Friday, December 31, 2010

Countdown Friday: The Top 10 Headlines of 2010

10. Landon Donovan's Game-Winner Puts the U.S. Through to the Round of 16 - What a moment for American soccer.

9. Pitching Perfection - 2 perfect games, a "near-perfect" game, and 4 no-hitters (including one in the postseason!). How do you like them apples?

8. The Giants Win the Pennant! And the World Series Too - Behind great pitching and some timely hitting, the Giants were surprising champions.

7. A Bunch of Stuff Happens To Tiger Woods - I don't need to repeat it all; you get it by now.

6. Lakers Go Back-to-Back - Every time the Lakers win a championship, a puppy dies

5. Lebron James Douches It Up on National Television - Excuse me, I meant "takes his talents to South Beach."

4. Saints Win Their First Super Bowl - It's hard not to like this story. Unless you're a Colts fan.

3. Canada Beats US is a Dramatic Olympic Conclusion - Hard to believe that the 2010 Olympics were, in fact, this year.

2. Butler Takes Cinderella Team to NCAA Finals - The Bulldogs were a fraction of an inch from winning it all.

1. Spain Wins The World Cup - It's the most celebrated tournament in the sports world, and this year, the trophy belongs to the Spanish.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10 Refreshing Changes in the NFL

The NFL is often praised for its impressive parity. It still seems, however, that year after year we see the same teams in the playoffs and the same teams bringing up the rear of divisions. There are a lot of familiar faces atop divisions again this year, but still, not everything is the same. This year brought some refreshing changes. Here are my 10 favorite things about the 2010 NFL season.

1. The Kansas City Chiefs win the AFC West - It's the first time since 2003. The Chiefs finished last or tied for last every year since 2006, and now here they are atop the division.

2. The Chargers miss the playoffs - Staying in the same division, the San Diego Chargers will be at home come January. Until this year, the Chargers had represented the division every season since the Broncos did it in 2005.

3. A rookie quarterback plays well on a bad team - I didn't think it could be done either. Say what you will about the NFC West and how badly it sucks and how those teams should be relegated to the UFL...but Sam Bradford has, against all odds, been quite impressive.

4. Peyton Manning is a mortal - Sure he's still playing very well, but the typical demi-god is struggling by the hall-of-fame standards that he set for himself. Manning has 31 TD passes, but an uncharacteristically high 17 INTs.

5. Brett Favre misses a game - It's about time. Jerk.

6. The Raiders don't get eliminated from playoff contention...until week 16 - It's the longest they've been relevant since the Rich Gannon days.

7. The Cowboys suck - Maybe now they won't get a primetime game every weekend.

8. The Browns are turning it around - For real this time. Sure, they've had their struggles this season, but quality wins against the Saints and Patriots show quite a bit of promise for Cleveland.

9. The Falcons have officially 100% recovered from the Mike Vick debacle - Matt Ryan can't scramble like Vick can, but he sure can throw. And he's currently at the helm of the best team in the NFC. 

10. The Lions win a bunch of games - Including back to back road games! And they've been winning, or at least staying competitive, without their starting quarterback. Who knows, this team could make a playoff push next season. Chins up, Detroit.

Fantasy Football All-Stars

Peyton Hillis was undrafted in nearly every league.

As the fantasy season winds down to an end, it's time to look back at who should have been drafted in the first round (Arian Foster, Mike Vick), and who was egregiously over-drafted (Randy Moss, Ryan Mathews). Here are the guys who torched you week in and week out, the ones you'll find on the teams that won your league:

Mike Vick, PHI (3018 Pass yards, 21 TDs, 6 INT, 3 fumbles, 676 Rush yards, 9 TDs, 297 points)
Aaron Rodgers, GB (3693 Pass yards, 27 TDs, 10 INTs, 335 Rush yards, 4 TDs, 278 pts.)
Tom Brady, NE (3701 Pass yards, 34 TDs, 4 INT, 30 Rush yards, 1 TD, 273 pts.)

Arian Foster, HOU (1436 Rush yards, 594 Rec. yards, 16 TDs, 280 pts.)
Adrian Peterson, MIN (1267 Rush yards, 343 Rec. yards, 13 TDs, 228 pts.)
Peyton Hillis, CLE (1164 Rush yards, 474 Rec. yards, 13 TDs, 5 fumbles, 212 pts.)

Dwayne Bowe, KC (1094 Rec. Yards, 15 TDS, 194 pts.)
Brandon Lloyd, DEN (1375 Rec. yards, 10 TDs, 190 pts.)
Greg Jennings, GB (1168 Rec. yards, 12 TDs, 184 pts.)
Calvin Johnson, DET (1120 Rec. yards, 32 Rush yards, 12 TDs, 182 pts.)

Jason Witten, DAL (956 Rec. yards, 8 TDs, 135 pts.)
Antonio Gates, SD (782 Rec. yards, 10 TDs, 134 pts.)

Sebastian Janikowski, OAK (151 pts.)

Pittsburgh (215 points allowed, 44 sacks, 18 INT, 14 Fumbles, 3 TD, 1 Blk Kick, 1 Ret TD, 175 pts.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

NFL Picks: Week 16

The Games that Matter:

New York (A) at Chicago
-Why anyone should care: The Jets have a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win today, while the Bears, who have already clinched the NFC North, are the frontrunners for the two-seed and a playoff bye.
-Bold Prediction: Jay Cutler does not throw a red-zone INT today.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: The city of New York spends the duration of this game upset with Mark Sanchez. Not mad, just disappointed.
-If This Game Were a Food: Pancakes. All exciting at first, but by the end you're fucking sick of them.
-Final Score: Bears 27, Jets 17

Washington at Jacksonville
-Why anyone should care: Jacksonville is, sadly, still in the hunt for a wild card or the division.
-Bold Prediction: Rex Grossman and John Beck will both get hurt, but Donovan McNabb will do his best Albert Haynesworth impression and refuse to play, forcing Graham Gano to go under center.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: EverBank Field will look like a ghost town.
-If This Game Were a Food: Brussel sprouts. Yuck.
-Final Score: Jacksonville 33, Washington 17

Baltimore at Cleveland
-Why anyone should care: With a win, Baltimore clinches a playoff birth and keeps pace with the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers. Cleveland is, at least, not Detroit.
-Bold Prediction: Lebron James makes a surprise start at tight--...oh wait never mind. Awkward...
-Not-so-bold Prediction: Colt McCoy is the savoir of the Cleveland Browns
-If This Game Were a Food: Enchilada. Unpleasant to look at, but delicious, with a kick.
-Final Score: Cleveland 20, Baltimore 17

Tennessee at Kansas City
-Why anyone should care: They really shouldn't.
-Bold Prediction: Matt Cassel will have an emergency spleen removal during halftime but will return in time for the start of the 3rd quarter.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: Neither team will play very impressive football.
-If This Game Were a Food: Shredded wheat. Disappointingly bland, and a bad way to start your day.
-Final Score: Kansas City 24, Tennessee 12

San Francisco at St. Louis
-Why anyone should care: Both teams still have a shot at the NFC West title??? And could still host a playoff game??????????????????
-Bold Prediction: These two teams will actually produce something that mildly resembles football.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: One team will score more points than the other.
-If This Game Were a Food: An apple turnover. Get it???
-Final Score: San Francisco 31, St. Louis 21

Indianapolis at Oakland
-Why anyone should care: Indy is now in the driver's seat for the AFC South, but a slipup could put the Jaguars back in control.
-Bold Prediction: Darren McFadden will run for 600 yards.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: Darren McFadden will run for at least 1 yard.
-If This Game Were a Food: Pulled pork sandwich. I am struggling with this metaphor.
-Final Score: Oakland 31, Indianapolis 30

New York (N) at Green Bay
-Why anyone should care: The Giants can clinch, while the Packers need to stay in the hunt.
-Bold Prediction: Eli Manning will throw less than 3 interceptions.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: A member of the Packers will score a touchdown and then jump into the stands. I believe they call it the "Lambeau Leap."
-If This Game Were a Food: General Gao's. High expectations, never disappoints.
-Final Score: Green Bay 32, New York 20

New Orleans at Atlanta

-Why anyone should care: This game is by far the best matchup of the week. The Falcons can clinch the division with a W.
-Bold Prediction: Matt Ryan will once again earn the nickname "Matty Ice" (someone's going to have to explain that one to me) after leading the Falcons on a 99-yard drive in the last 30 seconds to win the game.
-Not-so-bold Prediction: The Monday Night Football commentators will struggle to offer any insightful analysis.
-If This Game Were a Food (or drink): Dos Equis. I don't usually watch NFC South games, but when I do, I prefer Atlanta vs. New Orleans
-Final Score: Atlanta 27, New Orleans 26

The Games that Don't Matter:

Detroit at Miami (-3.5)

New England (-8) at Buffalo

Houston (-2.5) at Denver

Seattle at Tampa Bay (-6.5)

San Diego (-8) at Cincinnati

Minnesota at Philadelphia (-14)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Gifts

Now that I've finally finished those annoying finals and all this Christmas shopping, time to get back to what's important in life: lesser-known sports blogs. In the spirit of the holidays, I figured there were a few people in the sporting world who could really use some gifts. So I present to you my holiday gift list.

I bought Carl Crawford some money clips...let's see, $142,000,000, each money clip can generously hold 20 bills, and if each bill is $100...that's 71,000 money clips.

I bought Brett Favre a time machine so he can go back to 2008 and stay retired. But I kept the receipt just incase he wants to continue destroying his legacy.

I wanted to buy the New Jersey Devils a $100 million doormat, but they already have one. So instead I got them some golf clubs so they'll have something to do come April.

I bought Rex Ryan a pair of new fuzzy socks. You know, for uh, wearing and stuff.

I was going to buy LeBron James a lump of coal but instead I settled for a pile of ash. That's for giving us the worst hour of television in this young decade, you jerk.

I set Michael Phelps up on a date with Miley Cyrus, because apparently they have a lot in common.

I bought Ben Roethlisberger and Kobe Bryant a get out of jail free card in case they're ever out on the town and feeling entitled again.

Finally, I wanted to get a present for Tom Brady, but what do you get the man who has everything? I could make a hair joke, but frankly, I think the flowing locks are working wonders. Gisele doesn't seem to mind. So I got Tom a Patriots Snuggie. Why not?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fantasy Football: Playoff Preview

It's that time of the year. This season's top six teams will compete for fantasy football supremacy and all the glory that comes with it. Here's a look at the upcoming postseason.

(1) The Backside Georges (12-2, 1st place Chuck Downfield's Dad's Socks)

The Backside Georges wowed everyone by putting up enormous points all season despite a notable absence during the draft. Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster paved the way for this 12 win season and a point total (1279) that led the entire league.

(2) Petey Jones. RB. (10-4, 1st place Rod Tidwell's Money)

Petey Jones. RB. never dominated matchups but always seemed to come out on top anyway. The team was led by Rashard Mendenhall and Roddy White, who consistently put up huge numbers. Petey Jones. RB. enters the playoffs, however, with a 1-2 record over the last 3 games.

(3) Monstars (9-5, 1st place Coach Boone's Dictatorship) vs. (6) Hocus Pocus (8-5-1, WC #2)

Neither of these two squads clinched a playoff birth until the very last week of the season. Though they finished strong, each team was plagued all season by inconsistency. This matchup screams upset. The Bills will have a great day in Miami, and Jackson, Fitzpatrick and Johnson will guide Hocus Pocus to victory.
Prediction: Hocus Pocus 95, MonStars 88

(4) TwoDat (7-5-2, 1st place Shane Falco's Sentinals) vs. (5) Armchair Quarterback (10-4, WC #1)

The predicted points make this game a pick 'em. TwoDat struggled early in the season, but finished on a tear to make the playoffs. Armchair Quarterback won and won often, but only broke 100 points twice. The edge in this matchup - a rematch of week 14 - goes to TwoDat. TwoDat ranks second among all teams with 1258 total points, compared to just 1071 (10th in the league) for Armchair Quarterback.

Prediction: TwoDat 102, Armchair Quarterback 82

Semifinal predictions:

Petey Jones. RB. over Hocus Pocus
TwoDat over The Backside Georges

Championship Prediction:

Petey Jones. RB. over TwoDat

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Who are the teams that no one is talking about, but should be? Which teams are about to see a nosedive in their metaphorical stock? Let's discuss.

The Three Most Underrated Teams:

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Could we have 2 wild card teams from the NFC South in the playoffs? I think so. The Bucs are my sleeper pick to grab the 6 seed. Realistically, Tampa could be playing a New Orleans team with nothing to gain in Week 17 for a chance to get in. This team isn't flashy, nor is it a media darling. But the Bucs have remained competitive in nearly every game this season.

2. San Diego Chargers - Still on the outside looking in, the Chargers very well could miss the playoffs this year. But if the Chiefs falter (which is very possible), and the Chargers are playing in January, then lookout. San Diego ranks first in the league in total defense and second in total offense.

1. Atlanta Falcons - It's hard to believe that the best team in the NFC is the most underrated team in football. But the Atlanta Falcons, despite an 11-2 record, still aren't getting the credit they deserve. Matt Ryan should be right next to Tom Brady in the MVP conversation. Michael Turner is having a great season, and Roddy White could be the best WR in the game.

The Three Most Overrated Teams

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - As much as I enjoy rooting for the underdogs, I don't expect much from this team. The Jags, despite leading the AFC South, have a point differential of negative 36. They're in the red! That's only one better than 5-8 San Francisco. Jacksonville has a few good wins, such as the Week 4 W vs. Indy, but the Jaguars have taken several drubbings. They lost 38-13 against San Diego, 28-3 against Philadelphia, 30-3 against Tennessee, and 42-20 against Kansas City.

2. Chicago Bears - This team has some great victories on the season. So why are the overrated? Well, it starts with the quarterback. Jay Cutler is a time bomb. The Patriots showed what happens if the Bears have to throw in the red zone. Couple that with a running game that has been inconsistant, and you've found a team that won't win a playoff game.

1. New York Jets - Kick 'em while there down (I will). The Jets have only one quality victory this season, and it came all the way back in Week 2 against the Patriots. Rex Ryan's squad has benefited from a relatively easy schedule, but when the good teams come to down, the Jets lose. New York is just 2-4 against teams with winning percentages over .500 with 7 wins coming against sub .500 teams. We should learn more about Mark Sanchez (specifically that he's not there yet) in Pittsburgh this week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

How Do You Know When You Need A New Stadium?

<a href="" target="_new" title="NFL on FOX: Metrodome collapse">Video: NFL on FOX: Metrodome collapse</a>

NFL Picks: Week 14

At Jacksonville-3.5Oakland41.5

At Pittsburgh-8.5Cincinnati30

New England-3At Chicago37.5

At Buffalo PKCleveland39

Green Bay-7At Detroit46.5

Atlanta-7.5At Carolina41

Tampa Bay-1At Washington41

At New Orleans-9.5St. Louis47

At San Francisco-5Seattle42

At NY Jets-5Miami38

Denver-4At Arizona43.5

At San Diego-10Kansas City45.5

Philadelphia-4At Dallas51

Monday Night Football Line

NY Giants-3.5At Minnesota
(Ford Field)

Baltimore-3At Houston46

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beyond Dali: A Day with a Modern Art"est"

Today, we have a post from a very special guest. Enjoy.

From Kyle Brotzman (too soon?), New York IslandersRich RodriguezCleveland sportsTiger WoodsRex Ryan's diet, to Derek Anderson, the world of sports loves the "train wreck."

In a deviation from his numerous articles on the sappier side of sports, Rick Reilly indulges in the exact opposite: a "day in the life" piece on one of the more controversial, and for all the wrong reasons, figures in the NBA: Ron Artest.

After reading the article, one is left with many reactions. Here are a select few that you are likely to encounter.

1. I need to go to my therapist more often.
2. What are the foster parent agencies doing in SoCal, other than sleeping at the wheel?
3. Finally! I understand the triangle offense.
4. Maybe I should taper for my exams, that's why I never do well: I simply have too much knowledge.
5. You can rent Lamborghini's?
6. Scratch my plans to become a boxer.

What's more, how long does it take to forgive and possibly forget, if ever, athletes. While the "Malice at the Palace" is now over 6 years behind us, it still feels like the defining moment for Ron Artest, even though he has gone on to be one of the NBA's best defenders and help the LA Lakers win a title. When the name Ron Artest comes up, I think of the brawl: will this ever change?

Is it fair? What about Tiger Woods, and other athletes with notable blunders?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Baseball's Winter Meetings

It's a lot like this, only with all the teams and talented players and tons of money.

That's right folks, spring training is only 2 months away. It's that time when baseball news starts popping up on Sportscenter and we all say, "wait, really?". So far this year, however, the winter meetings have actually been interesting. Agents are convincing owners to open up their wallets and make it rain all over this years free agents. OF Jayson Werth signed a 7 year, $126 million deal with the Washington Nationals. The Boston Red Sox signed OF Carl Crawford to an equally obscene 7 year, $142 million deal, as well as acquiring 1B Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres for some prospects. The Yankees horribly overpaid 36 year old SS Derek Jeter with a 3 year, $51 million deal coming off the worst season of his career. Rumor has it that LHP Cliff Lee, this year's belle of the ball, has been offered similar 7 year, $140 million deals from the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. It's a good time to be a talented baseball player.

In less exciting, nonetheless important, news, the Chicago White Sox inked Paul Konerko to a 3 year, $37.5 million deal, giving them a potent 3-4 with Konerko and perennial 40 HR-man Adam Dunn. The San Diego Padres, despite losing Gonzalez, have managed to quietly add OF Cameron Maybin, SS Jason Bartlett, and 1B Derrek Lee. Also, there is heavy speculation that the Kansas City Royals are open to trading ace RHP Zack Greinke, but the price has to be right. Like "5 premium pieces" right. Yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fantasy Football: Week 13

There's only one week left until the playoffs, and there are three divisions that are still up for grabs. This week, we saw two division lead changes and one team clinch a wild card berth.

The Backside Georges (12-1), def. NorthEastGrapepicker(0-12-1) 108-14
It was the best team vs. the worst team. No upset here. Aaron Rodgers led all with 26. Brett Favre posted a depressing -2.

SlapBetCommissioner (6-6-1), def. Bleeding Nipples (7-5-1), 96-92
In the most exciting matchup of the week, SlapBetCommissioner came away with an impressive win. Bleeding Nipples trailed by 5 going into the Monday night game, but got only 1 point from Rob Gronkowski (pretty remarkable, given the 45 that the Patriots put up.) Reggie Wayne led the charge for SlapBetCommissioner with 26. Bleeding Nipples have lost the division lead as a result.

Market St. Marauders (3-9-1) def. Hocus Pocus (7-5-1), 63-61
In a game that Hocus Pocus simply had to win, Market St. Marauders pulled off the upset. Market St. Marauders was able to overcome a few poor performances (-1 from the NYJ defense and 2 from Mark Sanchez) behind 28 points from Adrian Peterson. Buffalo Bills killed the chances of Hocus Pocus, as QB Fitzpatrick had 2, WR Johnson had 3, and RB Jackson had 4. 

Armchair Quarterback (9-4) def. Carolina Sex Panther (6-7), 93-70
With the win, Armchair Quarterback has clinched a playoff birth while officially eliminating Carolina Sex Panther from playoff contention. We'll find out next week if Armchair Quarterback will be a wild card team or the division champ. The win was fueled by six players in doubled digits.

MonStars (8-5) def. Captain Insano (4-9), 116-32
With this rout, MonStars keeps pace atop Coach Boone's Dictatorship. This one was never close. Greg Jennings led all with 24.

bitchesaintshit (5-8) def. Petey Jones. RB (9-4), 95-54
Petey Jones. RB. had a down week and bitchesaintshit had Tom Brady, leading to this upset. Only one player broke 10 points for Petey Jones. RB. (Josh Freeman with 11), while bitchesaintshit got 29 from Tom Brady and 18 from MJD.

TwoDat (7-4-2) def. Nick (2-11), 85-45
For the first time this season, TwoDat is a division leader. The win against the second worst team in the league came easily. TwoDat got great play at RB, where Michael Turner and Jamaal Charles combined for 27.

Shut Up Meg (8-5) def. vick's pooch kick (7-5-1), 109-66
In perhaps the most important matchup of the week, Shut Up Meg did not disappoint. Shut Up Meg now has the division lead, while vick's pooch kick is on the outside looking in. Peyton Hillis was mortal this week, only putting up 7 for vick's pooch kick. Shut Up Meg had seven players in double digits, with Drew Brees leading all (18).

**Special Awards**

Highest Scoring Team: MonStars with 116. Snaps.
Lowest Scoring Team: NorthEastGrapepicker with 14. *Sigh*
Best Player: Tom Brady, the most perfect human being on earth with 29.
Worst Player: Brett Favre with -2. Bring on Tavaris.
Best Matchup: SlapBetCommissioner (96) vs. Bleeding Nipples (92)
Worst Decision: Hocus Pocus, for trusting 3 Buffalo Bills

Monday, December 6, 2010

Patriots vs. Jets: Round II

It is quite possibly the most talked about game of the season. And finally, it's only a few hours away. Here's how things break down for tonight's big AFC East matchup.

Mark Sanchez has matured rapidly this season. He's making good decisions, taking better care of the ball, and leading his team on lots of fourth quarter comebacks. But Tom Brady is still Tom Brady.

Advantage: Patriots

Running Backs
The Jets are once again among the eilte rushing teams in the league. New York averages 148.1 yards per game, which is good enough for fourth in the NFL. The Patriots running game has improved drastically, but their 112.5 rush yards per game is only good enough for 13th.

Advantage: Jets

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Santonio Holmes has been a pleasant addition for a team that was lacking a go-to guy. Braylon's performance, though spotty has been better than that of previous years. Still, if some is good, more is better. The Patriots don't have a lot of big names catching passes, but with Welker, Branch, Tate, Edelman, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Woodhead, and Green-Ellis all capable of making plays, there are just too many weapons.

Advantage: Patriots

The Patriots defense has improved quite a bit from the welcome mat that it used to be. Devin McCourty is one of the best young corners in the game. That said, this one is a no contest. Defense is Rex Ryan's specialty; his team allows only 17 points per game. The Patriots, on the other hand, allow 24.2 points per game and are last in yards allowed per game, totaling just shy of 400. Revis Island is a lonely place.

Advantage: Jets

It's hard to choose between these two coaches. Bill Belichick has been doing it for years, while Rex Ryan is perhaps the best new coach in the last decade. Belichick has his calm demeanor, while Ryan enjoys an entertaining swagger. More importantly, both coaches find ways to win. This is basically a push. I'll give the slight edge to the guy with the rings.

Advantage: Patriots

Final Score
Patriots 27, Jets 24... Brady leads the Patriots down the field with less than 4 minutes left and takes the lead back, Sanchez tries to duplicate, but Nick Folk misses a game-tying FG as time expires.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

NFL Picks: Week 13

I wonder who this blogger is rooting for...

At Minnesota-5Buffalo43.5

At Miami-5.5Cleveland43

At Tennessee-3Jacksonville43.5

At Kansas City-8.5Denver48

At NY Giants-7.5Washington43

Chicago-5At Detroit43

At Green Bay-9San Francisco41

New Orleans-6.5At Cincinnati45

Atlanta-3At Tampa Bay43

At San Diego-13Oakland44.5

At Seattle-4.5Carolina40

At Indianapolis-5.5Dallas47.5

St. Louis-3.5At Arizona44

At Baltimore-3Pittsburgh39

Monday Night Football Line
At New England-3.5NY Jets45

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Is good

College football conference championships and big rivalry games today, NFL tomorrow, Patriots vs. Jets Monday. It's Christmas come early. Enjoy it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Countdown Friday: Top 10 Angry Moments

I'm still a little upset about this Qatar business. And so I bring you: the top 10 angry moments in sports. (Besides, I'll take any chance I can get to sneak a Quebec Nordiques clip in here.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

10 Reasons Why It's A Terrible Idea To Let Qatar Host The World Cup

It is difficult to describe the events that took place at the FIFA Headquarters this morning without using the word "abomination." The decision to send the 2018 World Cup to Russia is peculiar, but at the very least, understandable. I like that FIFA is allowing countries to host the tournament in an effort to increase the relevance of soccer in that area. After all, that's how the U.S. got its bid in 1994.

The choice of Qatar to host in 2022, however, defies all reason. I can't think of an instance in the last 20 years where a less qualified country was selected to host the World Cup tournament or Olympic Games. Even Australia, which successfully hosted the Sydney games in 2000, would have been a better choice (Australia got eliminated in Round 1 of voting).

Here are 10 reasons why the FIFA committee made a huge mistake:

1. The Qatar soccer team will actually be in the World Cup - What a joke.

2. It's hot as Hell - Try 120 degrees.

3. It sets a terrible precedent that the World Cup can be bought - Of course, I don't have any evidence to say this guy or that guy took bribes. But come on. I wasn't born yesterday.

4. Purely in terms of soccer, the Middle East hasn't earned it yet - Several teams from the Middle East have participated in the World Cup and have performed respectably. Still, their performances simple don't justify a bid, not yet.

5. Qatar has little soccer tradition - They've never even qualified for a World Cup.

6. It raises lots of questions about the influence of oil money in world soccer - Who knows how far it reaches.

7. It's smaller than Connecticut - I'm actually not joking about that.

8. FIFA is taking too much of a gamble - If this doesn't work, there could be some serious backlash against FIFA.

9. Qatar has to spend $50 billion to create the necessary infrastructure - That means that it doesn't exist yet.

10. Qatar's soccer stadiums are made of pixels:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fantasy Football: Week 12

Division races are heating up. Only two more weeks until the playoffs!

The Backside Georges (11-1), def. Petey Jones. RB. (9-3) 94-79
In a matchup of the two best teams in the league, The Backside Georges came away with the victory behind strong QB play (25 from Aaron Rodgers) and a solid running performance by who else, Arian Foster (21 points). Petey Jones. RB. got a solid 17 from Flacco, 18 from Mendenhall, and 10 from Felix Jones, but saw only 10 total points at the WR position.
Bleeding Nipples (7-4-1) def. Market St. Marauders (2-9-1) 106-70
Bleeding Nipples could have the strongest WR lineup. This week, Brandon Lloyd put up 19 and Dwayne Bowe notched a gentleman's 35. Market St. Marauders got an incredible performance from NYJ DEF (22), but it simply wasn't enough.

SlapBetCommissioner (5-6-1), def. MonStars (7-5), 74-44
It was an ugly week for MonStars, who fell out of the division lead with the loss. Only one player managed to crack double digits, and that was Greg Jennings with 11. SlapBetCommissioner had a strong showing, with 14 points from Knowshon Moreno, 13 from Matt Forte, and 11 from Peyton Manning.

Armchair Quarterback (8-4) def. Shut Up Meg (7-5) 72-71
What a close matchup this was. It was a brutal loss for Shut Up Meg, who has slipped out of playoff position as a result. David Acres led the charge for Armchair Quarterback with 15, and Jon Kitna had 12. Shut Up Meg got 27 from Wes Welker, but a -3 from Lee Evans was the deciding factor.

Hocus Pocus (7-4-1) def. Captain Insano (4-8), 93-71
There were far too many zeros on the scoreboard for Captain Insano (four, to be exact). Poor performances 25 points from Kyle Orton and 24 points from the San Diego DEF. Hocus Pocus got 23 from Deion Branch. However, Frank Gore is now on the IR, so Hocus Pocus could have some trouble in the running game in the next few weeks.

Nick (2-10) def. NorthEastGrapepicker (0-11-1), 51-47
In the battle of the scrubs, Nick escaped with a 4 point win. It was perhaps NorthEastGrapepicker's last chance to notch a W. A combined total of 0 at the RB position typical results in a loss. And it did.

TwoDat (6-4-2) def. bitchesaintshit (4-8), 79-76
With a narrow victory, TwoDat has vaulted himself back into the playoff race. Jamaal Charles and Michael Turner combined for 37 points. Both teams had poor WR play (12 points each for WRs). The decisive factor was the TE. Jason Witten put up 9 for Twodat, while bichesaintshit got just 1 from Aaron Hernandez.

vick's pooch kick (7-4-1) def. Carolina Sex Panther (6-6), 120-78 
Carolina Sex Panther, who once held the division lead, is now in last place in the very competitive Coach Boone's Dictatorship. vick's pooch kick, who sat at the basement of the division for quite some time, has claimed the lead and is looking like a playoff team. Peyton Hillis had 37 in the win.

**Special Awards**

Highest Scoring Team: vick's pooch kick with 120. Thanks Peyton Hillis
Lowest Scoring Team: MonStars with 44. Bad time to lay an egg.
Best Player: vick's pooch kick's Peyton Hillis with 37. How's Brady Quinn, Denver?
Worst Player: Shut Up Meg's Lee Evans with -3. Cost the team a W.
Best Matchup: Armchair Quarterback (72) vs. Shut Up Meg (71)
Worst Decision: Shut Up Meg, for putting faith in a Buffalo Bill

Monday, November 29, 2010

Missing Persons Case Solved: Rich Rodriguez Found Hiding Under A Rock

The 48-hour search for Michigan's head football coach has finally come to an end. It ended happily (or not, depending on who's side you're on), with the coach alive and well. Rodriguez was found alone, hiding under a rock, singing kumbaya.

It isn't clear why exactly the 15-21 head coach ran away in the first place, but experts think that it must have something to do with one of the following reasons:

  • An ugly lawsuit with West Virginia
  • Continuous controversy over NCAA violations
  • Posting the worst record ever (3-9) for the winningest program in college football history
  • Snapping the nation's longest bowl-appearance streak at 33
  • Losing to Ohio State three times in a row, including the two worst losses ever
  • Leading Michigan to an 0-12 record against teams that finish with a Big Ten record of .500 or better
It's hard to say, really.

While Michigan fans are devastated by the news that RichRod is alright, the other Big Ten coaches are rejoicing. Getting Rich back is a blessing, said one coach who wished to remain anonymous. He'll continue to make Michigan a competitive program - competing with teams like Indiana and Minnesota for the bottom of the division.

Rodriguez did not want to discuss his episode, saying that it would only distract the team from what's really important. We've only got a month to prepare for the Bowl, he said. And then, I'll be busy hunting for a job.