Norv Turner, SD)

Meltdown Over Shutdown

Posted: August 15, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in MLB

Well, since other baseball experts have waded into the Strasburg shutdown decision that Nationals have already made, the Mancave might as well too.  It’s been a great summer for us here, with a great NBA Playoffs, the Olympics, and with an unbelievably fun team to watch in the Nationals.  The Nationals went from a scrappy young team with great pitching early in the season, to the potential juggernaut that the world saw on Monday Night with a 14-2 win in San Francisco.  Through this team transformation has been the looming subplot; Stephen Strasburg will not finish the season.  He will be shutdown.  Even when we were in 1st place by a string in May and June, we in the Mancave agreed this was the right thing to do.  Why force Strasburg to pitch past fatigue and hurt himself all over again?  Why mortgage the future for a shot in 2012?  But as June has dragged into August and the Nats have gotten better, I have come to this conclusion:

I think the Nationals are doing the wrong thing.

I completely understand the thinking.  In fact I wouldn’t even argue with you if you believe the Nats are right.  The guys running the team have more knowledge in their dirty socks than I have in my whole body.  They say they have the studies to prove that their decision is right (which this article and this article state otherwise).  The Nats think if they get Strasburg fully healthy, they can make runs at a title for a long time. And really, there are 24 other guys who have excelled on this team right along with Strasburg.  In fact, you can argue that Strasburg is the 3rd best pitcher on the staff.   This team is built to win for the long haul, like Oklahoma City in basketball.

But baseball is not basketball.  The best team talent-wise may not make the playoffs, like they do easily in the NBA.  One season all your hits go in to the gaps, next year they are sharp liners to the outfielders.  One year your pitchers are Cy Young award winners.  The next year they can’t get out the 5th.  Baseball is a game where you make your own luck, but the gods affect things in many ways.

This is So Long Ago

Take the case of the Phillies.  I moved to Philadelphia in 2009, the year after their World Series run.  I moved up when they were planning another one on Broad Street for that year.  They had just traded for Cliff Lee, partially because 2008 World Series MVP was awful.  They made the World Series that year but lost to a better Yankees team.  No biggie, in 2010 they reloaded with Roy Halladay and Placido Polanco and traded for Roy Oswalt.  What happens?  They don’t even make the World Series, losing to the inferior Giants.  Certainly, 2011 would be their year with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt.  They don’t even get out the first round.  The Phillies were suppose to contend this year.  They are currently 10 games back – of the wild card.  That 2008 Phillies squad was supposed to win multiple championships too.  4 years and no rings later, they are in rebuilding mode.  You just never know what next year will bring.

Right now Strasburg is at 133 innings going into his start tonight vs the Giants.  He probably has 6 or 7 more starts left in him which would take him to late September then he’s done.  The Nationals won’t have a full arsenal going into October and that’s fine by management.  There’s no use arguing. There’s no use debating.  As Jayson Stark said, we’ll never know if it was the right move, whether Strasburg gets hurt or not, whether the Nationals win or not.  It’s just amazing that a team has a chance to win and they will not go all out to win.  It’s amazing that what Strasburg has trained his whole life for – October baseball, is going to be torn from his fingers. I feel this is supposed to be a Chris Rock standup; I’m not saying that I condone this decision – but I understand.

NBA Offseason: It’s Fan-Tastic!!!

Posted: August 14, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NBA
Tags: , , ,

If You Cry Long Enough, You Get What You Want

I wanted to hold this piece to see where Dwight Howard would end up.  After about a week of Orlando being in standby mode, I was going to just go ahead and send this out with Howard still in Florida.  Good thing I have some patience.  In the heat of the Olympics, as the weekend approached, twitter blew up with the 4-team bonanza that would give the Lakers 4 Olympians in their starting lineup.  The capped off a riveting offseason with All-Stars being traded, mediocre teams making power moves, mediocre teams making self-destructive moves, and the world champs getting better by grabbing one of the best shooters of all-time from their archrivals.  And most basketball fans were glued to the internet to follow it.  I never remembered an offseason like this where people paid so much attention to free agency.  It usually went NBA Finals, NBA Draft, then see you in October, unless you were hardcore and you watched Summer League.  So how did this new era come to be.  I’ll start this 3-point play with the answer

“I Knew What I Was Doing the Whole Time”

1) The Decision Strikes Again – LeBron James keeps winning doesn’t he?  It’s because of his announcement 2 years ago that we keep our eyes on the NBA all-year long.  As super teams are created (and destroyed), fans look to see how their teams keep up with the Joneses (or should I say Heatles).  As we say the Lakers do this week, it makes for amazing speculation, adoration, and pontification (ironically, a Stephen A. Smith word) as rumors for trades and signings spread.  So no matter what you think about LeBron, he keeps on making this league more and more fantastic.

2) Gotta Make It Happen – I’ve been getting into arguments with Renzuno about strategies the 99% of teams in the NBA that are doomed to perpetual mediocrity as the same 6-8 teams are in contention and 2-4 can actually win the whole thing.  You have to have a top 10 player to even be in the running.  So teams like Denver, Brooklyn, Houston and Philadelphia that are stuck in mediocrity had to make a move because 8th seed in the playoffs every year just sucks.  3 of those 4 teams got richer this offseason, 1 died trying.  Denver’s new GM is a genius to get a hyper-athletic defenseman in Andre Iguodala to go with that fun crew out in the mountains.  Iguodala is really a homeless man’s LeBron, being able to affect play on the entire length of the court.  That’s why he usually is on the top of the list in triple-doubles and is an all-world defender.  Philadelphia got the 2nd best center in the league and the best center in the East.  Too bad he is a knucklehead, and his personality won’t work in the city of Brotherly Love, but Philly just got really interesting.  Even Brooklyn went from having Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband open the new arena on Flatbush, to having a potential 4 or 5 seed team for the next couple of years. Now Houston, well you can’t fault them for trying.  Except for the fact they swapped Kyle Lowery for Jeremy Lin and cut Luis Scola only to sign Omer Asik, I admire their offseason.  Ok, admire is a strong word, but in this NBA you got to take some risks to get yourself in the pool for the title.  It’s the American.

3) The 1% – Well, the Lakers went from old and slow, to 4 Olympians. That’s right, 4.  Even Oklahoma City and Miami only has 3.  Speaking of Miami, they get Ray Allen, because teams with 2 of the greatest slashers and scorers in the league don’t need one of the all-time great shooters.  James Harden and Russell Westbrook got to refine their game with the US Basketball team, which Oklahoma City hopes will affect them the way it affected Carmelo and Chris Paul in 2008.  Boston was able to let Ray Allen go, but pick up Jason Terry and steal Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger in the draft.  The Knicks stay relevant with a decent pickups in Marcus Camby, Ray Felton and Ronnie Brewer.  Chicago gets Kirk Hinrich back.  Meanwhile my Wizards are throwing out Emeka Okafor, a guy I haven’t heard from since 2009 in Trevor and have less cap flexibility than when they had the corpses of Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis.  Is there some conspiracy to keep the big market teams on top? Or do they know what they are doing more than the other guys?  Whatever is going on in the NBA, David Stern loves it, because his sport has turned into a 365-day show.