Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The New Blog Home

Check me out at  Same old Cleavie, just a new updated location for the self proclaimed expert on all things sports related.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekend Observations

I don't know how your fantasy football weekend went, but mine was a complete and total disaster.  In my trash talking league I only had one player (Peyton Manning) score in double digits and three players (CJ Spiller, Jordan Cameron, New Orleans defense) put up a 6 spot which makes me look more like a devil worshiper than a football expert.  In my hurt your feelings league things have gone from bad to worse.  Eddie Lacy, Wes Welker, and The Breesy were no match for RGIII, DeSean Jackson, and Vernon Davis.  At 1-5 it may be time to pull the plug on this experiment.  In my ego stroking work league I started Torrey Smith instead of Vincent Jackson.  That was a 27 point swing and I lost by .8 points.  The three teams that were 1-4 in this league all won their match ups.  Go figure.  There was plenty of fantasy frustration, but at least the Seahawks won.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

Oregon won their football game.  As a 3rd generation UW alum loyal to the program that's all my conscience will allow me to say on this topic.  If I wasn't so loyal I'd tell you Oregon's dominant 3 touchdown victory at Husky Stadium was a masterful performance, Marcus Mariotta should win the Heisman, and Oregon should win the national championship. Excuse me while I vomit.

THE DENVER BRONCOS ARE NOT ALL THAT!  The biggest point spread favorites in the history of the NFL struggled against a winless team that loses by an average of 22 points a game.  a 35-19 victory is not impressive when you're playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Peyton Manning embarrassed himself, let down his fantasy owners, and cost Vegas millions of dollars.  Shame on him.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers pitching staffs deserve better.  Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw gave up 2 runs in two games yet trail the St. Louis Cardinals 0-2  Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, and the Tigers bullpen gave up 1 run over 16 innings, but leave Boston with the series tied 1-1.  You don't have to be a mathematician to realize the results should be different.

Arrowhead Stadium is the loudest Stadium in the NFL.  The Kansas City chiefs crowd reached 137.5 decibels on Sunday breaking the previous record of 136.6 set by the Seahawks fans a few weeks ago.  Congrats to them, but I still think Century Link Field is a tougher place to play.

Friday, October 11, 2013

SeahawkCentric: Seahawks Over Titans

When the Seahawks schedule came out I was looking forward to the homecoming of Jake Locker.  Locker was a big part of resurrecting the Huskies football program by unselfishly turning down $50,000,000 to return for his senior year.  Now I'm thankful he doesn't have to be on the field when the Tennessee Titans come to Century Link Field on Sunday.  It's not a good time to be a Seahawks opponent.

The Hawks suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday and are eager to get back on the winning track.  There's nothing worse than an angry, motivated Seahawks team looking to put on a dominant performance in front of the 12th man and the millions of doubters who recently jumped off the Seahawks bandwagon.  Locker is a legend in the 206 and doesn't deserve what the Seahawks would have done to him.  It's better he stays on the sidelines as an innocent bystander.

For the record I'm still drinking the Pete Carroll Cool-Aid.  I didn't see anything last Sunday that would suggest the Seahawks won't win the Super Bowl this year.  Certainly they could be better converting on 3rd down and eliminating big plays, but the formula for success remains the same.  Let Russell Wilson do his thing, play solid defense, and allow Marshawn "Beastmode" Lynch to run over opposing teams like a Caterpillar bulldozer.  Pretty simple right?

The Tennessee Titans are no match for the Seattle Seahawks.  Everyone knows this.  There is no chance the Titans will win the game on Sunday.  If the Hawks don't win by 15 or more points I'll shave off all my hair and throw my pinky ring in the lake.  A reckless statement perhaps, but I'll take my chances.  I'll chime in on Monday with all the juicy details of the Seahawks slaughter.  Until then let's all keep a SeahawkCentric state of mind shall we?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is The UK Ready For The NFL?

Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced the NFL plans to play 3 games in London next year.  Goodell claims the NFL is growing in popularity overseas and the demand has reached a fever pitch.  The commissioner has even insinuated a future franchise in the UK is not out of the question.  Is NFL expansion on another continent a good idea?

Absolutely not.  Until Los Angeles gets a franchise (the 2nd largest market in the United States) how can you justify putting a team in London, England?  It doesn't make a lot of sense to bypass a city that already has a built in fanbase for the sake of trying to expand your product to other markets.  The NFL does just fine here in America without Europe's support.

In addition the travel time would be unfair to teams on the West Coast.  How can you expect Seattle, San Diego, or San Francisco to fly 5,000 miles to a place with a 6 hour time difference?  It's cool for a team to go over there every once in a while, but scheduling games at Wembley stadium on a consistent basis seems a little far fetched to me.  They can't play teams along the Eastern seaboard every game.

Football is not Futbol and the UK is not ready to embrace the NFL wholeheartedly.  They won't support an NFL franchise the same way they support Manchester United, Chelsea, or Tottenham.  I understand the NFL's desire to generate new revenue streams and capitalize on idol curiosity, but that doesn't mean putting teams at a disadvantage for the sake of a few more dollars (especially when your product generates 9 billion already).  I say if it ain't broke don't fix it.  Your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Josh Freeman Won't Succeed In Minnesota

After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Josh Freeman his career was at a crossroads.  It was uncertain whether or not he would get a second chance to redeem himself and prove all the doubters wrong.  In little or no time the Minnesota Vikings came calling.  Their not sold on the prospect of Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel leading their team to the playoffs and view Freeman as a viable option going forward.  Can Josh Freeman lead Minnesota to the promised land?

As much as I'm pulling for Josh I don't think Minnesota is an ideal fit for him.  He will certainly benefit from the league's top rusher in Adrian Peterson and Greg Jennings will be happy to have a quarterback with a strong arm, but Freeman has yet to demonstrate he can run an offense with any consistency.  Over the years Josh has shown flashes of brilliance which is why the Vikings took a chance on him.  They are hoping he is the missing piece like Bret Favre was a few years ago. 

Minnesota will give Josh Freeman every opportunity to succeed which may ultimately be their undoing.  Although he has tremendous physical attributes he's always had a knack for throwing a costly interception or making a poor decision at critical times during the game.  What Minnesota needs is a game manager type like in the mold of Andy Dalton or Alex Smith.  When you have a tremendous running game and a stellar defense to rely on you don't need a quarterback that takes too many chances.

Of course I could be wrong.  Maybe all Josh Freeman needs to become a franchise quarterback again is a change of scenery and a coach that believes in him.  By all accounts the environment in Tampa was completely toxic stunting his growth and development.  When you don't get along with the head coach and your leadership is undermined at every turn it's difficult to be a productive player.  That being said it's the middle of the season and it's hard to re-invent yourself on the fly.  There are lots of things that have to fall into place to have a positive impact.  I don't see the stars aligning just right for Josh Freeman in Minnesota.  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

David Price Was Right

Dirk Hayhurst...COULDN'T hack it...Tom Verducci wasn't even a water boy in high school...but yet they can still bash a player.  SAVE IT NERDS.

David Price tweet after losing game 2 of the ALCS

Following Saturday's loss to the Boston Red Sox David Price fired back at critics in a Twitter rant that raised a few eyebrows.  In my opinion the subject matter wasn't that controversial, but the media had a field day with it.  They raked Price over the coals for his "insensitive" remarks and portrayed him as the instigator as opposed to the victim of this incident.  Was Price wrong for the comments he made?

Absolutely not.  If it wasn't for David Price the Rays wouldn't even be in the playoffs.  He pitched in must win/elimination games for over a month culminating with a clutch victory over Cleveland in the Wild Card game.  He's physically and emotionally drained and the last thing he needs is some no name nerds knit picking at his performance.

If it was Dennis Eckersley, Ron Darling, or Pedro Martinez making derogatory comments Price would have taken the criticism differently, but Verducci and Hayhurst?  Kick rocks.  David Price has accomplished way too much in his career to have to answer to a bunch of scrubs living vicariously through his experiences.  Perhaps I've watched a few too many Big Bang Theory episodes or Jesse Eisenberg movies, but this nerd revolution is getting out of hand.

Emotions run high in the playoffs.  Players get testy and overreact to things that typically wouldn't bother them.  David Price has since apologized for his outburst saying he feels humbled and ashamed.  Personally I think if reporters did a better job of staying in their lane (especially during the postseason) these confrontations would happen less frequently.  Your thoughts?

Monday, October 7, 2013

SeahawkCentric: Colts Over Seahawks

I didn't think I would have to address the details of a loss this entire season, but I'm mature enough to handle it.  The Seahawks quest for perfection came to a screeching halt Sunday with a loss to the Indianapolis Colts 34-28.

Instead of bashing the referees for ridiculous calls (safeties, phantom pass interference) or pointing fingers at one particular unit (special teams) I will take the high moral ground and give the Colts credit for a spectacular come from behind victory.  Andrew Luck was as good as advertised, T.Y. Hilton played the game of his life, and Adam Vinatieri proved why he's one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.  The Colts should be a factor in the AFC playoff race.

That being said the Seahawks had multiple opportunities to win the game.  I like the way Steven Hauschka knocked down 4 out of 5 field goal attempts, but that number of attempts is more indicative of stalled drives than his superior accuracy.  Although the Hawks gained more yards on the ground and in the air 3rd down conversions really hurt us.  Super Bowl teams don't make excuses though.  Time to pick our heads up and regroup.

We'll see how the team responds to adversity this week.  As you might guess I'm expecting an angry bunch that will practice with intensity and a sense of urgency.  I'll chime in on Friday with my prediction for the Titans game.  Until then let's all keep a SeahawkCentric state of mind shall we?

Weekend Observations

It was a HORRIBLE football weekend in the 206, but at least the fantasy football gods showed me some love.  In my trash talking league I'm up by 40 points on the guy that shows me the least amount of respect.  Looks like I picked a good week to start David Wilson and Pierre Thomas.  Unless Julio Jones goes for 5 touchdowns and 400 yards I'll be in first place by the end of the night.

In my hurt your feelings league I'm up by 20, but my opponent has Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones.  Once again Julio is the fly in the ointment.  If I win this match up it will be a miracle given the fact my team revolted on me.  The week I decide to bench T.Y. Hilton and Mike Wallace they have the game of their lives just to spite me.  Hopefully the fantasy football gods will make them burn in hell for their insubordination.

In my ego stroking work league I squeaked out a victory by two points without playing a defense.  I forgot to activate Cincinnati after I picked them up off the waiver wire.  They scored 29 points  That kind of error would have cost me in my other leagues, but not the EWSL.  I'm having the trophy engraved with my name on it as we speak.  Here are some observations over the weekend.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I think the biggest story to come out of the Stanford/UW game is Bishop Sankey's grandfather getting a chance to watch his grandson play after receiving a cornea transplant.  It's either old age or I'm trying to forget how the refs did my Huskies dirty.  Can't decide.

Minnesota Golphers head coach Jerry Kill had his 5th seizure before the Ohio St. game and was unable to join the team.  Not trying to sound like an a$$hole, but he probably needs to step down.  His health issues should be his primary concern and the uncertainty of his condition will eventually (if not already) hurt Minnesota's recruiting efforts.

Los Angeles beat Atlanta 13-6.  Although this sounds like a football score it was actually a baseball game.  Hard to believe the Dodgers are doing all this without Matt Kemp.

If I was Justin Verlander I'd be cussing out my teammates for their anemic offensive output on Saturday night.  If you pitch 7 scoreless innings and strike out 11 you should get the victory in a playoff game.  No excuses.

Friday, October 4, 2013

SeahawkCentric: Hawks Over Colts

The Seahawks face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and all the talk leading up to the game has been about Andrew Luck.  The so called experts have marveled over his underrated scrambling ability, his strong arm, and his pocket presence.  According to them Andrew Luck will go down in history as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and the Hawks will have their hands full at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Did I miss something?

They must have forgotten the "Chosen One" is about to play the Seattle Seahawks.  THE MIGHTY SEAHAWKS!!!  THE TEAM THAT WILL GO 16-0 THIS SEASON!!!  THE TEAM THAT PROVED LAST WEEK AGAINST THE HOUSTON TEXANS THEY WILL FIGHT TO THE END AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN!!!  On paper it may seem like a difficult game to some, but make no mistake about it the Seahawks will come out victorious.

The Seahawks have more talent on both sides of the ball.  The Colts have no answer for the play making ability of Russell Wilson and no one on the Colts defense can stop Beastmode from doing his thing.  Luck, Richardson, and Reggie Wayne won't be able to move the ball against the Hawks defense (especially now that Bruce Irvin is back) and ultimately untimely turnovers will spell disaster for their team.  Just like the Texans found out it's only a matter of time before someone steps up to make a big play that changes the complexion of the game.

For the record I like Andrew Luck.  I think he's a good kid with a huge upside.  Unfortunately for him he's at the wrong place at the wrong time.  The 2013 Seahawks are a team of destiny and won't let the sorry ass Colts stand between them and immortality.

Indy is nothing more than roadkill on the journey to the Super Bowl.  I predict the Hawks will win 27-17 and Andrew Luck will throw at least two picks.  That's just the way the Hawks handle business.  I'll chime in on Monday after the victory with a recap of the slaughter.  Until then let's all keep a SeahawkCentric state of mind shall we? 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

World Series Scenarios

The MLB playoffs started this week with a play-in game in Arlington and wild card games in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.  Although the new format makes for a more exciting and dramatic postseason it won't necessarily create a larger viewing audience.  Some potential World Series match ups could have the whole country tuning in while others may struggle to get better ratings than a re-run of Storage Wars.  It all depends on which teams hold up their end of the bargain.  Here's a list of the best and worst case scenarios for the World Series.

1.  The advertisers worst nightmare:  Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh.  The Tampa Bay Rays have established themselves as a perennial postseason threat while the Pirates are experiencing success we haven't seen since the Barry Bonds era.  That doesn't make them entertaining to watch however.  Your average fan can't name two players on either squad and could care less about who wins or loses.  If these two teams meet up in the World Series baseball will lose millions.

2.  For baseball purists only:  Oakland vs. St. Louis.  The A's and the Cardinals both have a storied tradition and a combined 20 World Series titles between them.  They play fundamentally sound baseball and no one player is bigger than the team.  That being said if you don't live in the Bay Area or near the Gateway Arch and your name isn't Peter Gammons or Buster Olney this series would probably bore you to death.

3.  Familiar and competitive:  Detroit vs. Atlanta.  This potential match up has a little sizzle to it.  Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera are former MVP's and the Braves are synonymous with winning.  There's enough storylines and intrigue to hold your interest through the final at bat.

4.  The royale with cheese match up:  Boston vs. Los Angeles.  There's more wanna be pretend Red Sox fans than the population of Canada (literally) and the Dodgers are the New
York Yankees of the west coast.  Everybody and their grandma will tune in to watch this slug fest.  Sponsors will give MLB a blank check and ask questions later.  There's so much love and hate for both of these teams the Nielsen ratings would go through the roof.   LA vs. Boston could actually make baseball relevant again.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NFL 1st Quarter Observations

Is it just me or is the 2013 NFL season flying by?  Seems like only yesterday I was watching preseason games trying to figure out who the Seahawks will play in the Super Bowl.  Now they're 4-0 and undeniably the best team in football.  Where has all the time gone?  It's too early to say how the season will eventually end up (except for the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl), but we have a pretty good idea the direction certain teams and players are headed.  Here is my analysis of the 1st quarter.

The coroner's list:  Oakland, New York, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and Tampa are officially dead and have no chance of making the playoffs.  This was expected from the Raiders and Jaguars, but the Giants and Steelers are surprise 0-4 teams.  The Bucs are in complete disarray with no direction, leadership, and no solution for their problems.

Slow your roll list:  Chicago, Miami, and New England all have impressive records to start the season, but the 2nd quarter will expose them for the frauds they are.  The dolphins have no running game to speak of while the Bears and Patriots have fallen victim to the injury bug.  Don't be surprised if these teams end up .500 by midseason.

Fantasy duds:  If you have T.Y Hilton, Mike Wallace, Chris Johnson, CJ Spiller, Matt Schaub, Hakeem Nicks, Eli Manning, RGIII, or Michael Vick on your fantasy team it's time to go in a different direction.  They've played enough games for you to realize these players suck a$$.  I hate to admit it, but I have several of these players on my squads.  I'm trying to adjust my rosters as we speak.

Pretenders unworthy of the crown:  Houston, Atlanta, and San Francisco are not who they claimed to be when the season started.  Super Bowl contenders they are not.

NFL MVP:  Drew Brees or Peyton Manning.  These guys might throw for 60 touchdowns a piece this year.  Can't think of anyone else that belongs in this conversation.

Potential Super Bowl teams:  Seattle, Denver, and New Orleans.  The Seahawks are the only team in the NFL with enough balance on both sides of the ball to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.