Sunday, March 3, 2013

Taking a Hiatus

I've decided to take a hiatus with this blog.  I've enjoyed writing on this blog these last five years or so but I just need to take a hiatus.  It may be a short term thing or it may be for good.  But for what it was (and for those who read it), I hope it has served a good purpose for the time it has been in use.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII Prediction

If you have listened to the latest episode of the Three and Out Podcast then you know already what my prediction is (and if you haven't you need to check it out.  Simply put, I'm never picking the Ravens and ain't going to here.  I think this season was in essence a changing of the guard with the young QBs and I think the "X-Factor" Colin Kaepernick will be the difference for the Niners as they win their 6th ever Lombardi Trophy.

49ers 24 Ravens 10

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Return of the SuperSonics

This is a post I've been wanting to write since July 2008.  Word broke late last night that the Maloofs, owners of the Sacramento Kings, sold their majority ownership interest to Chris Hansen and his group.  With this sale, it begin the process of the return of the Seattle SuperSonics.

People who know me know my connection to that city.  I wrote back in 2008 when Clay Bennett and his group moved the franchise to Oklahoma City and ripped the heart out of the city.  The producers of Sonicsgate did a great job of telling the story.  And they made sure the mantra was said "No city is safe."

Unfortunately Sacramento is one of those cities.  I feel bad for Kings fans.  They had bad ownership (like the Sonics had with Starbucks founder Howard Schultz) which led to bad management of the team.  However, there are differences this time around.  Chris Hansen's intentions were straightforward from the start.  He and his group hasn't lied to the city of Sacramento, hasn't tried to make things difficult for the team by trying to get them to tank.  They've been upfront, something that Clay Bennett and his group never were.

On the one hand, it's sad that what Clay Bennett and his group did inevitably cost Sacramento their franchise and gives another reason why I don't like that ownership group.

On the other hand, it'll be so great to see the green and gold, to hear Kevin Calabro doing play by play commentary, to see Squatch courtside.  The Sonics are coming back, they're not just a regular team:

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Conference Championship Picks

I had a so-so weekend last weekend with my picks going 2-2 and now 5-3 overall.  Hopefully, I can pick it up and go undefeated this weekend.  Here are my picks (and be sure to check out the latest episode of the Three and Out Podcast to hear more and hear banter on the picks).

The NFC Title game pits San Francisco vs. Atlanta.  The top 2 teams in the regular season in the NFC square off in the Georgia Dome.  The 49ers have a really tough team and are back in this game for the second year in the row.  They have a lot of momentum but I think the Falcons are going to get over the hump and get into the Super Bowl.

Falcons 31 49ers 28

The AFC Title game is a rematch of last season's AFC Title game with Baltimore vs. New England.  Simply put, go with Brady at home in the title game.

Patriots 37 Ravens 17

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013 Divisional Round Weekend Predictions

One week into the playoffs and my postseason picks aren't too bad.  I went 3-1 last weekend (which I was hoping to go 4-0 but Baltimore won so that didn't happen) and so it's onto the Divisional Round (for more banter check out the Three and Out Podcast where I discuss more about my picks).

The first game on Saturday is Baltimore vs. Denver.  The Ravens are coming off their win against the Colts while the Broncos lie in wait.  Out of all the games, this is the easiest game for me to pick.  I can't stand the Ravens + I like Peyton Manning = I'm picking the Broncos.  And the fact that Denver blasted them only a few weeks ago in Baltimore only adds to my case.  I think this will be the least interesting game and I'm okay with that because (hopefully) the Broncos will move on to the title game.

Broncos 31 Ravens 10

The night game on Saturday is Green Bay vs San Francisco.  We have another match up against two teams that played in the regular season.  In Week 1, the 49ers came into Lambeau Field and beat the Pack.  This will be different as it will be in San Francisco and the 49ers QB will be Colin Kaepernick instead of Alex Smith.  Out of the 4 games, this one is the hardest for me to pick.  Green Bay is playing better and healthy but they still have their weaknesses (O-Line shaky, not much of running game, defense can let teams hang around).  The 49ers have more playmakers this year compared to last year but this is Kaepernick's first playoff start.  I think this will be a close one but I'm thinking the home team pulls this one out.

49ers 20 Packers 17

The early Sunday game is Seattle vs Atlanta.  The Seahawks are coming off their first road playoff victory since 1983 after beating the Redskins.  They now have to travel again, this time to Atlanta.  Ironically, this is the only matchup this weekend where the teams are meeting for the first time.  Atlanta has a lot of pressure on them as the top seed with home field advantage.  QB Matt Ryan & HC Mike Smith are winless in the postseason but they do have that explosive offense.  Obviously key matchup will be Falcons WRs vs. Seahawks secondary.  It will be tough for a 10:00am pacific kickoff (1:00pm Eastern) but I think the Seahawks can pull it out and keep the ball rolling.

Seahawks 24 Falcons 20

The late Sunday game is Houston vs New England.  This is another rematch from a regular season game that saw the Pats beat the Texans on a Monday night game in the middle of the season.  The Texans are coming off a big win against the Bengals to kind of right the ship from the previous few weeks.  They do have a good offense and a good defense.  The Pats have their typical high scoring offense.  I think this time around the game will be a lot closer, however I still think the Patriots will win the game.

Patriots 27 Texans 24

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Wild Card Weekend Predictions

It's playoff time so it's time for predictions (I also shared them on the Three and Out podcast so feel free to listen to some of the debate on them) for the Wild Card round.

The first game on Saturday is Cincinnati vs Houston.  This is a rematch of last year's wild card game.  Houston is slumping coming into this game and Cincy is on a roll.  The Bengals still have not won a playoff game since 1990...and I don't see it happening here.  I think Foster and Schaub will get their act together and will take care of business.

Texans 27 Bengals 17

The night game on Saturday is Minnesota vs Green Bay.  This is the rubber match as they have played two games already this season with each team winning at home.  Adrian Peterson has pretty much run roughshod over the Packers and honestly I don't think this will be any different.  The key will be how second year QB Christian Ponder plays.  If he has a good game, the Vikings can win.  If not, they won't.  I think it'll be a close game but I think the Pack will win in Lambeau

Packers 20 Vikings 17

The early game on Sunday is Indianapolis vs Baltimore.  The old franchise from that city (Colts) verses the newer (Ravens).  This could potentially be Ray Lewis last game.  This is Andrew Luck's first postseason game.  The Ravens aren't the Ravens of old.  Their defense is older, injured and wore out.  Yes Indy is young but I think they're strong enough (#Chuckstrong) to pull this one out.

Colts 24 Ravens 10

The late game on Sunday is Seattle vs Washington.  Two dynamic rookie QBs in Russell Wilson & RG3.  Seattle hasn't won a playoff road game since 1983.  Washington has lost their last 2 postseason appearances, both to Seattle.  I think RG3 not being healthy + Seattle's punishing defense is enough for the Seahawks to get the W

Seahawks 31 Redskins 14

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fantasy Football Tuesday: Championship Week 2

(Yes it's Wednesday but yesterday was New Year's Day so hopefully this should get a pass)

This past weekend was the last regular season weekend in the NFL and the last week for fantasy football.  It was an interesting year for me in fantasy football.  I was in the most leagues that I've ever been in with 8.  I made the playoffs in 5 of those leagues.  I made the finals in all 5 of those leagues, and I ended up with 2 titles.  This past weekend I won the "Bounty Program" Fantasy League (I've won that league in back to back seasons).

So while I would've liked to have won more titles but it's still pretty impressive to have made 5 championship games.  It'll give more to shoot for next season.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fantasy Football Tuesday: Championship Week 1

This past weekend was Week 16 in the NFL and the weekend for several championships in a couple of the leagues I'm in currently.  In one league, I lost (unfortunately due to a trade that took place a few days prior to the matchup) but in another league I won.  That league (Dogs of War) was the first year I've been in this league.  I was invited by a couple from church to participate.  Not bad for my first year in the league to win the title.  Here's the recap of the championship game:

Championship: GSP Titans Gets Win Against Minimal Talent

  • GSP Titans (10-6) 156.91
  • Minimal Talent (8-8) 138.84
GSP Titans, led by Matt Ryan with 47.41 points and Roddy White with 29.65, beat Minimal Talent, 156.91 - 138.84. GSP Titans has put a nice string together after winning their last three matchups in a row. GSP Titans gets revenge for their last matchup with Minimal Talent (a Week 13 loss: 128.64 - 93.95), and their head-to-head record improves to 3-1.
GSP Titans Smooth Moves
  • The 29.65 points scored by Roddy White was the second-highest WR score in the league this week and the sixth-best point total by a WR in the league this season.
  • The Chicago Bears Defense had 27.00 points, the highest DEF score of the week and the fifth-highest score among DEF in the league this season.
  • Stephen Gostkowski scored 11.50 points, the highest K score in the league this week.
  • Matt Ryan ranked fourth in the league in scoring and had the highest output of any player on GSP Titans this season with 47.41 points.
  • Benched the Seattle Seahawks Defense, which had the lowest DEF score on the team with 19.00 points.
Minimal Talent Regret Tracker
  • Owen Daniels scored 2.85 points against a projected 6.06 and has now underachieved in four straight games.
  • At the DEF position, Minimal Talent got outscored 27.00 - 3.00 by GSP Titans.
  • Minimal Talent fell short at the K position, getting outscored 11.50 - 2.00 by GSP Titans.
  • The 3.70 points scored by Arian Foster was a season-low. He had a projected 22.97-point total, and has now underachieved in four straight games.
  • Lawrence Tynes was last on the team in scoring with 2.00 points against a projected 7.48 and underachieved for the third time this season.
What If
  • GSP Titans would be 7-9 if they played Minimal Talent every week.
  • GSP Titans would have beaten only one other team besides Minimal Talent this week.
  • Had they played each other last week, GSP Titans would have defeated Minimal Talent 155.10 - 144.08.
  • GSP Titans would be 6-6 if they played the same schedule as Minimal Talent.
  • If GSP Titans had played every team in the league each week, they would be 37-39.
  • Minimal Talent would have lost to two other teams besides GSP Titans this week.
  • Minimal Talent would be 8-4 if they played the same schedule as GSP Titans.
  • If they played every team every week, Minimal Talent would be 42-34.
Game Notes
  • Four of the 10 wins for GSP Titans this season have come despite their opponent scoring higher than their season average.
  • Of the losses Minimal Talent has had, six were against opponents who topped their season scoring average that week.
  • GSP Titans is on the longest active win streak in the league, winning three straight games.
  • Minimal Talent scored 138.84 points and lost. It is the sixth-highest losing score in the league this season.
  • It was the second time this season that Minimal Talent has had the lowest score in the league.
  • The margin of victory for the matchup ended up being the smallest in the league this week at 18.07 points.
  • Minimal Talent could not extend their three-game win streak.
  • A.J. Green did little to help GSP Titans, underperforming versus projections for the fifth straight game with 9.80 points against a projected 12.96.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fantasy Football Tuesday: Week 15

It's Fantasy Football Tuesday.  It's been a few weeks but I'm back (do think next year when I do this I'll make mention of more leagues than just one, be more motivated to blog about that).  It's the middle of the playoffs.  In 8 leagues, I made the playoffs in 5 of them.  In the JustUs Geeks Fantasy League, I limped in as the 4 seed and didn't secure a bye.  But I won last week and then this week had a matchup with the #1 seed and a team I had lost to earlier in the season.  Given the stakes, my team pulled out the upset and is now onto the championship game.  Here's the recap:

Playoffs: Hub City All Stars Gets Comeback Stunner Against Vlad Dracul

  • Hub City All Stars (9-6) 189.52
  • Vlad Dracul (8-6) 155.16
Hub City All Stars pulled off a comeback on Sunday night and also got the eighth-highest point total in the league to date when they upset Vlad Dracul 189.52 - 155.16. Hub City All Stars had to overcome a 64.36-point deficit and an 18.40-point spread. This shocker avenges a 172.44 - 138.78 loss to Vlad Dracul back in Week 10. On top of the loss, Vlad Dracul had a starter score zero points (Danario Alexander).
Hub City All Stars Smooth Moves
  • Tom Brady led the league in scoring and had the 17th-most points in the league this season with 54.82.
  • Aaron Hernandez had the most points of any TE in the league this week with 15.20.
  • Was smart to sit the Chicago Bears Defense this week, which had 11.00 points, the lowest DEF score on the team.
  • Eric Decker had the second-highest score of any WR in the league this week with 25.30 points.
  • Frank Gore scored 17.70 points, which ranked sixth out of all the RBs in the league this week.
Vlad Dracul Regret Tracker
  • Left the Denver Broncos Defense on the bench, where they scored 30.00 points to beat their scoring projection by 245.6%, the fifth-highest percentage in the league.
  • Picked up Dan Bailey, who scored 11.00 points against a projected 7.87, but left him on the bench.
  • Vlad Dracul needed more points from the QB position, where Hub City All Stars beat them 54.82 - 20.16.
  • At the DEF position, Vlad Dracul got outscored 25.00 - 11.00 by Hub City All Stars.
  • Vlad Dracul could have used more points from the TE position, where Hub City All Stars beat them 15.20 - 6.90.
What If
  • If Hub City All Stars played Vlad Dracul every week, they would be 6-8 this season.
  • Besides Vlad Dracul, Hub City All Stars would have defeated four other teams this week.
  • If they played the same schedule as Vlad Dracul, Hub City All Stars would be 8-4.
  • If Hub City All Stars had played every team in the league each week, they would be 64-35.
  • In addition to Hub City All Stars, Vlad Dracul would have lost to just two other teams this week.
  • If they played the same schedule as Hub City All Stars, Vlad Dracul would be 8-4.
  • Vlad Dracul would be 65-31 if they played every team every week.
Game Notes
  • Vlad Dracul has lost six times and five of them have come to teams who beat their scoring average in that matchup.
  • Vlad Dracul scored 155.16 points and lost. It is the fourth-highest losing score in the league this season.
  • The 189.52 points scored by Hub City All Stars was the highest in the league this week and the eighth-highest in the league this season.
  • The loss snapped a six-game win streak by Vlad Dracul.
  • Hub City All Stars remains undefeated in upset games this season, improving to 2-0.
  • With 64.30 points, Vlad Dracul got the highest combined scoring output from the WR position for any team this week.
  • Vlad Dracul remains winless in upset games this season, falling to 0-2.
  • Adrian Peterson scored 35.20 points, the seventh-highest RB score in the league this season, but it was not enough to get a win for Vlad Dracul.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reflections on the Tragedy in Kansas City

This past Saturday there was a lot of great things going on in the country in the realm of sports.  College football was playing their championship games (and playoffs).  The NFL was gearing up for another great day of action.  But there was one tragic event that cast a somberness to the weekend.

When I woke up that morning and was going about my routine I saw on twitter a tweet by Danny Parkins, a sports talk host from Kansas City, who had tweeted that Arrowhead Stadium was on lockdown.  I thought at the time that was weird and was trying to think of what was going on at the stadium.  Then slowly tweets and news reports were coming in across the internet.  There was a shooting at a house in K.C. & there was an incident at the stadium practice facilities and that those two things were linked.  Then there was a murder-suicide.  Then it was one of the players involved.

Finally, the story came out.  Jovan Belcher, linebacker for the Chiefs, had shot and killed his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and mother of their daughter then killed himself.  As more details came out, the more it was a tragic story.  It started with Belcher getting angry at his girlfriend for staying out too late after spending time with friends at a concert and hanging out afterwards.  It escalated into Belcher shooting and killing Perkins and then driving to the Chiefs practice facility.  There he talked with Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel, GM Scott Pioli & linebackers coach Gary Gibbs before pulling out a gun and killing himself as they watched unable to stop him.

So much has been written in the past 48 hours that I'm sure a lot of what I say would just be repeating but there are two things that I do want to reflect on here.  The first is that it's a tragic reminder that ultimately (unlike Jason Whitlock & Bob Costas say) there is a sin problem in our world.  Belcher in his anger and jealousy acted in a tragic manner which robbed Perkins of her life and their daughter of her mother.  Sin was at the root of this.  I was reminded yesterday morning by my pastor who preached on anger (it was planned sermon prior to this event) and was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil."  Unfortunately, Belcher in his anger did sin and in one instant not only his life but the lives of those around him were affected.  Sin has consequences that affect not only us but those around us.  Thankfully we have a savior in Jesus who forgives us of our sins and does not leave us in our sins but until He returns again, we do have to deal with the effects of sin.

The other thing to reflect on was something I read this morning on NBC's Pro Football Talk website.  There was an article written by Mike Florio.  He shared Brady Quinn (Chiefs QB)'s comments postgame.  If you haven't heard or read them yet, they are worth sharing.  I will leave you with those quotes:

“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people,” Quinn told reporters after the game.  “I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently.  When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it?  When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth?
“We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us.  Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.”