Saturday, December 29, 2012

Southern B3TZ

New Orleans vs. Charlotte

Charlotte Bobcats go into tonight's game against the New Orleans Hornets on a tremendous losing streak.  After starting the season 7-5 Charlotte has lost 17 games in a row.  Fortunately for the Bobcats New Orleans hasn't fared much better losing 14 of their last 16 games.  Someone has to win however and I think the Hornets will pull out a close one.

Denver vs. Memphis

The Denver Nuggets have won 7 of their last 10 games and currently have a better record than the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Griz are 2 1/2 games behind San Antonio in the Southwest conference, but the tandem of Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph has been difficult for teams to handle.  The Nuggets don't play great defense so look for Memphis to take advantage.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Texas B3TZ

Dallas vs. Denver

When the Dallas Mavericks take on the Denver Nuggets tonight I assume they will be playing on tired legs.  The Mavs gave the defending Western conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder all they could handle last night in an overtime loss, but with a back to back game against a young Denver Nugget team it will be a difficult task to come out with a victory.  If they can keep it close they have a chance, but it could get out of hand early.

>Houston vs. San Antonio

The Houston Rockets are on a 5 game winning streak as they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs.  So far this season James Harden has embraced his role as the go to guy averaging 25 points a game.  The same can't be said for Jeremy Lin however who has struggled running the point on a full time basis.  11 points and 6 assist per game is not what the Rockets expected when they signed him in free agency.  He will need to have a good game for the Rockets to have a shot tonight. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Richard Sherman Wins Appeal

Thank goodness for the American judicial process.  In a shocking turn of events Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will not face a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.  it appears the methods used to obtain his urine sample were less than professional and the case has been thrown out.  I guess we can refer to this as the Ryan Braun rule.  Regardless of what people think happened Richard Sherman is available for the playoffs.  What does this mean for the rest of the NFC?

Pestilence, famine, destruction, and death.  No one in their right mind wants to play the Seahawks right now.  This team is playing at a high level in all phases of the game.  They've managed to stay relatively healthy and the offense continues to get better every week.  Now that the Hawks are assured of having both of their starting cornerbacks available for the playoffs (Brandon Browner is eligible after the St. Louis game) the Super Bowl is a realistic expectation.

I'm not just saying this because I'm drunk off the Pete Carroll kool aid (which I am).  With the exception of Atlanta and Washington (if they win against Dallas) the Seahawks have beaten every team that made the playoffs.  There is no dominant team in the NFC and Seattle is riding a tremendous wave of momentum.

The biggest question surrounding the squad is their ability to win on the road.  The 12th man has provided a huge advantage all season long and the Seahawks have a losing record away from Century Link Field.  That being said playoff wins on the road aren't nearly as difficult to come by as they were in the past.  A strong running game, a stellar defense, and a "special" quarterback should be enough to get the job done.  Now that Richard Sherman isn't going anywhere the Seahawks have no weaknesses.  Wouldn't you agree?


Oklahoma City vs. Dallas

The Oklahoma City Thunder look to get back on track tonight against the Dallas Mavericks.  After dropping two straight games (including a loss to Miami on Christmas Day) the Thunder now trail the Los Angeles Clippers for the best record in the Western conference.  The Mavericks are slowly working Dirk Nowitzki back into the line up, but so far the results have been mixed.  The Thunder should roll in this game.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Boston

The Los Angeles Clippers haven't lost a game in the month of December.  That's not good news for the Boston Celtics traveling across the country.  If you factor in the holidays, the jet lag, and Boston's record over the last 10 games (5-5) I can't see how this game could be close.  To make matters worse Blake "The Barbarian" Griffin is starting to develop a jump shot.  The Clippers might be for real.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Top 5 Christmas Songs

As an extra bonus and a personal favor for a friend of mine I've put together a list of my top 5 Christmas songs.  Although most of you may find me somewhat predictable I'm sure this list will throw you for a loop.

5.  Christmas in Hollis.  You know I had to have the Run DMC on this list.  Just wouldn't be Christmas season if I didn't hear this at least 6 times.

4.  Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.  Doesn't really matter which version I hear.  I just like that the kid finally got his shot and he made the most of it.  Way to go Rudolph!

3.  Santa Claus is coming to town.  For my money it's gotta be the Michael Jackson version.  He sounds so excited about the thought of the bearded one coming to his house to drop off gifts. 

2.  This Christmas.  I've heard several different renditions over the years, but none of them comes close to the Donny Hathaway original.  It's not officially Christmas season until I hear this song.

1.  Santa Baby.  Did Eartha Kitt really try to seduce Santa Claus?  She did and quite effectively I must say.  She had the nerve to ask for a mink coat, a convertible, and a diamond ring.  I wonder what cat woman did to deserve all that!

Weekend Observations

The fantasy football season is officially over and I will have to settle for 3rd place thanks in part to a stellar game from Marshawn "Beastmode" Lynch.  Not only did he catch a touchdown pass he played the entire game and rushed for 111 yards.  It also helped that the 3 players that combined for a mere 4 points last week came up with 41 yesterday.  I guess timing is everything in this business.  As for my B3TZ game?  Somehow my NFC West B3TZ did not get calculated correctly and the outcome was awarded without those wagers.  D.J. Tang, Alex Desmarais, and myself all tied for the most points, but D.J. and Alex had better winning percentages so they take 1st and 2nd place respectively.  Ordinarily I would protest this kind of thing, but since it's my game I'll be the bigger person about it and wait until next week.  The new game starts on Wednesday.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

After thrashing the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday the Seattle Seahawks are officially the best team in the NFL.  I used reverse psychology on the 49ers fans so they would get overconfident.  It worked much better than I anticipated.  With the maturation of Russell Wilson and the possibility Richard Sherman might actually win his appeal there's no reason to believe the Hawks won't be in the Super Bowl THIS YEAR! 

The Washington Huskies fell victim to SHANKAPOTIMUS once again and lost a meaningless bowl game to Boise St.  Although coach Sark seems to feel good about his team next year I'm not so sure he'll be around to see his plans come to fruition.  Alumni is super pissed right now.

With Steve Nash in the line up the Lakers scored a season high 118 points.  They also gave up 115.  Not sure this D'Antoni experiment is going in the right direction. 

The Madden curse is no longer.  Calvin "Megatron" Johnson (this year's cover guy) broke Jerry Rice's single season yards receiving mark and there's still one game left to be played.  Too bad he did it on a team that has only won 4 games. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Seattle vs. San Francisco

Everyone in Seattle was hoping Sunday's game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers would be for the division title, but you can't always get what you want.  If the Seahawks win however they will make the playoffs.  The two teams clearly don't like each other and would love nothing more than to beat each other's brains out.  The 49ers have made a change at quarterback since the last meeting and Russell Wilson is twice the player he was in week 5.  Look for the Hawks to squeak out a win at home.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Washington vs. Boise St.

The University of Washington will try to rebound from a bitter defeat in the Apple cup when the Huskies take on Boise St. in the MAACO Bowl.  The Broncos have only lost 4 games in the past 3 seasons and are currently ranked #19 in the nation.  Unlike in years past this Bronco team relies on defense to win games.  The Huskies will need to establish the running game with Bishop Sankey if they're going to have a chance on Saturday.  Hopefully Keith Price shows up with a big game as well.

Is Sark On The Hot Seat?

When you're playing in a bowl game 10 days before New Years your season clearly wasn't a success.  Unless your a  mediocre program satisfied with a non losing season December 22nd is not the day you want to play the final game of the year.  That's the situation the Washington Huskies find themselves in when they take on the Boise St. Broncos Saturday in the MAACO Bowl.  The Huskies lost a lot of credibility and their positive momentum came to a screeching halt with the loss to WSU.  Now rumors are swirling about the job security of coach Steve Sarkisian.  Is coach Sark on the hot seat?

If alumni support is any indication the seat is getting warm.  No one seems to care about the stupid Las Vegas Bowl.  I haven't had a single person call me to ask where I was watching the game nor tell me they were attending the game live.  Usually any excuse to go to Vegas is a good one, but die hard Husky fans are disappointed.  If this is the best Sark can do maybe it's time to start looking in a different direction.

Right now top in state recruits have the Huskies on the pay me no mind list.  Max Browne (the high school player of the year) is on his way to become a Trojan.  Marcus Griffin (top 5 defensive tackle in the country) won't even return their phone calls.  Who would want to play for a school that continues to over promise and under deliver?  If I were a top recruit USC, Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA would all sound like better programs to be a part of than the UW.

Truth be told I'm a little apprehensive about watching the game.  It seems like a trap the Huskies will easily fall victim to.  There's a lot to lose and very little to gain.  If the Huskies win they were supposed to.  If they lose it gives teams like Oregon St. and Arizona a chance to leap frog them in the Pac 12.  Either ways it goes the season was a disaster and winning some lame ass bowl game isn't going to change that.  Watch your back Sark.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tiger B3TZ

Carolina vs. Oakland

The Carolina Panthers and the Oakland Raiders have both had disappointing seasons.  The Panthers had Super Bowl aspirations once upon a time while the Raiders expected to make the playoffs behind Carson Palmer.  Now both teams are just evaluating talent and thinking about improvements they can make for next season.  Look for Cam Newton to show he's still an elite quarterback.

New England vs. Jacksonville

After Sunday night's loss to the 49ers the New England Patriots need a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  They are a game behind the Denver Broncos for a first round bye and the Broncos finish the season at home against Cleveland and Kansas City.  Ouch.  Doesn't look likely, but the Jags will be the team they take their frustrations out on.

Cincinnati vs Pittsburgh

The Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a dog fight for the final playoff spot in the AFC.  Traditionally the Steelers are the team looking down on everyone, but this year the Bengals have the upper hand.  If they win they're in, but if they lose and Pittsburgh wins their last two games they're out.  To say this game is important is a mild understatement.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

California B3TZ

Golden State vs. Sacramento

The Golden State Warriors will face the Sacramento Kings tonight only 1 1/2 games out of first place in the Pacific division.  The Warriors have won 8 of their last 10 games including victories over Miami and Brooklyn.  The Kings have lost 7 of their last 10 with no end in sight.  The Warriors will take care of business and Sacramento will roll over like a bunch of rovers.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans

The Los Angles Clippers have the 2nd best record in the Western conference and are undefeated in the month of December.  Chris Paul has LA playing at a high level with his ability to run the team and keep everyone involved.  The Hornet have been hit with a trash of injuries so understandably their season has been a little inconsistent.  Look for the Clippers to cruise past these guys.

Diary Of A Sore Loser

Some of you may recall my tirade Monday with regards to the way my fantasy football season ended.  I was bitter, angry, disgusted, and full of hate.  Things haven't changed much since then, but I've calmed down enough to talk about it.  It took awhile for the hysterical blindness to wear off.  Here is a recap of the sequence of events that led to my meltdown.

All season long I've been kicking ass and taking names in my trash talking league and along the way I haven't been shy about expressing my greatness or belittling my opponents.  My dominance earned me a first round playoff bye and I felt confident my team was in position to win the championship.  There were no major injuries to speak of so I had no reason to believe things wouldn't go according to plan.

In the semis I squared off against my arch nemesis, and irritant who always tries to claim he's better than me (As if that were possible) and stirs the pot more than the rest of the league.  I couldn't think of a better opponent to beat the snot piss out of on the way to the title.  On paper it looked like a close match up (The computer had me winning by 2 points), but I felt I made the necessary adjustments to claim victory.  I had belief in my players because I knew what they were capable of.

I had Doug E Fresh Martin and Marshawn "Beastmode" Lynch in the backfield followed up by Demaryius Thomas, Randall Cobb, and Reggie Wayne.  My special teams looked good with Justin Tucker and Houston's defense and of course I had The Breesy to anchor my squad.  Solid.

My dumb ass opponent had some heavy home run hitters too.  Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles were in the backfield, Marques Colston, Roddy White, and TY Hilton at the receivers, and Dan Bailey and Detroit's defense.  His closer however was Tom Brady.

I got off to a sluggish start Sunday morning.  The Breesy took care of business, but Reggie Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, and Doug Martin combined for a lousy 4 points.  Adrian Peterson ended up with 7 times that amount by himself.  To make matters worse the Seahawks hit the half century mark again so Beastmode didn't even play in the 4th quarter.

On the flipside TY Hilton and Dan Bailey overachieved while Colston, White, and Charles sucked combining for a mere 9 points.  Detroit's defense couldn't take advantage of a depleted Cardinals team so their contribution was minimal.  Going into the Sunday night game things were swinging back in my favor.

When I left Canada the 49ers were beating the Patriots 31-3 midway through the 3rd quarter and I started drafting my victory speech.  As I passed the border my phone started blowing up.  Ordinarily that wouldn't bother me, but when you're dealing with a bunch of trash talkers like this league has I knew something was wrong.  Silence is an indication of success in the fantasy world.  27 text messages is people talking sh*t. 

Because I'm overly superstitious I didn't read or respond to the messages.  I didn't check my phone for scores and I didn't turn the game on the radio.  I chose to discover my fate when I got home.  As I arrived and turned on the TV my stomach fell to the floor.  Somehow a 31-3 game ended up 41-34.  Tom Brady decided to play hero ball in the last 18 minutes scoring 20 points and just like that my season was over.  I lost by 7 points.

I looked at my team to see what I could have done to generate a different outcome and guess what?  I had Steven Hauschka on my bench!  He scored 14 points!  If I'd started him instead of scrub ass Tucker I 'd be in the championship right now!  One miscalculation!  One quarterback with too much pride!  3 pro bowlers that gave me 1,1, and 2 points!  Because of this I have to go an entire year with a bitter taste in my mouth!

3 days later I'm still not humble enough to admit defeat.  This is not my fault.  Who knew Baltimore's offense could actually get worse?  Who knew the Seahawks would become this unstoppable offensive juggernaut ON THE ROAD?  Who knew the league's 5th leading rusher would gain only 16 yards?  I won't shake my opponents hand or tell him congratulations because he doesn't deserve it.  It took a bunch of fluke, random occurrences to beat me.  He's not straight up better than me.  I'm not saying he cheated, but the outcome is more about what my team didn't do as opposed to what his team did.

I'll take this offseason to reflect on the past year and see if I have the fire and passion to play fantasy football next year.  This season really took it out of me emotionally and psychologically.  I can't imagine what real owners go through when their team comes up short.  At least I didn't have to shell out millions of dollars to players that went MIA at the wrong time. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kevin Love B3TZ

Minnesota vs. Miami

When the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Miami Heat tonight all eyes will be on the match up between Kevin Love and LeBron James.  Love has been consistent in his return from injury averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds while LeBron has maintained a steady 25 points and 8 rebounds.  It will be interesting to see how Love responds to the disparaging remarks made by the Timberwolves front office.  The owner and general manager recently dared him to leave in free agency and claimed he wasn't a superstar.  I'm sure the comments will motivate him, but not enough to beat the Heat at home.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Weekend Observations

The 2012 fantasy football seasons are finished for Cleavie Wonder and dare I say I couldn't be more disappointed.  14 weeks of trash talking down the drain.  The cute metaphors, instigating, personal jabs, and bold predictions were all for not thanks to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Midway through the 3rd quarter of last night's game I had it on cruise control when out of nowhere Brady decides to try and be a hero.  Instead of coasting to victory I ended up looking like one of those long distance runners that collapses 20 yards from the finish line only to get passed up by some scrub who was half a lap behind.  To make matters worse Brady didn't even win the game causing me to lose a wager to a 49ers fan.  I'm so disgusted I can't even see straight.  More on this tomorrow.

As for my B3TZ game?  Congrats to DJ Tang, Alex Desmarais, and Winston Tran for coming in 1st 2nd, and 3rd respectively.  My lack of concentration and attention to detail was my undoing last week.  I could get more specific as to why I came up short, but until I win AT MY OWN GAME excuses and explanations sound hollow.  If I don't with this week I'll stop listening to Jay-Z for a year (and you know I don't want to do that).  Here are some observations over the weekend.


THE LONE BRIGHT SPOT in my catastrophic weekend was the dominant play of the Seattle Seahawks.  It has become pretty evident that the read option is the most devastating play the Hawks have come up with since Shaun Alexander pitch left in 2006.  Russell runs it to perfection.  50 points 2 games in a row is nothing to sneeze at and Seattle seems to be peaking at just the right time.  Too bad this Sunday night's game against the 49ers couldn't be more meaningful.  DAMN PATRIOTS!

On Saturday Butler proved once again it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog as they toppled #1 ranked Indiana.  I thought the Hoosiers were a little overrated.  Cody Zeller got a lot of hype as the preseason player of the year, but if he's the best college basketball has to offer the NBA lottery teams are in big trouble.

The Toronto Blue Jays signed CY Young winner R.A. Dickey to a 2 year $25,000,000 contract.  This is after trading for Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle.  Can someone tell me where Toronto is getting the monopoly money to pay these guys?  I just don't see it in the budget.  Unless you play in New York, LA, or Chicago it's hard to spend like those teams.  They should have learned from the mistakes the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies made recently.

With 2 games left Adrian Peterson is 294 yards shy of breaking the single season rushing record held by the great Eric Dickerson.  Ordinarily I don't root for modern day athletes to break the records of my childhood idols, but in this case I could live with it.  Good luck to you bro.

Monday Night Football B3TZ

 New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans

Tonight's game between the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans is a match up featuring underachieving quarterbacks.  Mark Sanchez hasn't responded well to the addition of Tim Tebow and Jake Locker has not progressed as a passer this season.  Throw in the fact Chris Johnson is having another sub par year (especially in fantasy points) and this game is barely watchable.  The Jets will win (they still have a chance to make the playoffs), but it will be an ugly game.

Friday, December 14, 2012


San Francisco vs. New England

When the San Francisco 49ers take on the New England Patriots this weekend they will have their work cut out for them.  New England is virtually unbeatable at home in December and a first round playoff bye is still up for grabs.  Tom Brady is looking like a surgeon on the field right now and even without the Gronk the Patriots offense is putting up sick numbers.  If (when) the 49ers lose this game it won't get any easier for them when they head to Seattle the following week.  I see the division title slipping away.

Denver vs. Baltimore

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos head to Baltimore this weekend and face a Ravens team in disarray.  The Raven fired their offensive coordinator a few days ago and must come up with a game plan that keeps the Broncos off the field.  That's easier said than done this year.  Denver has the #4 rated offense and Peyton Manning is a front runner for MVP of the league.  I think he might get his 5th this year.

New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

The New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all but out of the playoff race, but this game is still meaningful.  For those of you (like me) that are in the playoffs in fantasy football Doug Martin and Drew Brees need to have big games.  I'll be honest, I don't really care who wins this contest so long as the Breesy throws a ton of touchdowns and Doug Martin runs all over the place.  The Saints should win a close one though.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Triumphant Return Of Josh Brown

It takes a lot of discipline and belief to stay mentally and physically ready to play professional sports after you've been waived, released, or cut.  You have to prepare as if someone is going to call you at a moments notice even if the phone doesn't ring for days, weeks, or months.  Friends and family try to keep you positive, but in the back of your mind you wonder if you'll even get a second chance.  You watch to see who's under performing.  You watch to see who gets suspended.  You watch to see who gets hurt.

Former all pro kicker Josh Brown found himself in this position just a few weeks ago when the Cincinnati Bengals came calling after starter Mike Nugent went down with an injury.  Brown was thrust into service with a team in the playoff hunt and the pressure was squarely on his shoulders. I'm sure Josh did his Eminem 8 Mile impersonation before the Dallas game (palms were sweaty, vomit on sweater mom's spaghetti), but he came through like a champ making 4 field goals giving the Bengals a chance to win.  If he was off wallowing in self pity somewhere or letting his body go to hell he would have missed a golden opportunity to resurrect his career.  Kudos to Josh for losing himself in the moment.

Don't get me wrong, the task at hand was probably easier for Josh Brown that other athletes in a similar position.  It's not like you were asking him to guard Kobe Bryant or cover Megatron or learn a complex offense in 6 days time.  Kickers don't have to lift a ton of weights, do wind sprints, or keep their body weight down.  They just have to keep their dominant leg in shape, concentrate, and control their fear.  You still gotta do it though and Josh didn't disappoint.  That doesn't mean he can't turn into SHANKAPOTIMUS at some point during the season, but for now it looks like he can still perform at a high level in the NFL.  The moral of the story is MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SECOND CHANCE!

Thursday Night Football B3TZ

Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia

Tonight's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles is an important game for both teams.  Cincinnati missed a golden opportunity to tie Pittsburgh in the playoffs race when they lost to Dallas last week.  Now they must win out to control their own destiny.  Philadelphia is trying to figure out if Nick Foles is their quarterback of the future.  If he follows up his impressive performance last week (381 yards passing) with another solid outing the job is probably his to lose.  Cincinnati will win and the game will be entertaining.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hangover B3TZ

Houston vs. Washington

The Washington Wizards won their first road game of the season last night with a win over the New Orleans Hornets.  It's only the 3rd win of the year for the Wizards so I'm sure they did some extra celebrating in the Big Easy.  The problem is they play Houston tonight with less than 24 hours rest.  Not sure they can shake of the effects of those Hurricanes that quickly.

Brooklyn vs. Toronto

The Nets played a hard fought game against their cross town rivals the Knicks last night.  The atmosphere was electric and the game came down to the final seconds.  Can they recover overnight, travel to a foreign country, and come out with the W?  That's a lot to ask isn't it?

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Charlotte

The Clippers held off the Chicago Bulls for their 15th win of the season last night thanks in large part to the free throw shooting of Chris Paul.  The Clippers only come to Chicago once a year and I'm sure they made the most of it in their after game celebration.  In years past they could sleep walk through Charlotte and come out with a victory, but in 2012 the Bobcats aren't so easily pushed around.  This game will be closer than you think.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New York Still Belongs To The Knicks

The Brooklyn Nets opened the 2012-2013 NBA season with a swagger synonymous with New York's most populous borough.  They went out and got fancy new uniforms, a flossy new arena to play in, and their owner even put on a concert to commemorate the grand opening.  The ideas was the Nets would battle the Knicks for market share in New York City and provide an alternative for fans who were sick of the dysfunctional methods of the Knicks organization.  Is Brooklyn a threat to steal the spotlight from their cross town rival?

Absolutely not.  We are a quarter of the way into the season and the Knicks have the best record in the Eastern Conference.  They are undefeated at home and have beaten the world champion Miami Heat twice.  Carmelo Anthony is the front runner fro MVP of the league and Tyson Chandler is on pace to repeat as defensive player of the year.  They are doing all of this without their 2nd best player Amare Stoudemire who should return to the team any day.

Meanwhile the Nets have started the season a modest 11-8 behind the point guard play of Deron Williams and the sharp shooting of Joe Johnson.  If you consider the Nets were a disappointing 22-44 last year this is tremendous progress.  Unfortunately progress isn't enough to draw attention away from the team that plays in Madison Square Garden.

There simply isn't enough tradition or loyalty built up for the Brooklyn Nets to challenge the Knicks for the hearts and minds of the New York fans.  Perhaps if there was some bad blood or an epic playoff battle or a blockbuster trade between the two teams, but for now there's really nothing to talk about.  It's hard to compete with the incumbent when you're the new kid on the block.  Just ask the LA Clippers.

New York B3TZ

New York vs. Brooklyn

The New York Knicks won't have to travel far tonight when they head over to Brooklyn to face the Nets.  The Knicks currently have the best record in the Eastern conference thanks to the resurgence of Carmelo Anthony.  Carmelo is playing MVP caliber basketball right now despite the absence of Amare Stoudemire.  Meanwhile the Nets have lost 4 straight and hope to turn things around at home.  Look for Carmelo to have a big game offensively, but the Nets will keep it close.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Night Football B3TZ

Houston vs. New England

When the Houston Texans travel to New England tonight they will be looking to make a statement against the reigning AFC champs.  Houston has established the league's best record behind the running of Arian Foster while the Patriots are still relying heavily on Tom Brady.  Expect a low scoring match up with the Texans pulling out a close one.

Weekend Observations

I've come to the end of the road in on of my fantasy football leagues.  Cleavie Wonder was put out to pasture in my hurt your feelings league and it's a bitter pill to swallow.  All the countless hours of watching film, late night strategizing, and beer drinking sessions just didn't pan out for me this year.  Oh well, it wasn't for lack of effort.  At least I'm in the semis in my trash talking league and battling in my family league (albeit in the losers bracket).  I'm up by 7 points, but my opponent has Tom Brady going.  If he throws all his touchdowns to Wes Welker I'll be ok.

As for my B3TZ game?  I tied for the highest score, but lost last week's battle on percentage points to a new comer. Somehow Alex Desmarais clipped me at the wire.  Congrats for now.  Also congrats to Danielle Tran for coming in 3rd.  Danielle seems to be a regular at the top of the leaderboard.  My average is getting way out of hand and it's time to put a stop to all this losing crap.  If I don't win this week I'll die my hair blonde and sing karaoke on YouTube.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

The UFC fight card on Fox was pretty damn exciting.  There were major beatdowns handed out by Benson Henderson, Rory McDonald, and Alexander Gustafsson.  Personally I could have done without the Rory McDonald beatdown.  Seeing the Prodigy BJ Penn getting pummeled like a blind man fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. was painful to watch.

Speaking of Floyd Mayweather Jr., it looks like he cried wolf one too many times.  The mega fight with Manny Pacquiao is in serious jeopardy after Pacquiao's surprise loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.  Instead of impressive victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti, and Diego Corrales Mayweather will now be remembered for not fighting Pacquiao in his prime.  It's a lose-lose for everyone.

When Johnny Manziel took home the Heisman it only confirmed what I've been saying about college football all season.  The talent just wasn't there like we've seen in years past.  Anytime a freshman can win the trophy it means upperclassmen underachieved.  The 2013 NFL draft is nothing to look forward to.

Before Sunday Andy Reid, Norv Turner, and Romeo Crennel were the coaches expected to lose their jobs at the end of the season.  After a 58-0 loss to the Seahawks you can add Ken Wisenhunt to that list.  The game was an ass kicking of historic proportions and got so bad Vince Young thoughthis services might be needed.  It's never that bad is it?

Serge Ibaka squared up against Metta World Peace and Metta didn't go all Ron Artest on him.  Is this a sign of maturity and learning from past experiences or his new prescription meds are doing the job?

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Chicago vs. Minnesota

The Chicago Bears are still wondering what happened to them at home last week against the Seahawks, but there's no time to feel sorry for themselves.  They play the Minnesota Vikings next and if they don't keep pace with the Green Bay Packers the division title may slip away.  If they want to make the playoffs they will have to find a way to stop Adrian Peterson.  That task is easier said than done.

Seattle vs. Arizona

The Seahawks have yet to lose a game at home this season and that trend should continue when they face the Arizona Cardinals.  Arizona has lost 8 games in a row and there's really no end in sight.  The Seahawks are looking to avenge the loss they suffered the first game of the season and they will get it.  I predict a blowout.

New Orleans vs. New York Giants

Drew Brees had his consecutive game with a touchdown pass streak snapped and it's time to start a new one.  I need him for the fantasy points plus he's a man with pride and won't allow his team to quit on him.  That being said the Giants are only one game up in the NFC East with the Cowboys and the Redskins on their heels.  It's a must win game for them, but that doesn't mean Drew Brees won't be able to do his thing.  Look for a big game from the Breesy.

Is The NFL Becoming Too Safe?

Commissioner Roger Goodell recently proposed an idea that would eliminate kick offs in the NFL.  After a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30 yard line and the down would be 4th and 15.  The options would be to go for the first down or punt the ball away.  If you go for it and don't pick up a first down the opposing team takes possession where the previous play ended.  The motivation behind the proposal is player safety, but is a rule change of this magnitude setting a bad precedence?

Of course we all want to see players protected, but I doubt very seriously if altering the way the game is played will illicit the desired results.  Football is inherently violent and there's nothing you can do to change that.  The players are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before and high speed collisions are unavoidable.

Let us not forget the NFL is under a huge amount of pressure and scrutiny with regards to to the impending lawsuits of former players.  The lawsuits could cost the NFL billions of dollars and the liability going forward is uncertain.  No one wants to see the end of America's most popular sport and it is apparent the NFL will do whatever it takes to protect the game.

Eliminating the kick off isn't the worst thing in the world, but where does it end?  How will this impact the way football is played at the lower levels?  Will high school and college teams follow suit?  It's too early to tell what the long term ramifications will be.  I just hope they don't start putting flags on the quarterbacks and receivers so they don't get hurt.  The NFL is headed in a precarious direction.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is Kobe Bryant Top 5 All Time?

Statistics and milestones don't always reflect the greatness of a player, but the 30,000 point club in basketball is a rare exception.  Before last night only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlin, Karl Malone, and Michael Jordan had accomplished that feat.  Now Kobe Bryant has joined this illustrious club and can stake his claim as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.  So why doesn't he get the respect he deserves?

Once again it's all about Michael Jordan.  In the minds of most NBA fans Jordan is the greatest player ever and no one compares to him.  Let's be honest though.  Kobe Bryant is every bit of Michael Jordan.  Michael Jordan has 6 rings, but Kobe has played for the championship 7 times (winning 5) and he still has a legitimate chance to win another.  Is one ring really the end all be all?  Jordan's got an Olympic gold medal with the Dream Team, but Kobe has 2.  Mike has 4 more MVP titles than Kobe, but David Stern had a love affair with Mike and wouldn't let anyone vote against his golden goose.

Unlike Kendall Gill, Harold Miner, and Tracy McGrady Kobe Bryant has never wilted under the pressure to be the next Jordan.  In fact, he's embraced the challenge with confidence and enthusiasm.  It's what drives him to dominate on a nightly basis.  There's no other player that plays with the passion, focus, and intensity of Kobe Bryant.

I know most of you will never be convinced that Kobe Bryant is Michael Jordan's equal, but chew on this for a moment.  When Kobe finally decides to hang it up he will have more points than Jordan and a greater overall body of work.  If you take away the hype, the shoes, and the logo Mike and Kobe are mirror images of each other.  For now Jordan still has more points, but what will you have to say when Kobe passes him?

Thurday Night Football B3TZ

Denver vs. Oakland

When the Denver Broncos face off against the Oakland Raiders tonight it is not a meaningless game.  The Broncos are looking to keep pace with New England and Baltimore for the all important 1st round bye in the playoffs.  The Raiders have lost 5 games in a row and for the 47th consecutive season (doesn't it seem like its been that long) will not make the playoffs.  The one bright spot however has been Brandon Meyers.  He playing Pro Bowl caliber at the tight end position and has bailed me out of trouble more than once in my fantasy football leagues.  No time to feel sorry for the silver and black though.  The Broncos will take care of business in a dominant fashion.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Florida vs. Florida St.

Florida comes into tonight's contest against Florida St. ranked #8 in the country.  Billy Donovan has done a great job of recruiting and recently sent Bradley Beal to the NBA, but this team is not reminiscent of the teams that won national championships a few years back.  On paper it looks like a blowout, but look for in state rival Florida St. to keep the game close.

New Mexico vs. USC

New Mexico cracks the top 20 at #18 without really being tested early in the season and their team look a lot like Kentucky.  Lots of Freshmen and Sophomores.  Although USC is nothing to write home about they have played a relatively tough schedule to start the season and their team has more depth and experience.  Do I smell an upset?

Gonzaga vs. Washington St.

Gonzaga finds themselves in unfamiliar territory when the Bulldogs take on the Washington St. Cougars tonight.  Typically no one is paying attention to the small school from Spokane, WA, but this year Gonzaga is ranked #10 in the country with their sights set on reaching the top 5.  Look for the Zags to steamroll WSU.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is Ndamukong Suh Too Dirty For The NFL?

After hearing comments by opposing players over the last few weeks it's official, Ndamukong Suh is a dirty player.  After a kick to the groin (albeit unintentional) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub labeled Suh unfit to be a part of his organization.  On Sunday Colts players were furious when Suh supposedly taunted an injured player (Winston Justice) during the game.  Last year he was suspended two games for stepping on a player.  There's no doubt his antics are questionable and probably cross the line of good sportsmanship, but would you want him on your team?

Of course you would.  Ndamukong Suh is a throwback to the days of yester year.  His goal is to wreak havoc and hurt people on the football field.  He plays with malice in his heart and a total disregard for the feelings and intentions of his adversaries.  25 years ago the NFL would have worshipped a guy like this.  A fierce warrior whose sole intention is to inflict pain upon his opponents.  Unfortunately for Suh the 2012 version of NFL football is a "softer" game.  The governing body is much more cognizant of player's safety and the fans are much more sensitive when it comes to cheap shots and unnecessary acts of violence.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Ndamukong  Suh's intensity and passion for the game, I have a problem with his production.  Coming out of Nebraska Suh was a beast that couldn't be blocked and could tackle anyone within a ten yard radius.  In the pros he gets double teamed a lot and you almost never hear his name called on a tackle.  So far he's made zero Pro Bowls and zero all defensive teams.  That being said I'd still like to have a guy in my team that's 6'4, 307 pounds, runs a 4.6 40 yard dash, and might bite your finger off if you stick it in his helmet.  What about you?


Brooklyn vs Oklahoma City

Tonight's clash between the OKC Thunder and the Brooklyn Nets should be entertaining.  The OKC Thunder have picked up right where they left off last season starting the year with an impressive 14-4 record.  The Brooklyn Nets have also made a splash behind the inspired play of Joe Johnson.  Johnson was named Eastern conference player of the month and has proven to be a nice compliment to point guard Deron Williams.  The game will be close, but the Thunder will pull it out behind a monster night from Kevin Durant.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston

The Lakers are currently in 3rd place in the Pacific Division behind The Clippers and the Golden State Warriors.  Owner Jim Buss is starting to look more and more like Tommy Boy every day.  Houston is getting good production from James Harden, but Jeremy Lin is only averaging 10 points and 6 assist per game.  If Houston wants to upset the Lakers (if you can even call it an upset at this point) Lin will have to do a better job of distributing the basketball.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend Observations

The fantasy football playoffs races are starting to take shape.  In my trash talking league I'm going in as the #1 seed.  I'll take next week off and wait to see who my next victim will be.  In my trash talking league things are tight.  I'm up by 25, but my opponent has Alfred Morris and Hakeem Nicks going tonight.  A loss would be the end of me.  In my family league I could have made the playoffs, but somebody fell asleep at the wheel leaving Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy on their starting roster.  Here's a lesson in etiquette for all you fantasy football players out there.  Even if you're no longer in playoff contention your participation still affects the outcome of the league.  PLAY HARD EVERY WEEK!!!!

As for my B3TZ game?  I lost this week by one point.  Clearly I've underestimated the skills of my opponents.  Losing at my own game is like someone borrowing your clothes and getting more compliments than you get when you wear them.  It's insulting.  Congrats to Danielle Tran, Winston Tran, and Dazey Dailey for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.  Rest assured this week will be different however.  I'm not playing around with you guys anymore.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

Ticket sales for the Russell Wilson bandwagon skyrocketed after the Seahawks come from behind victory over the Chicago Bears.  On the flip side the founder of the start Matt Flynn Facebook page has disconnected his phone and skipped town.  I guess the last two drives of the game really put things in perspective for people.  In Russ we trust.

The Kentucky Wildcats are out of the top 25 for the first time in the John Calipari era.  Why are these freshmen playing like freshmen?  Somebody better tell these kids if they don't turn things around in a hurry they might have to stay in school an extra year.

The BCS selection committee gave an Orange Bowl nomination to Northern Illinois.  I can't decide if this is commendable or comical.

If the playoffs started today the Denver Broncos would host the Indianapolis Colts.  Can you imagine the media circus surrounding that game.  I got Luck in an upset.  What about you guys?

Monday Night B3TZ

Washington vs. New York Giants

The Monday night match up between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants will showcase two of the games most exciting quarterbacks.  RGIII has taken the world by storm while Eli Manning continues to fly under the radar despite winning two Super Bowls.  Look for both of them to light it up tonight on the big stage, but the Giants should win a close one.