Friday, November 30, 2012


Cincinnati vs. San Diego

After giving up a conversion on 4th and 29 in their game against Baltimore last week I'm not sure how much the Chargers have left in the tank.  Conversely the Bengals have won 3 straight and are currently tied for the last wild card spot.  They need this game to keep pace so look for Andy Dalton and AJ Green to have big days.

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

Charlie Batch is ma master at reading defenses.  From the sideline.  Now that he's in live action it's plain to see the game is too fast for him and he's a shell of his former self.  Baltimore is flying high on the news their spiritual and emotional leader Ray Lewis will be back in a few weeks.  I expect this game to be a blowout.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Does The Hall Of Fame Need Bonds, Clemens, And Sosa?

The 2013 hall of fame ballot is the first time major league baseball will have to deal with the results of the steroid era head on.  Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa are all eligible to join Cooperstown, but all three players are suspected of using performance enhancing drugs during their careers.  None of the players in question were found guilty in a court of law, but the court of popular opinion has already rendered its verdict.  They all took something and it had an impact on the video game like numbers they were able to put up.  Does that mean they should be excluded from baseball's most prestigious club?

Of course not.  The substances they allegedly took weren't illegal by MLB standards at the time and there's no way to determine who else was taking performance enhancing drugs back then.  For all we know half the league could have been on something.  The fact these athletes made history during that era shouldn't deter voters from recognizing their accomplishments.

Of course baseball purists will label them as cheaters and administer their own brand of justice by not voting for them, but where do you draw the line?  Do you banish every player you suspect of taking performance enhancing drugs?  Do you exclude every player that played before the current drug testing policy was in place?  Do you deny the fact Bonds and Clemens were hall of fame players with or without taking the alleged substances?

Barry Bonds has the record for most home runs all time (762), home runs in a season (73), 7 MVP titles (should have 8)  10 gold gloves, and 500 stolen bases.  Roger Clemens is the all time leader in strikeouts (4,672) has 7 Cy Young awards, 2 World Series titles, and an AL MVP.  From 1998-2003 Sammy Sosa hit 332 home runs including 3 seasons where he hit 63, 64, and 66 home runs.  THOSE ARE HALL OF FAME NUMBERS!

  Regardless of what you think of them as people or if you think they were on the clear or the cream there was nothing illegal about what they did and they weren't the only ones doing it.  The media needs to get off their high horse and take responsibility for the culture that existed in the early 90's and 2000's.  Don't blame the players, blame the game.

Rookie QB B3TZ

Seattle vs. Chicago

If the Seahawks want to make the playoffs they will eventually have to win a game on the road.  Quarterback Russell Wilson has played well in his last 3 games validating coach Pete Carroll's decision to start him at the beginning of the season.  Look for the Seahawks to establish the run game at Chicago then take some shots down the field.  I think Wilson will have a big day.

Indianapolis vs. Detroit

The Detroit Lions let their playoff hopes slip away on Thanksgiving and now they are reduced to playing the role of spoiler.  Indianapolis is the first team they get a chance to make things difficult for.  We'll see if Andrew Luck can out duel Pro Bowler Matt Stafford to get the win.

Miami vs. New England

After a surprise win last week the Miami Dolphins are back in the playoff hunt.  Ryan Tannehill has looked composed and confident as of late and Brian Hartline has proven to be a nice security blanket.  The Dolphins are tough to beat at home and this game will be closer than you think.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Duke vs. Ohio St.

Duke will face their 2nd top ten opponent this season when the Blue Devils face off against Ohio St.  No one can accuse coach K of scheduling creme puffs to start the year.  Ohio St. is looking for someone to step up and replace the production of Jared Sullinger while Duke is relying heavily on Seth Curry to provide offense and senior leadership.  Look for Curry to have a big game against the Buckeyes.

Arizona vs. Northern Arizona

Arizona is coming off a disappointing season, but the Wildcats are currently ranked #9 in the country.  Like most schools Arizona schedules road kill to start the year off to boost their confidence and add up wins for the NCAA selection committee.  The Arizona Wildcats will face the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks tonight.  this game should be a blowout. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Minnesota vs. Sacramento

The Timberwolves are happy to have Kevin Love back in the line up, but so far it hasn't translated into more wins.  The Wolves have lost 5 straight, but tonight they play the lowly Sacramento Kings.  Unless DeMarcus Cousins has a monster game the Wolves should snap their losing streak.

Indiana vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The D'Antoni era in LA has gotten off to a shaky start.  You almost wonder if the team wasn't better off with Bernie Bickestaff as the coach.  Now that the Lakers passed on Phil Jackson every game they lose will be second guessed.  Tonight however they play the Indiana Pacers without all star Danny Granger so they should win with ease.

Why The San Francisco 49ers Won't Win The Super Bowl

The San Francisco 49ers have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.  They sit atop their division by 3 games and have the 2nd best record in the NFC.  In two seasons coach Jim Harbaugh has completely changed the culture of the organization with his winning attitude and his competitive spirit.

The 49ers have a dominant running game, a stingy defense, and a pro bowl kicker to bail them out when their offense sputters.  On paper this seems like the perfect blueprint for success, but there is a fatal flaw that will ultimately lead to the team's demise.  They have a full blown QB controversy that won't go away.

A few weeks ago Alex Smith was nearly perfect against the Arizona Cardinals completing 18 out of 19 passes for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns.  His starting job was not in jeopardy and the team looked impressive.  A few weeks later Smith suffered a concussion and was forced to miss a game vs. Chicago.

Back up Colin Kaepernick got the nod and made the most of his opportunity going 16 for 22 with 3 touchdowns as the Niners cruised to victory.  When Alex Smith was finally cleared to play coach Harbaugh decided to stay with the "hot hand" and Kaepernick remained the starter.

It's never a good idea to play musical chairs with your starting quarterback.  It divides the locker room and manipulates the emotions of the players in question.  Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick will stop trusting their teammates, the coaching staff, and each other the longer this controversy persists.  in addition, it's hard for the team to find a rhythm.  As soon as they get used to one style of play calling and formations the offense changes to accommodate a different quarterback.  Getting reps with the 1st team is an essential part of preparation during the week.

If this was September the benching of Alex Smith wouldn't be as significant, but in late November it's a distraction that undermines the team's ultimate goal.  At this time of the year a team needs a definitive answer at the most important position on the field.  If there is uncertainty or doubt the players won't know who to follow.  By sticking with the "hot hand" coach Harbaugh has opened up a can of worms that he can't close and the 49ers will pay the price by missing the Super Bowl.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Night Football B3TZ

Philadelphia vs. Carolina

Facing the Philadelphia Eagles without Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy is just what Carolina needs to get back on the winning track.  Cam Newton hasn't shown the play making ability of his rookie season, but you have to think it's still in there somewhere.  The Eagles will start rookie quarterback Nick Foles and to be perfectly honest he still looks a little wet behind the ears.  Look for big turnovers from the Eagles offense that lead to short fields for the Carolina Panthers.

The Legend Of Shankapotimus

For years I've blogged about the legend of Shankapotimus.  It's an entity that crushes the hearts and souls of football fans by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  It rears its ugly head at the most inopportune times and changes the course of history by preying on the fears and insecurities of able bodied kickers.  In the past I've had little or no sympathy for the victims of Shankapotimus.  In fact I found it rather amusing to watch fans put their fate in the hands of a kicker only to watch that kicker miss wide right, wide left, or come up short.  Of course it's all fun and games until Shankapotimus changes the fate of my team and after Friday's Apple Cup debacle I have a greater appreciation and respect for the pain caused by the Shankapotimus phenomenon.

To be honest, I've been in a bad mood since Friday afternoon when Shankapotimus helped take out my beloved Washington Huskies.  I thought I'd be over it by now, but the shock still hasn't worn off.  It's inconceivable that a scholarship kicker could miss from 29 yards out, but somehow it happened and now Husky fans everywhere have to suffer the consequences and take unwarranted abuse.  As you might expect I received more than my fair share of phone calls, texts, e-mails, tweets, and posts on the subject.  I had people reaching out to me from Bangkok, Thailand trying to find a plausible explanation.  I had Cougar fans from Waycross, Georgia mocking me and calling me names.  Every Cougar fan I know (and that's a lot) found a way to get in contact with me and rub the loss in my face.  All this because some 21 year old kicker couldn't do his job.  Shankapotimus is cruel.

But enough about me, the more pressing issue is the way Shankapotimus sent the Husky football program into a tailspin.  One loss may not seem like a big deal, but going 7-5 instead of 8-4 is huge.  Will big time recruits still want to come to a school that can't beat WSU?  Will alumni donate millions of dollars to a program that will break your heart?  Will big time companies still want to advertise at the newly renovated stadium?  Will the players (with their fragile egos) ever fully recover from the loss?  Will coach Sark get a chance to stick around long enough to see his plan through?  Does he deserve to?  Will TV networks still want to broadcast Husky games?  The long term ramifications of the Shankapotimus incident are somewhat scary.

The Huskies are still bowl eligible, but no one seems to care.  instead of playing Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, or TCU in a bowl game they'll probably end up playing Texas Valley Cristian St. or the Southern Iowa Grasshoppers in the Frito Lay Salad Bowl on December 16th.  The Huskies are no longer relevant enough for major bowl consideration.  At present my confidence in Husky football is rather low and I'm not sure I'll tune in to watch the bowl game regardless of the opponent.  Once bitten, twice shy.  DAMN YOU SHANKAPOTIMUS!!!  Kickers will ruin your life!

Weekend Observations

South Alaska was not the place to be this weekend.  The Husky football team lost a heart breaker.  The Husky basketball team got their asses kicked.  The Seahawks lost to the lowly Miami Dolphins and will probably lose their starting cornerbacks for the rest of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.  In one weekend dreams of a major bowl game, the NCAA tournament, and the playoffs all came crashing down.  The only thing to look forward to now is the Mariners spring training.  Could the Seattle sports scene be any more depressing?

To make matters worse, I LOST AT MY OWN GAME AGAIN!!!  Hats off to Winston Tran, Danielle Tran, and Criona Kelley for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but this is ridiculous!  I CAN'T EVEN RIG MY OWN GAME IN MY FAVOR ANYMORE!!!  Much like Austin Powers back in the day I can't seem to find my mojo.  I am in 1st place in my trash talking fantasy football league, but I'm about to be "gone fishing" in my hurt your feelings league and my family league.  Jonathan Stewart, Julio Jones, and Aaron Hernandez are now officially on the pay me no mind list.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

Notre Dame beat USC to remain undefeated and if Alabama can win the SEC Championship the two schools will meet in the BCS title game.  That's all my conscience will allow me to say on the subject.

Rest in peace Hector "Macho" Camacho.  As you might expect the cocky, arrogant, self confident, flashy, flamboyant boxer was one of my favorites growing up.  My deepest condolences to his family and I hope the people responsible for his death are brought to justice.

The San Diego Chargers let the Baltimore Ravens convert on 4th and 27 which ultimately resulted in a loss.  Don't head coaches and general managers typically get fired for this kind of thing?  Norv Turner and AJ Smith might want to consult a good realtor right about now.

The Charlotte Bobcats are 7-5 to start the season.  This comes as a surprise considering they were 7-59 last year and lost their last 23 games in a row.  I guess Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is better than we thought.   

Saturday, November 24, 2012


San Francisco vs. New Orleans

The Saints have fought their way back into the playoff picture and the 49ers have started playing musical chairs with their starting quarterback.  Colin Kaepernick had a good game against Chicago, but I question whether or not he has the tools to match the Saints offense point for point.  Drew Brees needs to have a big game to keep the Saints playoff hopes alive and my fantasy football teams clicking on all cylinders.

Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay

The Bucs have won 4 straight games, but their schedule has been very favorable with games against Carolina, San Diego, and Oakland.  Now they have to contend with the likes of the Falcons.  Atlanta has the best record in the NFC, but are not great against the run.  This game will be decided on the legs of Doug Martin.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Denver vs. Kansas City

For weeks I've been trying to give the Kansas City Chiefs the respect given to a formidable opponent, but now my feelings have changed.  The Kansas City Chiefs are doormats and any team with playoff aspirations should beat the snot piss out of these guys.  Look for Brady Quinn to turn the ball over MULTIPLE times.

Cincinnati vs. Oakland

Last year the Oakland Raiders gave Carson Palmer a call and asked him if he would like to be their starting quarterback.  He was laying on his couch at the time, but thanked the organization for the opportunity to get him out of Cincy.  In his first return since being traded from the Bengals Carson wants to stick it to the team that almost ruined his career.

Buffalo vs. Indianapolis

Buffalo is hoping to build on their win over Miami while the Colts are looking to rebound from their loss to New England.  Andrew Luck plays well at home so expect a rout in the Colts favor

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving B3TZ

Houston vs. Detroit

For a team that is considered a Super Bowl contender the Texans looked very average against Jacksonville last Sunday.  If Chad Henne and Justin Blackmon can have the best performances of their careers imagine what Matt Stafford and Megatron might do to them on Thanksgiving Day?

Washington vs. Dallas

I watched Dallas beat Cleveland in overtime and I wasn't impressed.  If Brandon Weedon could've kept his throws under 15 feet above his receiver's heads the game would've never been lose.  The Cowboys are not a good team and RGIII is dynamic.  He will outshine Tony Romo on Turkey Day.

New England vs. New York

In an effort to prove a point the upstart Indianapolis Colts last Sunday the Patriots ran up the score in victory.  The Pats scored 59 points, but lost the Gronk for 6 to 8 weeks in the process.  Is this karma at work?  The Jets aren't as bad as people think and this game could be closer than you expect.

2012 Apple Cup Preview

When I turned 40 last month I decided it was time to become a grown up.  I would give people the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity to acknowledge their faults and weaknesses.  In an effort to become a better person I extended an olive branch to Washington St. Cougar fans worldwide.  Before the Apple Cup on Friday I vowed not to post any painful truths about their football team if at least 10 people told me the UW was better than WSU.  I gave Cougar fans 24 hours to comply, but there was no response.  Now back to the regularly scheduled programming.

As Evelyn Lozada would say WSU football is a non-fu*king factor in the Pac 12.  The Mike Leach experiment has been a total disaster and his current players are a bunch of wussies.  Anytime you have a scholarship athlete quitting the program because the coaches don't talk nice to them you know your team is soft.  Truth be told I can't name a single player on WSU's pathetic roster.  And who cares anyway?  They've lost every game in the conference so why should I pay attention?

Then there's my beloved UW huskies, winners of 4 straight (make it 5 after Friday) and currently ranked in the AP top 25.  The Huskies had one of the toughest schedules in college football, but they will still end up with 8 wins after Friday.  The Cougars will end up 2-10.  Imagine what they could have done if they had Keith Price, Bishop Sankey, Shaq Thompson, Kasen Williams, and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins on their squad?

Let's be honest here.  It's hard to compete with a school that is the #4 public university in America, has the 10th best campus, and is located in a city with the nation's #1 economy.  It would be unrealistic to expect a school in Pullman, WA to have the resources to stay competitive.  Not bragging, just simply the truth.  Comparing the University of Washington to Washington St. is like comparing a diamond to a cubic Zirconia or a Bentley to a Chrysler 300.  They both serve the same function, but one has much higher value than the other.  The Apple Cup on Friday will be a blood bath, a beat down on the level of Vin Diesel vs. the Idaho thug in Knockaround Guys.

Don't get me wrong, I associate with Cougars.  Some of my best friends are Cougars.  I've even had some Cougars in my house before.  They're hard working, proud people.  It's not their fault they don't have access to a billionaire alumni association and top caliber football recruits.  The Cougars do the best they can with what they have.  To Cougar fans worldwide don't take the 2012 Apple Cup ass kicking personally.  It's only business.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


New York vs. New Orleans

The New York Knicks are off to a surprising 7-1 start despite the absence of Amare Stoudemire.  The New Orleans Hornets are trying to find a way to get rookie Anthony Davis involved on both sides of the court.  The Hornets are a work in progress so the Knicks should have no problem as long as Carmelo Anthony is on his game. and the team didn't drink too many hurricanes last night.  Burbuon Street and the French Quarters can be pretty entertaining after dark. 

Brooklyn vs. Los Angeles

I still not used to saying the Brooklyn Nets, but I'm getting better at it.  The Nets are much improved with the addition of Joe Johnson and seem to be getting acclimated to their new surroundings quite nicely.  Kobe and the Lakers have been playing inspired ball since the hoky Princeton offense is no longer a part of their system.  So long as Kobe gets to take lots of shots the Lakers should take care of business against Brooklyn. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Night Football B3TZ

Chicago vs. San Francisco

Without starting quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Alex Smith the Niners/Chicago game is going to be a field goal kicking contest.  Both teams will try to establish the running game while relying on their top tier defenses to win the field position battle.  If I look at the game through Seahawk colored lenses the Bears defense will capitalize on the rookie's mistakes and dominate on special teams.  If I listen to the experts it's difficult to win on the road with a back up quarterback and the Niners will do just enough to win.  I like my Seahawk shades better.  

Weekend Observations

My hopes of winning all 3 of my fantasy football league's came to a crashing halt this weekend.  In my hurt your feelings league I lost to the last place team for the 2nd time this season.  You can't win a chip doing stuff like that.  I'm now 2 games in back of 4 teams for the last playoff spot.  Not so good.  In my family league I'm up by 36, but we're currently in 10th place.  At least me and my dad crushed my uncle for a 2nd straight season and retain bragging rights for a year.  In my trash talking league I'm still moon walking over my opponents like Michael Jackson in his prime.  This is the league I will bring the hardware home for sure.

As for my B3TZ game?  I decided to give my opponents a glimmer of hope by letting someone other than myself win.  Now everybody has a false sense of hope the great Cleavie Wonder can be beaten at his own game.  It won't happen again, but last week's results gives players motivation and incentive.  Congrats to Paul Pruitt, Winston Tran, and Dazey Daily for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.  The number one spot will be reserved for me from here on out though.  Here are some observatiosn over the weekend.

SHANKAPOTIMUS reared its ugly head once again as Oregon's kicker missed a field goal in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal.  The Ducks now have little or no chance of playing for the national championship.  Kickers will ruin your life.

Notre Dame beat Wake Forest and if they beat USC on Saturday (without Matt Barkley) they will go undefeated for the season and play for the national championship.  I hope the cleaners can get this vomit off of my sweater.

GSP looked dominant in his win over Carlos Condit, but Carlos Condit is no Anderson Silva.  It's time for the superfight to happen so Silva can stake his claim as the greatest UFC fighter in history.

Tampa Bay and New Orleans have both climbed their way back into the playoff picture.  It is now imperative that the Seahawks take care of business against Miami on Sunday to maintain their lead in the wildcard race.  I'm not worried.

After Blaine Gabbert left the Jaguars/Texans game with an injury Chad Henne came off the bench to throw for 4 touchdowns while Justin Blackmon made 7 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown.  I think Gabbert will be holding a clipboard for a while.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Detroit vs. Green Bay

The Packers/Lions match up will look like a flag football game.  No one will be playing defense and every play will be a pass.  Neither team has a running game to speak of and pro bowl quarterbacks at the helm.  Might this game go over a combined 70 points?

Arizona vs. Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons had their dream of a perfect season come to an end last Sunday and they're not happy about it.  They have to take their frustrations out on someone and unfortunately that someone is the Arizona Cardinals.  After starting the season 4-0 the Cardinals have lost 5 in a rowand can't seem to stop the bleeding.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Royce White Dilemma

When the Houston Rockets selected Royce White in the 2012 NBA draft I knew it was going to be a feast or famine pick.  It would either be a huge success or an epic failure.  The Rockets were well aware that White suffered form an anxiety disorder and a fear of flying, but assured him they would create a healthy and proactive environment for his unique situation.  5 months later it appears the Rockets have lost patience.

Royce White missed Monday night's game against Miami and Tuesday's practice at the team's usual facilities.  Shortly thereafter the Rockets demoted him to the D-League.  Without ever playing a minute in the NBA Royce White's basketball career is at a crossroads.  Both sides claim they've given the other mutual respect and more than enough latitude to make the situation work, but the relationship seems permanently strained.

From the Rockets perspective they invested a high draft pick and millions of dollars on this this guy.  Anxiety disorder or no anxiety disorder it's not unreasonable to expect a professional basketball player to fly with the team when it's absolutely necessary.  Preferential treatment only goes so far when it becomes detrimental to the goals of an organization.

From White's perspective all he's asking for is a little consideration here or there.  He realizes he won't be able to take the bus to Portland, Miami, or Boston, but taking alternative transportation on shorter road trips (Los Angeles to Phoenix or New York to Philadelphia) shouldn't be a problem.  He was up front with his challenges and all he asked for was support in working through his issues.

I can't say anyone is to blame in this scenario.  Both sides have a legitimate claim, but the middle ground is hard to find.  Where is the compromise?  Is Royce White talented enough to be worth all the trouble?  Does the league need to step in and implement a new protocol for these special matters?  All I know is the Rockets took a gamble that I doubt will ever pay off and I hope Royce gets a 2nd chance to prove himself down the road.


Indianapolis vs. New England

In his rookie season Andrew Luck has the Indianapolis Colts in a position to make the playoffs.  Standing in their way are the New England Patriots who enjoy a comfortable 3 game lead in their division.  If the Colts want to continue their winning ways Luck will have to out duel Tom Brady.

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

Without Big Ben the Steelers have virtually no chance of beating the Baltimore Ravens.  That being said these two teams always play close games and are familiar with each other's tendencies.  Should be a blowout, but could it be a trap game?

San Diego vs. Denver

Peyton Manning's got his groove back and Phillip Rivers has lost his mojo.  This game is a match up of two teams going in the opposite direction.  Peyton should light up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hope And Jerramy

A few days ago my dad came in and told me Jerramy Stevens got arrested for beating up Hope Solo.  He went on to tell me the that after two months of courtship the two were supposed to get married.  I was shocked and stunned for about 2 seconds.  What the hell was Hope Solo doing with Jerramy Stevens?  What the hell was Jerramy Stevens doing with Hope Solo?  About 2 seconds later I realized they were the perfect match for each other.

The Solo/Stevens partnership is on par with Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, Russell Brand and Katy Perry, or Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada.  Two volatile, eccentric, expressive, passionate personalities attracted to one another for reasons the average person can't understand.  These type of relationships typically reach euphoric highs before violently crashing back down to earth.  They're exciting as hell, but not built to last very long.

Although I'm not a big reality TV fan I would love to see a show with Hope and Jerramy as the stars.  Two former UW athletes that reached the pinnacle of their respected sports?  Two loose cannons that might say or do anything at any given moment?  Two athletes with egos so large they have push up contests to see who gets to hold the remote?  It's not a matter of if something dramatic would happen but when.  There couldn't ever be a dull moment on a show with this much potential for mayhem and chaos.

The two reportedly got married shortly after Jerramy Stevens was released so we're on the clock as we speak.  I don't see this marriage going much past New Year's so pay attention!  If you blink for one second you might miss some one's window getting smashed, lacerations to the neck and face, or a condom wrapper found underneath a sofa cushion.  I don't usually get caught up in this kind of soap opera nonsense, but this should be fun.

Pac 12 B3TZ

Oregon vs. Stanford

After Alabama lost last week the Oregon Ducks no longer have to look over their shoulder and count on the BCS computer to do the right thing.  If they win out they will play for the national championship.  With 3 games left Stanford is the next opponent to become road kill.


In his 1st year as head coach Jim Mora has done a nice job of turning the program around.  They're headed in the right direction and the future looks bright.  That doesn't mean they can beat the Trojans however.  Matt Barkley, Silas Redd, and Marquis Lee are too much for the Bruins to handle.

Washington vs. Colorado

The Washington Huskies travel to Boulder to play the lowly Colorado Buffaloes.  The Husky offense is starting to click behind the running of Bishop Sankey.  5 weeks ago I was ready to throw him out with the bath water, but since then I've done a complete 180.  Bishop Sankey is good for 100 yards any day of the week and against a porous Colorado defense he might get 200.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



Philadelphia vs. Detroit

The Detroit Pistons are on their way to shattering the record of futility set by the Charlotte Bobcats last year.  The Pistons have started the season with 8 consecutive losses and show no signs of life.  Although the Sixers are without the services of Andrew Bynum for the foreseeable future they shouldn't need him to polish off Detroit at home.  If I was Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank I'd be looking for a good realtor right about now.

Miami vs. LA Clippers

The defending champs head to the west coast to face LA's other team, Lob City.  Both teams currently sit atop their respected division, but the Clippers have struggled at home posting a modest 3-2 record.  The Heat should have no problem with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin unless they partied too hard last night.  It is LA and they are the champs after all.  Never forget the small nuances of professional sports.


Tampa Bay vs. Carolina

The Bucs find themselves back in the playoff hunt thanks to my fantasy football hero Doug Martin.  Martin has rattled off some tremendous games as of late and Tampa Bay has won 3 in a row.They need Martin continue running the ball well so I can dominate in my trash talking league.

The Marlins Way

The Miami Marlins have agreed to a trade with the Toronto Blue jays that would send Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to the Jays for Yuel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, and some minor league prospects.  Earlier this year the Marlins dealt Hanley Ramirez and closer Heath Bell.  At the start of 2012 this team was supposed to contend for a division title.  What happened?

Simply put, the Marlins underachieved and decided to purge a quarter billion in salary money over the next 6 years.  Unlike the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers the Marlins don't have enormous TV contracts and additional streams of income to offset monetary losses.  They take their chances and if the experiment fails the shelve the plan and start from scratch.

This is not the first time the Marlins have adopted this philosophy.  In 1997 they went all in to win the World Series with stars like Kevin Brown, Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou, and Bobby Bonilla.  After they won the title they gutted the team citing payroll issues.  In 2003 the youngsters they acquired through various trades overachieved and won another World Series.  Again the Marlins couldn't afford to pay their budding superstars and flipped the roster.

This approach to personnel moves has to be hard on the fan base and players associated with the Marlins organization.  There is no opportunity to have an emotional tie to the guys on the roster.  As soon as you start to like someone they're shipped off to some other team and as soon as the team starts to produce at a high level the players change. 

The Marlins have been lucky in the past because their prospects develop into great players.  You can't always end up with all stars for all stars however.  Sooner or later they will regret not having the patience (or the money) to see things through.  Constantly rebuilding your team is the surest way to get fans to lose interest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday B3TZ

Duke vs. Kentucky

Tonight's basketball clash between Duke and Kentucky is old school vs. new school.  The Blue Devils return seniors Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry while the Wildcats simply reload with Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin.  We'll see if the player development team concept wins out over the one and done superstars.  At this point in the season I think maturity will go a long way.

Miami vs. Buffalo

The Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills have shown flashes of brilliance this season.  The problem is neither team has displayed any type of consistency.  For either team to win they will need big contributions from their running back.  If Reggie Bush can get into the open field it opens up the play action pass for Ryan Tannehill.  Likewise for Buffalo with CJ Spiller.  When he's catching passes out of the backfield the Bills are more explosive on offense.  Whichever back plays the best will win the game.

Why Mike D'Antoni Is Coaching The Lakers

Two weeks ago I predicted Phil Jackson would coach the Lakers this season.  After Mike Brown was fired and the Lakers front office targeted Phil as their number one choice to replace him my words seemed prophetic.  Then in a surprising turn of events the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni instead.  What happened?

This is purely speculation (I wasn't in the room when they were negotiating), but I think the Buss family resented Phil's popularity, influence, and potential power within the organization.  Magic Johnson openly campaigned for his return.  Kobe Bryant was euphoric about the possibility of running the triangle again.  The LA crowd chanted his name in unison.  All of these things played a part in their rationale.

I think Jim Buss was having what Bill Simmons refers to as a Commodus moment.  In the movie Gladiator Commodus was jealous of the love and admiration the people had for Maximus.  This situation is no different.  Jim Buss wants to be recognized as the guy who is responsible for the Lakers success.  It's hard to play second fiddle to the coach when you own the team.  Just ask Jerry Jones, Jerry Reinsdorf (Phil Jackson's former boss) or the late great George Steinbrenner. 

In addition, Phil Jackson sees himself as a demi god like King Xerxes in 300.  It wasn't enough the Lakers organization came to him for help, he wanted them on bended knee.  Instead of kneel before Zod it was kneel before Phil.  Kiss the ring (any of the 12 you wish), admit you were wrong, and give me a say in player personnel decisions because you've proven to be incompetent in the past.  Jim Buss wasn't willing to do all that.

The price of a championship is often larger than monetary salary compensation.  There's opening your checkbook then there's swallowing your pride.  Owners will typically do one or the other, but not both.  We all know Mike D'Antoni is not a better coach than Phil Jackson.  He is however a viable alternative since Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash  endorse him plus they don't have to say uncle.  The decision to pass on the winningest coach in the history of professional sports was personal.  It had nothing to do with who gives the team the best chance to win a championship.  If you can have the best why settle for almost as good?  Feelings.  Nothing more than feelings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday B3TZ

Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City

On paper the Monday night match up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs looks like a lopsided affair.  Pittsburgh is coming off an impressive victory against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants while Kansas City is on a 5 game losing streak.  Pittsburgh needs to keep pace with the Ravens so I doubt they will let this one slip away.  Stat of the day:  Kansas City hasn't led in a game during regulation at any point this season.  Not one second.

OKC vs. Detroit

The last time these two teams met on Friday the Thunder won by 11 points at home.  Although this game is at The Palace in Auburn Hills the Pistons are winless on the season and I don't think they got any better over the weekend.  OKC has won four in a row and tonight should make it five.  The Pistons are men with pride and preofessional athletes so I guess anything is possible, but I wouldn't count on it.

Weekend Observations

My fantasy football fortunes took a turn for the worse this weekend.  In my hurt your feelings league I lost by 21, but get this.  I started Eric Decker instead of Torrey Smith and I forgot to start the Dallas defense against Philly.  I'm one game out of the playoffs right now because of mental errors.  In my family league Megatron and Tony Gonzalez played way over their heads sending me to my 3rd consecutive loss.  My dad is hella pissed and may elect to make a GM change at the end of the season.  Fortunately I'm still the king of my trash talking league.  I'm up by 35 and my opponent has Jonathan Dwyer going tonight.  I feel pretty safe with that one. 

The new segment of my weekend observations is the Cleavie Wonder Platinum Picks review.  Thanks to all the participants who made the inaugural first week a wonderful success.  There was more action and competition than I anticipated.  Someone actually tied me for 1st place this week.  This is a shock considering I'm a sports genius and I choose the wagers for crying out loud!  Congrats to Dazey Daily for giving me a run for my money.  Looks like Ryan Roberson and Dmitri Marykanov will also be formidable foes during B3TZ wagers.  Should be fun to watch and compete in the future as the game gains popularity.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

The 206 double dip was in full effect this weekend.  The Huskies handled Utah with relative ease and the Seahawks made Mark Sanchez look like a CFL quarterback.  Beating a New York team is always a big deal because everyone is watching.  Maybe now the team from South Alaska will get some national respect.

The Legend of Johnny football has taken on a life of its own after the Aggies went down to Tuscaloosa and beat the undefeated Crimson Tide.  NOBODY beats Alabama at home much less a team with a freshmen at quarterback.  Guess Nick Saban isn't perfect after all.

The Los Angeles Lakers front office picked Mike D'Antoni over Phil Jackson to coach the team going forward.  I think it's a mistake, but I understand why they did it.  More on this tomorrow.

SHANKAPOTIMUS reared its ugly head twice in the San Francisco/St. Louis game.  Both kickers missed a field goal in overtime and the game ended in a 24-24 tie.  This game will come back to haunt both teams.  Kickers will ruin your life!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans

If you look at the standings the Bears/Texans game could be a preview of the Super Bowl.  Chicago has been playing well behind an opportunistic defense that has scored a touchdown in every game.  Houston has a balanced offense with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson.  The Texans also possess a top 5 defense so the game should be low scoring.

Dallas vs. Philadelphia

This is a battle of sinking ships on a collision course for disaster.  The loser of this game will not make the playoffs.  The losing team will also undergo a major change in personnel and coaching.  As far as the game?  The Eagles have no offensive line and the Cowboys don't travel well.  I suspect a mistake prone contest.

Friday, November 9, 2012

College Football B3TZ

LSU vs. Mississippi St.

Les Miles took a lot of heat for his play calling in last week's loss against Alabama.  After the loss LSU is no longer a national championship contender.  They have to take their pain and frustration out on someone and that someone is Mississippi St.  The Bulldogs started the season 7-0, but have lost their last two games to ranked opponents by an average of 28 points.  Death Valley is not the place to try and turn their fortunes around.

Washington vs. Utah

Washington won a turnover fest against Cal last week, but something positive came out of that victory.  The offensive coordinator finally realized the Huskies have the best tight end in the country and good things happen when you throw him the ball.  If Austin Sefarian-Jenkins gets his touches, Bishop Sankey runs the ball well, and the receivers don't drop touchdowns this thing could get ugly.

Oregon vs Cal

Oregon will play the role of Maximus against Cal this weekend.  It's not a matter of if they will win the game, but haw creative and dominant they will look doing it.  I don't anticipate the starters playing much in the 4th quarter.

Will Oregon Win The National Championship?

Although Oregon is currently ranked #3 in the BCS standings Duck fans and various experts will argue the team from Eugene should be ranked #1.  Oregon scores 54.3 points a game and beats their opponents by an average margin of 31.2.  Kenjon Barner is a Heisman front runner, DeAnthony Thomas is a highlight reel waiting to happen, and Marcus Mariota is a natural for their offensive system.  With that kind of talent it should be a no brainer right?

Wrong.  The Ducks have issues that will keep them from winning the national championship.  First off, head coach Chip Kelly is a smug, arrogant man that thinks too highly of himself.  He reminds me of Mike Martz in the sense he'll out think himself by getting too cute with the play calling and his overconfidence betrays him at times. 

Secondly, The Ducks may not win out to get to the national championship game.  Stanford and Oregon St. won't just lie down for those guys.  Then there's the inaugural Pac 12 championship game to get past.  It's tough to beat a team twice in your own division.

Lastly, it's all fun and games until you play against a physical SEC team that can run the ball down your throat.  Oregon was in the same position a few years back when they met up with Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers.  Auburn slowed the game down and took advantage of the lengthy TV timeouts to catch their breath and substitute players.  That game turned Nick Fairley into a millionaire and perpetuated the myth Pac 12 football is overrated.

Best case scenario Oregon faces an undefeated Notre Dame for the national championship and routs them 74-7.  Worst case scenario Oregon faces Alabama and loses 26-19 and the nation continues to disrespect Pac 12 football.  Either way it will be interesting to see what transpires.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Should The Mariners Pursue Josh Hamilton?

On Saturday 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton will test the free agent market.  The Texas Rangers center fielder has put up big power numbers over the last 3 seasons and is considered one of the elite home run hitters in baseball.  There has been speculation Hamilton is asking for a 7 year deal in excess of $170,000,000.  Although Texas is probably his first choice he may have to go elsewhere to receive that kind of compensation.

One logical destination is the Seattle Mariners.  The Mariners have been desperately looking for a power hitter for several years now.  Home run hitters have been reluctant to sign a free agent deal with Seattle because of the difficulties hitting at Safeco field.  There are plans to move the fences in next season so the power numbers should increase dramatically. 

The problem with agreeing with Hamilton's demands are his age and personal issues.  It has been well documented that Josh Hamilton has a history of substance abuse that makes him a risk for any organization.  In addition, he is 31 years old meaning he'll be pushing 40 by the end of the contract.  The recent decline of Alex Rodriguez has owners leery of giving such a large sum of money to a player not in his mid 20's.

If Josh Hamilton came down a few years and a few dollars several teams would be much more interested in his services, but if he doesn't the list of suitors will be short.  Seattle is one of the few teams with a relatively low payroll and a glaring need at the position.  It will be interesting to see if the Nintendo guys step in and make him an offer he can't refuse.  Sure would be nice for Mariner fans.


Dallas vs. New York

The Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks are off to an impressive start despite the absence of their key players.  Dirk Nowitzki and Amare Stoudemire are both currently sidelined with injuries.  The Mavericks are getting great play from OJ Mayo while the Knicks are relying on silky smooth Carmelo Anthony to carry the load.  Which one of these teams will come up victorious on Friday?

Golden State vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Currently the Golden State Warriors are two games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division.  This is quite a shock given the assemblage of talent in LA this summer.  Klay Thompson is coming into his own at shooting guard since the departure of Monta Ellis and Steph Curry has managed to remain healthy so far.  The Lakers will need a big game out from Dwight Howard if they intend to win their 2nd game of the season on Friday.

OKC vs. Detroit

The OKC Thunder are off to a slow start since trading James Harden, but unfortunately the Detroit Pistons come to town on Friday.  The Pistons have yet to win a game this season and playing the defending Western conference champs is not a solution to this problem.  This game could get ugly.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is Seattle A Basketball Hotbed?

At some point when I'm watching an NBA game on TNT this season analyst Kenny Smith will make a comment about how many hoopers come out of New York.  Inevitably someone will chime in talking about how Chicago has more talent then someone from Detroit, DC, and LA.  I definitely have respect for those cities and the players they've sent to the league, but as I check the current NBA rosters the 206 is well represented.

At present 14 players hail from South Alaska.  Avery Bradley, Jason Terry (Boston), Spencer Hawes (Philadelphia), Nate Robinson (Chicago), Rodney Stuckey (Detroit), Martell Webster (Washington), Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers), Isaiah Thomas, Aaron Brooks (Sacramento), Tony Wroten Jr (Memphis), Will Conroy, Luke Ridnour, Brandon Roy (Minnesota), and Marvin Williams (Utah).  Given the size of the area and the geographic distance from other big cities that's pretty impressive.

The list doesn't have a lot of superstars however.  Only Brandon Roy has been a perennial all star (before his injury) and only Jason Terry has won a championship.  The list is also surprisingly guard oriented with ten players that can run the point.  Perhaps Isaiah Thomas can turn the corner and it's still too early to tell about Tony Wroten Jr., but for the most part 206 hoopers are journeyman guys that can come off the bench and add a spark when needed.

As a native of South Alaska I can't put my finger on why the area turns out so many NBA caliber players.  Is it because it rains all the time so guys stay indoors and work on their game?  Is it because crime is relatively low and young men aren't lost to the streets as often?  Is it because 206 natives eat more seafood and drink water from the tap?  Whatever the case may be those players have definitely made an impact on the league.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Observations

My fantasy football skills are beginning to scare me.  I'm light years ahead of my opponents right now.  I'm talking Jedi Master, 36th chamber type of dominance.  In my trash talking league I've doubled my opponents score for the 2nd consecutive week and Doug Martin is officially on my Christmas card list.  In my hurt your feelings league I'm up by a cool 40 points and in my family league I spotted my opponent 36 points.  I've done all this AND THE BREESY HASN'T EVEN TAKEN THE FIELD YET!  If the Breesy does what the Breesy is capable of I may set a new standard that won't be surpassed for decades.  Kudos to my fantasy genius.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

The 206 double dip puts everyone in a happy mood.  The Huskies survived a turnover fest in Berkley and the Seahawks survived the freight train better known as Adrian Peterson.  Playoff dreams and bowl game wishes remain intact.

SHANKAPOTIMUS let Notre Dame off the hook and the Irish are still undefeated.  That's all I'm going to say on this matter.

14 year old Guan Tianlang qualified for the Masters with his win at the Asia-Pacific Championships in Thailand.  Shouldn't he stay in school and get his education?

The NFL voided the contract of Sean Payton and now he's a free agent.  I think it would be better if he remained with the Saints, but it will be hard to resist all the money Jerry Jones is going to throw at him.  He'll make it rain on Payton like a stripper at the Spearmint Rhino.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Philadelphia At New Orleans

    In recent weeks there has been speculation that Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick  is in jeopardy of losing his starting job.  Vick has been turnover prone and the Eagles have struggled offensively.  If they want to slow down the Saints they will need to win the time of possession battle and do a better job of protecting the ball.  That means LeSean McCoy should get more carries which gives Drew Brees less opportunities to score.  If the Eagles fall behind early however Michael Vick may be forced to throw more than he wants.  If Vick gets into a shoot out with Brees the Eagles will probably lose and Vick will get benched. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Return Of Young Sam Rothstein

Right now Young Sam Rothstein is on what we refer to in the sportsbook world as a "hot streak."  It's almost like Vegas wants to give me money.  Have you ever seen the movie They Live where you can only see the truth when you're wearing special glasses?  That's me right now.  I'm wearing the Rowdy Roddy Piper special glasses and the sportsbook is totally transparent.  I see the future in a present tense.  These picks I'm about to give you are GOLDEN NUGGETS OF KNOWLEDGE!  Cash them in and change your life.


Seattle -2 1/2 over Minnesota.  The Seahawks defense gave up 28 points last week, but that was on the road against Matthew Stafford.  Christian Ponder is no Matthew Stafford.  Look for the Hawks defense to bounce back and the 12th man to roar like Aslan.  Hawks by at least a field goal.

Green Bay -10 1/2 over Arizona.  This is the week where the fairy tale officially comes to an end.  Back to life, back to reality for the Cardinals.  They are who we thought they were.  Aaron Rodgers might throw for 400.


Miami -5 1/2 over New York.  You hate to take advantage of a situation caused by a natural disaster, but the Knicks players have to be distracted by Hurricane Sandy.  Without Amare Stoudemire in the line up the Heat will cruise to victory.

Los Angeles Clippers -1 over Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers will lose their 3rd game in a row and Mike Brown will need an armed escort to get to his car.  Phil Jackson is getting his suits out of the cleaners as we speak.

College Football:

USC +7 1/2 over Oregon.  We know the Ducks can score points, but can they stop anybody?  The Trojans have the fire power to give Oregon problems.  I still think the Ducks will win, but take the points.

UW +3 1/2 over Cal.  This is a homer pick, but there's some logic behind it.  Cal will be without their star wide receiver Keenan Allen and the Huskies have insider information on the Bears from their assistant coaches.  Even if they lose (which they won't) it would be by a field goal or less.

Starting next week the Cleavie Wonder site will be collaborating with  The site will have daily wagers for contestants to earn points that can be redeemed for prizes.  The wagers will combine the knowledge of Young Sam Rothstein with the insight of Cleavie Wonder.  Just another excuse to talk trash and compete with my friends, family, fans, and followers.  Should be fun.  Start playing Monday and let me know what you think.  Remember I'm always open to suggestions and new ideas.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

5 Reasons Phil Jackson Will Coach The Lakers This Season

I know it's only two games into the season, but so what?  It's not too early for Laker Nation to panic.  The Lakers were embarrassed by a Dallas Maverick team that didn't have the services of Dirk Nowitzki or Chris Kaman.  Steve Nash (who averages 17 points and nine assist per game) was held to 7 points and 4 assists.  Dwight Howard went 3 for 14 from the free throw line and Metta World Peace 1 for 8 from the field.  Then they let Portland run roughshod over them last night.  The newly implemented Princeton offense is not yielding the desired results and the defense looks out of sync.  The easy solution is to bring back the Zen master and his triangle offense back to LA to restore order from all this chaos.  11 championships in 13 NBA finals is enough evidence he can get the job done.  Here are 5 reasons Phil Jackson will coach the Lakers this season.

1.  Ego.  Clearly Phil Jackson's accomplishments speak for themselves, but winning championships never gets old and he misses the game.  Jackson expressed an interest in returning to coaching last season and had serious talks with the Orlando Magic.  Now that his health issues are behind him and his battery is recharged he would relish the opportunity to make another title run.

2.  Kobe Bryant.  Truth be told Phil Jackson is the only coach Kobe Bryant really listens to.  If you watch the interaction between Kobe and Mike Brown the conversations go in one ear and out the other.  The Black Mamba realistically only has 3 years left and Phil Jackson is the perfect coach to end his career with.  The triangle offense is where Bryant has found the most success.

3.  The Buss Family.  Dr. Jerry Buss is not a big fan of losing.  Jim Buss doesn't want to be the guy who gets the keys to his father's Bentley then drives it off the side of the road.  Jeanie Buss has a certain amount of influence over the Zen master.  Put all those things together and you have a recipe for Phil's return.

4.  Mike Brown.  Fro the very beginning Mike Brown has had the look of a deer in the headlights.  The players treat him like a substitute teacher and Laker fans show him the same level of respect as Rodney Dangerfield.  Now that the Lakers have added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to the l=mix the level of expectation is more than he can handle.

5.  Championship aspiration.  The Los Angeles Lakers are built to win now and there's no margin for error.  There's no time to experiment with new ideas when your best players only have a few years left.  Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have played 16 seasons, Metta World Peace 13, and Pau Gasol 11 (not counting his professional career in Spain).  If they don't win a championship in the next two years chances are it will be a long time before they raise the trophy again at the Staples Center.

Here is a link to this story on Bleacher Report.  Laker Nation is definitely chiming in on this one.