I will be returning very soon.
Let’s cut to the chase and jump right into the remaining End of the Year Awards:
Rookie of the Year: Kevin Durant. I considered him to be a lock all season long, but he struggled early by forcing too many shots and avoided grabbing any rebounds. However, by the end of the season, Kevin Durant (who needs a great scorers nickname) increased his shooting percentages and put a completely dysfunctional team on his back. Sure, they were not very good, and may struggle for a few years (boy, did I whiff on how bad they would be). However, Sam Presti has them poised to get better in a hurry, because he has so many available picks and cap room with the moves he made over the course of the season.
I will have to give Al Horford honorable mention here, because his play made the race much closer than I thought it would. I also have to give some credit to Joakim Noah for being the most awkward person I have ever seen up close that plays in the NBA. He made Keith Closs look relatively normal. Yeesh.
Anti-Rookie of the Year: (Please note, this award is for the second-year player who inexplicably tanked in year two after having a great rookie season.) Andrea Bargnani. Man, he was so impressive in his first season that I had to believe that he would continue to improve and become the second fiddle to Chris Bosh. What a disappointment.
Now for the most important award:
MVP: Chris Paul. Kobe was impressive but I cannot give the award to a player that openly tanked during the first 12-15 games of the season, because he was upset with his team. How can that ever make you the Most Valuable Player. Sure, he should probably win it next year when he takes the Lakers to the best record in the NBA with help from Pau Gasol, a healthy Andrew Bynum (unless he still hasn’t healed), and a vastly improved Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic.
Instead, Chris Paul is the MVP for this season. He finished second in the NBA in assists, led the league in steals, completely destroyed his opponents when he played top point guards in the league, he invigorated a dead city franchise in New Orleans, and he gave everything he could in the All Star game to try to get the West to win. I watched a lot, and I mean a LOT, of games this year, and CP3 was the best player on the court in every game he played in this season. He decimated Jason Kidd, and continues to do so in the playoffs. He always gets David West, Jannero Pargo and Peja wide-open jumpers, so they never miss. He knows when to set up Tyson Chandler with an alley-oop off of the pick-and-roll to keep the big man active on both ends of the court, and he knows when it is time to ‘Zeke up his game. (Please note that the previous sentence is a reference to the NBA player formerly known as Isiah Thomas, now the worst g.m., coach, president of basketball operations the League has ever seen. I chose ‘Zeke instead of Isiah because nobody even remembers how phenomenal Isiah was at taking over the final minutes of games to push his teams to victory.)
Chris Paul was the best player in the NBA this season, and he just narrowly edged out Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James for the MVP. This was by far the most exciting MVP race in the most exciting NBA regular season in a very loooooooong time.
As far as the team awards are concerned, I would have to go with the following:
All Rookie Team:
G – Juan Carlos Navarro
G – Kevin Durant
F – Al Thornton
F – Luis Scola
C – Al Horford
All Rookie 2nd Team:
G – Rodney Stuckey
F – Thaddeus Young
F – Jamario Moon
F – Carl Landry
C – Joakim Noah
(I had to put three forwards in there, because I really was not that impressed with the guard play from the rookies this season. I hated putting Scola and Navarro on the first team, because they are not truly rookies, but I would have been stuck with an All Rookie First Team of nothing but forwards. )
Rookie Let-Down Team:
G – Mike Conley, Jr.
G – Morris Almond (I know Jerry Sloan is hard on rookies, but man can that guy shoot the ball.)
F – Demetris Nichols (He got cut from the Knicks, and then couldn’t get minutes for the floundering Bulls. I think he should have stayed in college one more year)
F – Dominic McGuire (He may not be in the league very long)
C – Greg Oden (the knee injury was so disappointing), Runner-Up: Chiek Samb
All Defensive First Team:
G – Chris Paul
G – Raja Bell
F – Bruce Bowen
F – Kevin Garnett
C – Marcus Camby
All Defensive Second Team:
G – Rajon Rondo
G – Kobe Bryant
F – Shane Battier
F – Tim Duncan
C – Tyson Chandler
All Defensive Honorable Mention:
G – Baron Davis
G – Chauncey Billups
F – Tayshaun Prince
F – LeBron James
C – Kendrick Perkins
New York Knicks
1st Team All NBA:
G – Chris Paul
G – Kobe Bryant
F – LeBron James
F – Kevin Garnett
C – Dwight Howard
2nd Team All NBA:
G – Steve Nash
G – Manu Ginobili
F – Tracy McGrady
F – Amare Stoudamire
C – Rasheed Wallace
3rd Team All NBA:
G – Deron Williams
G – Andre Igoudala
F – David West
F – Tim Duncan
C – Chris Kaman
You may notice that there were no Nuggets on the All NBA Teams. That is because they only played on one half of the court (no defense) and were way too inconsistent over the course of the season. They should have been much better. I’m also very disappointed in the lack of development by Carmelo Anthony. Please keep in mind that I am not referring to his basketball skills. He should be much better at handling himself off the court at this time. LeBron, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, and Dwyane Wade are also young ambassadors for the NBA and are doing a much better job of representing the League off the court. ‘Melo has made his mistakes, but they should be occurring at a much less frequent rate at this point.
The Heat win this award simply because nobody on their roster at the end of the season belonged in the NBA. The Knicks could not win the award simply because there was nothing representative of “team” for them.
Enjoy the games over the weekend. Hopefully, I will have something to post tomorrow prior to the NFL Draft. Stay tuned.
It has been a tumultuous couple of months in the NBA Guru’s household, and that is why there has been little (alright, nothing) coming from me over that span.
However, I have been watching games, and I have had the pleasure of enjoying the greatest NBA regular season since the 1980′s. To call this season a resurgence would do this season a great injustice. My one complaint is that there were so few games being broadcast in the final week of the regular season when so much was still left up in the air for playoff positions. Alas, I was unable to make the necessary purchase to watch all games this year, and was relegated to the ever-so-slow internet updates of games. I guess that is what happens when your internet does not work well, and you try to pirate a free wireless network. Wait, forget that I ever said that.
Anyway, without further ado, I shall delve into my end of year awards, and hopefully this post will be the first in what will become a triumphant return for your favorite NBA blogger.
(Let’s start with the awards that were already announced. I had these picks already, but did not get them posted before taking a trip to Boston. Note to the readers: Go to Fenway.)
6th Man of the Year: Manu Ginobili. There was never any doubt in this one, and he should finish in the top-7 of MVP voting.
15th Man of the Year: Gerald Green. This award was formerly referred to as the Bonzi Wells Award. Green is a very gifted athlete with nothing between the ears, and to make matters worse, he has had the gall to complain about a lack of playing time everywhere he has been. I look forward to hearing stories about him when he is playing in the CBA.
Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Garnett. He anchored the best defense in the NBA, and was the best defensive player in the league. Marcus Camby had great stats, but Denver played absolutely no team defense, which everyone is now getting to see in the Lakers series.
Bizarro Defensive Player of the Year: (tie) Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry. If Randolph played defense like he fights, he would be a great defensive player. Then again, the same thing could be said for Curry’s ability to box-out at the buffet line. Good job Knicks (and team Isiah Dolan. Look for a recurring theme here).
Executive of the Year: Danny Ainge. He brought in Kevin Garnett (perhaps the award could go to Kevin McHale for helping the Celtics), Ray Allen (and the greatest jump shot ever), and then landed James Posey and Sam I Am Cassell. I guess Kevin Garnett should put that trophy on his mantle also, because he is the reason the free agents went there.
Anti-Executive of the Year: Chris Wallace. Seriously, how the heck did that guy ever get another job after the Vin Baker debacle in Boston. The Pau Gasol trade should go down as one of the top-3 worst trades EVER in the history of NBA basketball, and that includes when the Cleveland Cavaliers once gave players away and the league office resckinded the deals. It absolutely blows my mind that Chris Wallace is allowed to run an NBA team. I have read the collective bargaining agreement multiple times, and I have a very solid understanding of its language. I feel comfortable watching college games and picking out the players that will be solid NBA performers without ever having to refer to Marc Stein or Scouts Inc.’s reports. Yet, I cannot even get a job handing out stat sheets at halftime, and that hack is in his second stint as a G.M. Ridiculous.
Most Improved: Hedo Turkoglu. That guy completely vanished in big games when he was playing in Sacramento and in San Antonio. Now, he’s headlining the Sports Guy’s All-Hombre Team with Kobe Bryant, and his teammates are calling him Mr. Fourth Quarter. Are you kidding me? What happened here? Also, why does Lamar Odom get so much love for being the multi-skilled 6’10″ big guy, when Turkoglu shoots a higher percentage around the arc, and has just as many quality abilities AND is the exact same height? I’m done before I ask more questions that none of you intend to answer.
Most Regressed: Stephon Marbury is the obvious candidate here, but then again he could pretty much go anywhere on this list where I go with the Anti-Awards. Instead, I will go with Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich cannot even hit a jump shot anymore, and I think it is because he has called it quits on his career after The Lord of the Rings finished filming. That is a Frodo shoutout to when Hinrich had his long hair.
Best Contract Push: Sasha Vujacic and Rasho Nesterovic. All Sasha has done is knock down clutch jumpers at an alarming clip, while Rasho actually posted some pretty amazing stats at the end of the regular season for a guy that was utterly worthless for his tenure in San Antonio and for most of it in Toronto. You have to hand it to the European players; they are picking up all aspects of the USA game, including mailing it in until the necessary contract push. Good job fellas.
Worst Contract Push: (tie) Ben Gordon and Luol Deng. Great job fellas. Turn down very good contracts, get caught up in the trade talks, and completely tank this season. Note to younger players: don’t get too greedy. Gordon Gecko was right, “Greed is good.” However, too much greed, when offered very lucrative contracts, is just flat out crazy.
Comeback Player of the Year: Peja. I’m only referring to him by one name from now on, frankly because his last name is too long and I don’t have time to type it. Peja looked like he was going the way of Chris Webber, injuries and completely disappearing from our minds which meant we would forget how good he was at what he did, i.e. hit threes. Instead, Peja came back from back problems this season, and hit nearly every open jumper Chris Paul fed to him.
Disappear Player of the Year: This goes to the trio of Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion and Jorge Garbajosa. Wade and Marion share in this for their part in Tankfest ’08, the Beasley Quest. Although Wade was pretty terrible when healthy for one game this year.
Garbajosa on the other hand gets it for the disgusting and gruesome injury he suffered last year. Hopefully Grungy Gorbey will win the Comeback Player of the Year next season.
Coach of the Year: Byron Scott. I anticipate him receiving this award and then in his acceptance speech, looking straight into the camera and shouting “&*$# Jason Kidd!” Maybe I’m getting my hopes up and setting myself for disappointment, but a guy can dream.
Anti-Coach of the Year: Isiah Thomas. He wins here after just missing out to Chris Wallace in the balloting for Anti-Executive of the Year. We nearly had a Knicks sweep of the Anti-Awards, but I did not want to come off as being biased. But know that they really should have swept those categories.
Biggest Rollercoaster of a Season: J.R. Smith. He got in trouble with his coach at the end of last year. He was involved in a driving accident that resulted in the death of his best friend (with some shady stories coming out about the accident). He had some run-ins with the law. He struggled out of the gate and was relegated to the end of the bench. Then he inexplicably figured out what he was good at and had a brief period where he was averaging over 20 points a game off the bench in very limited action. Now, he’s been one of the best players for the Nuggets first two playoff games. Craziness, but then again, that’s J.R. Smith for you.
Least Surprising Crazy Season: Stephon Marbury. He gave us all kinds of fun this season with his threats to go to Europe, to retire, to out Isiah for all his shenanigans. Who will ever forget the (not a direct quote), “I’ve got $%&^ on Isiah too,” lines. He gave us ludicrous interviews that made his interviews in Phoenix seem completely sane. He gave us all the fun of the stories about the intern and the back of his truck. His complete tanking of the season, and disappearance, reappearance, benching then playing, and all the other treats over the course of the year. But you know what, none of this amazed me in the slightest about the guy. He has become so completely insane that none of this caught me off guard. It is bizarre, but that is Starbury.
(Sidebar: Starbury could have played alongside K.G. for fifteen years, and they could have taken Minnesota to the top of the league within two years of playing together. Instead, he did not want to be second-fiddle to K.G. and now has become the guy that hooked up with a Knicks intern outside of a strip club. That is his highlight. Well, that and being traded for Jason Kidd so the Nets could go to the Finals, and being shipped out so Steve Nash could win the MVP in Phoenix.)
Well, hopefully that is enough to tide you over under tomorrow when I will post my pick for MVP and LVP along with my All NBA, All Defensive, All Rookie teams and the ROY.
After being infuriated by Shanny O’Shanahan’s utter disdain for all things fantasy football on Thursday night, I watched in utter dismay as my beloved Cobra Kai disintegrated in the fantasy football playoffs. Let’s set the stage:
I was all set to get my weekly picks post in on Sunday morning, and I was ready to make those last second changes to the Kai lineup for the BFL semifinals. I could not do either on Saturday, because I spent the day in Christmas shopping season hell by going to the mall and what I have now dubbed “the worst Toys-R-Us ever!”. That experience took all day, and the weather was miserable in Louisville. Saturday was a terrible personal day for me.
Then on Sunday morning, I had to drive to Versailles, Kentucky, only in Kentucky it is pronounced Ver-SAILS, which is about an hour away from my house. I had to pick up my brother’s VW Jetta that I admittedly was driving when the engine died over a year ago. He had to find a TDI specialist to fix the thing. What better weekend for the work to be completed than last week, during my BFL playoff semifinals.
Well, my lady friend and I got up early that Sunday morning and hit the road to get the Jetta. We eventually found the house where the TDI specialist works out of his garage. I’m really loving VerSAILS at this moment because the house is hidden off a street that cannot be found, so that cuts about 20 minutes into my alotted extra time to get back before the games start.
Eventually we hit the road home, but my lady-friend and me are hungry. We hit the Waffle House in VerSAILS, because, well who doesn’t love Waffle House, and it has to be faster than Cracker Barrell. An hour later and after we didn’t even get our order of waffles (seriously cutting into my fantasy football lineup time), we have eaten our yummy smothered hashbrowns and eggs and we hit the road home.
Well, I’m an idiot and my phone was dead. I was cruising along listening to all the updates for fantasy football, and realized that I had not swapped Edge James out of my lineup for Brandon Jacobs. Serious concerns hit me. Then, I had the misfortune of hearing about the blizzard that was still going to impact the Cleveland Browns game. I NEEDED to get Ben Roethlisberger into my lineup to replace Derek Andersen.
About twenty minutes from my house, I look in the rear-view mirror and see that my lady-friend is no longer behind me. She being the only one with house keys. I pull to the side of the highway, hit the flashers, and wait. Then I wait. And I wait some more. Twenty minutes later I drive to a gas station to call her from a pay phone to find out where she is. To avoid any embarrassment on her part, and partly because it was my fault for having a dead cell phone in 2007, I won’t get into the details of what happened. Let’s just say she exited too early and got a little turned around. She eventually hit the road home, and actually beat me home after trying to find a pay phone off the highway.
I got home 5 minutes too late to set my lineup, and watched as the Kai’s chances at a second title in four years went up in flames. Had I been able to make the necessary changes, the Kai would have cruised into the finals by about 12 points. Do I blame myself. Yes, because I was to blame for waiting until the last minute for the first time in 15 weeks.
BUT… I also blame Shanny Shanahan for giving Selvin Young 8 carries and refusing to get the ball to Brandon Marshall. I also blame my brother for making me drive to VerSAILS, Kentucky, on a Sunday morning during the BFL playoffs. I also blame my lady friend for having the worst sense of direction EVER. I also blame the city of Cleveland for being so darn cold that they had a huge blizzard. I also blame the Arizona Cardinals for being so bad that their running back who averaged 5.3 yards per carry only got 16 carries against New Orleans. Oh well, in the words of every Cubs fan, “There’s always next year.”
Week 16 picks (picks in bold and home team in ALLCAPS)
Steelers at RAMS (+7.5)
Cowboys (-10.5) at PANTHERS
Browns (-3) at BENGALS
Packers (-9) at BEARS
Texans (+7) at COLTS
Chiefs at LIONS (-4.5)
Dolphins at PATRIOTS (-22)
Giants at BILLS (+3)
Eagles at SAINTS (-3.5)
Raiders at JAGUARS (-13)
Redskins at VIKINGS (-6.5)
Falcons at CARDINALS (-10)
Jets at TITANS (-8.5)
Bucs (-7) at 49ERS
Broncos at CHARGERS (-9)
Ravens at Seahawks (no line)
Week 9: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7-1
Week 11: 7-8-1
Week 12: 7-9
Week 13: 9-5
Week 14 Lines: 7-9
Week 15 Lines: 0-1
Overall 2nd Half Record: 45-44-2
I just watched the Thursday night game, and Mike Shanahan was completely incompetent in his offensive play calling.
Brandon Marshall completely destroyed the Houston secondary in the first half. He caught 9 passes for 83 yards. In the second half, he caught two passes for 24 yards. They never even tried to get him the ball. In the first half, they ran screeens, swing passes, and quick hitters to the big guy to get him going. They did exactly NONE of that in the second half.
Oh, and there is the little bit of information that Selvin Young is/was supposed to be their main back for the remainder of the season. His first rush went for 20 yards. For the rest of the game, he got 7 carries for 14 yards. Travis Henry, who had been banged up and playing poorly, got 10 carries. So much for letting Young get the bulk of the work.
Instead, Shanahan chose to focus his entire offense on their tight end, and throw four yard routes on every fourth down play.
Then, to close the game out, they threw to Javon Walker underneath to try to make a play. Yes, that same Javon Walker that has been healthy for like three games all year. He can’t even run well right now.
It was absolutely pathetic what he did tonight.
Am I pissed that I picked them? Not really. I’ve been dumb enough to miss picks on my own.
Am I pissed that I inserted Selvin Young into my starting lineup in fantasy playoffs? Absolutely.
But, I’m also pissed, because as I sat here in an incredible amount of debt, making not nearly enough money for the amount of education I was stupid enough to get, and watching a football game that I could have called. During every ridiculous drive in the second half, and every drive that stalled at the Houston 40 yard line (which was the majority of them), I just sat there and called what Shanahan was going to do. Their defense can’t stop anything, but Shanahan did enough on his own to prevent his offense from making plays to keep them at least in the game. It was terrible, absolutely terrible.
Thanks Shanny for not letting me sleep tonight, and costing me a shot at the finals.
I was going to put my picks up for the day, but then I realized that the Mitchell Report was coming out. Sorry, that takes precedence. It is over 400 pages long, and I have every intention of making my way through it. I’ve already checked out a bunch of the names on the report, and aside from the major names like Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Barry Bonds, and Miguel Tejada, there are not many big names.
There are a few former all-stars like Chuck Knoblauch, Paul LoDuca, Matt Williams, and Lenny Dykstra, but other than that, its a veritable who’s who of middle of the road/journeyman players.
By the way, Eric Gagne is on the list. BIIIIIIIIG shocker there!
Tonight’s game: Denver -2.5
I have been out of law school for 19 months now. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about the trial for Barry Bonds. It will be so much fun to watch all the coverage as it is going on, but what will annoy me is the continuous “Barry is going down because he took steroids” chatter. That is not what he is being accused of. If you want to better understand what is going on in this trial, read a little bit of this article from the San Francisco Chronicle writers who wrote Game of Shadows.
From the start of the indictment, Barry professed his innocence, and today entered a plea of Not Guilty. His attorneys also said that a plea bargain would be unlikely. This could go on for a while, and I will try to follow the events as much as possible, occasionally providing updates.
In other, and much more important news, Kevin Everett is walking. This story was released today. There is not nearly enough press covering how big of a deal this is. Everett was supposed to be extremely close to death after making a tackle in Week One of the regular season. Then, he was going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life. Now, before the regular season is even over, he is able to walk on his own. This is just an amazing story and the procedure that was performed needs more publicity. I wish the media covered this with a little more fervor.
As for the Week 14 picks, well, we started off a little rough last night. The NFL network games have really hurt me the past two weeks. I did not get my post uploaded in time last week for the Packers-Cowboys game (I swear I had the Cowboys), and then last night Todd Collins defeats Brian Griese in the 2008-2009 emergency quarterback or insurance salesman sweepstakes. You have got to be kidding me.
For the rest of the games, we will go with my picks in bold and the home team in ALL CAPS.
WEEK 14 PICKS
X Chicago -3 at WASHINGTON
Carolina at JACKSONVILLE (-11) - I was crazy enough to take the 49ers against the Panthers, what makes you think I wouldn’t take Jax at -11?
Dallas (-10.5) at DETROIT – I mistakenly typed “-105″ initially, and still considered taking the Cowboys. I guess you could say that I really do believe that the Lions are in self destruct mode. After I type this, I can honestly see Kitna throwing five touchdowns, three of them to Mike Furrey, who until two weeks ago, had been a proud member of my Cobra Kai fantasy bench.
Miami at BUFFALO (-7.5) – Initially I was going with Miami, but the Kevin Everett story completely changed my mind. Miami’s best shot at a win this season went out the window, when Kevin Everett was able to walk out of the hospital on his own accord.
New York Giants at PHILADELPHIA (-2.5) – I really don’t know on this game, but McNabb is back, which means A.J. Feeley can stop throwing late game passes to the wrong team. Seriously, how much of a tease was Feeley these past two weeks? He showed flashes that were really good, but then, when it mattered, he would throw a pick. Then after the close loss, you would look at his stats and realize that he threw 7 interceptions in two starts. And you never realized it because he played so well at times. You know what, even if Feeley…wait a minute, how can I take the Eagles after the 12 sack game? I’ve changed my pick five times while writing this, so let us revert back to the original pick:
New York Giants (+2.5) at PHILADELPHIA
…Give me a second, I just took Eli Manning on the road with Reuben Droughns as his only running back.
…Alright I’m back.
Oakland at GREEN BAY (-10.5) – Even if Brett Favre doesn’t play, I’m still taking the Packers. Try and stop me.
Pittsburgh (+10.5) at NEW ENGLAND – I rode the N.E. payday long enough, and got burned the past two weeks. Besides, Santonio Holmes and Troy Polamalu are back for this one. Even Anthony Smith’s stupid prediction won’t prevent the Steelers from covering.
San Diego (-1.5) at TENNESSEE – Albert Haynesworth really cannot mean that much to a team can he?
St. Louis (+6.5) at CINCINNATI – This is how little I think of Cincinnati. I don’t even know who will be playing quarterback for the Rams.
Tampa Bay (-3) at HOUSTON – Tampa is playing well, and nobody can figure out how or why it is happening. They have a McCown filling in at quarterback, they have Earnest Moonlight Graham playing running back, they are incredibly old, and Jon Gruden is still coaching them. What is going on?
Arizona (+7) at SEATTLE – Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin may both be out of the game on Sunday. It is at Seattle. However, Arizona may have discovered something special in themselves and make a game out of this. Am I trying to hard to talk myself into backing Urban Legend’s team? Probably.
Minnesota (-9) at SAN FRANCISCO – Repeat after me: I will not take the 9ers again this season. Repeat this mantra over and over again. Good. Let’s move on.
Cleveland (-3.5) at NEW YORK JETS – Jets fans are officially the lowest form of humans. Classless. Tasteless. Inappropriate. I think I probably know some of those guys.
Kansas City (+6.5) at DENVER – Can anybody tell me what is going on in Denver? They look dreadful. Then, they look terrible. Then they show some life. Then they are dreadful again. I’m looking for terrible this week.
Indianpolis at BALTIMORE (+9.5) – The only reason I picked Baltimore: I saw several promos for the upcoming season of “The Wire” and it TOTALLY clouded my judgment. Best show on television; bar none.
New Orleans (-4.5) at ATLANTA – New Orleans is a better road team than home team, and they get to play in a dome. Oh, did I mention that Chris Redman is starting for the Falcons in that game? Go Saints.
Week 9: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7-1
Week 11: 7-8-1
Week 12: 7-9
Week 13: 9-5
Overall 2nd Half Record: 38-35-2
So you were expecting some thoughts on the NBA. Well, I only have a few. Why? Because Dish Network is so incredibly incompetent that I cannot/have not been able to get NBA League Pass. You could imagine how furious I am about that, because this season appears to be the most compelling NBA season, with the greatest number of fun, watchable teams, that there has been in a very, very long time. (Note the double usage of very.)
Two months ago we moved, and a Dish Network worker came and did our installation. We had previously been bundled with another company, meaning our Dish services were bundled up with our telephone company. We de-bundled, if you will, and were told that the biling cycle would take a month to correct. Last month I purchased a Saturday’s worth of college games, and that call took 45 minutes because they could not figure out what was going on with our account, and they had all our information incorrect. We thought it was fixed.
Last night, I called to order the League Pass, and, once again, they had our wrong information and could not find the account. During the 15 minutes that I was on hold, I became somewhat disenchanted with the purchase. Once I began to speak with the person on the other end of the phone who told me the incorrect information and told me the same thing that I had gone through about two weeks earlier (and had assumed had been fixed), I became even more disenchanted. Once the person called me Miss for the fifth time, despite the fact that I sound absolutely nothing like a “Miss”, probably because he was reading off his Dish cue-card for our account that is in my wife’s name, I became, for lack of a better word, pissed.
The phone, my Motorola Q that worked so well yesterday, went sailing through our living room after I told this person that he should probably never walk and chew gum at the same time (not verbatim quote) and hung up on him.
As it stands now, I do not know if Dish Network will ever correct this issue, but I will not waste another 45 minutes of my life trying to correct their incompetence. Maybe they will bill me for this past month, but I have no way of knowing because they cannot figure out what our address was, is, or what our account information was, is, or whether the account was/is currently active despite my best efforts to let them know as much.
If you had known me in the past, I might have been a little more irate about dealing with something that should be so simple, yet was made incredibly difficult by, what some might consider, stupidity. Maybe it is because I married a psychologist. Maybe it is because I am growing up. I seriously doubt both; rather, I think it is just because I might be getting free television and HBO even though I do not get to watch NBA basketball.
Tonight’s game: Chicago +3 at WASHINGTON
I’ll take the Bears, because I think Washington is barely hanging on at this point. They lost a very important person to their team and their players, and they have consecutive gut-wrenching losses.
I cannot think of another team this college season that got jobbed as bad as the University of Missouri when it came time to decide the BCS games. Suire, some of you may say that Georgia got screwed because they got jumped by LSU. However, Georgia was not even good enough to make ti to their conference championship game. How can a team claim a shot at the national championship game without even making ti to their own conference championship game?
I am not saying that Mizzou belonged in the national championship game. In fact, I do not think that was where they belonged. I do believe that they should have gone to a BCS bowl game. They lost two games, to the same team, who was obviously one of the best teams in college football. The only reason Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech (and barely so) was because they lost super-freshman quarterback Sam Bradford during their first possession. With a healthy Bradford, I think OU rolls through Texas Tech (and I absolutely despise OU).
Ohio State also does not belong in the national championship game. They got there by default. They do not have a conference championship game, AND they do not have to play every team in their conference. That is ridiculous. Every major BCS conference (all 6 of them) should have conference championship games. In fact, I actually think every conference should have a conference championship game. They should also shorten the season, so that each team plays a maximum of 10 regular season games, with a conference championship to determine playoff seedings. The major conference winners can get a bye and two teams from each conference get bids. Then let it be a free-for-all with the bowl games. This idea just came to me, and obviously needs some fine tuning, so I will have to get back to you with more information about it.
For now, know that Mizzou beat Illinois at Illinois (a BCS bound team), beat Kansas at a neutral site (a BCS bound team), and its only losses were to Oklahoma (a BCS bound team, and arguably the best team in the country). The rule that only two BCS conference teams may play in the BCS games is fair, and it adds to the crying/lamenting/whining/pining from SEC fans, which is always enjoyable for me. However, I believe that Mizzou belonged in a BCS game before Illinois and Kansas. Therefore, they got jobbed, and a fantastic season is essentially worth nothing to that school.
LSU wins the pseuo-national championship in a blowout.
I was calling for a Hawaii national championship game, because, “despite not playing anybody,” they are the ONLY team that was good enough to make it through a bizarre season without a loss. That should count for something more than a mere BCS game. After all, a two loss team got in to the championship game.
After starting out 9-5, the prognosticating has taken a spill. I thought all would be well after going 3-0 on turkey day, which was the highlight of the day, not really. This was my first foray into the holiday season with actual in-laws, but all went well. I also had one of my closest friends as a backup. He was a groomsman in the wedding and has since started dating my lady friend’s twin sister. He took all the verbal-torture this holiday season, so I got a pass. Good times. However, I did learn that I am no longer capable of polishing two plates at the in-laws and then the small dessert plate before hitting my ‘rents house four hours later for my ritualistic three plate-fulls of delicious momma-made thanksgiving goodness. I did not even have any pie or homemade whipped cream this year. Sad times. Give me a moment. Tear.
I’m good. You know what is not good? The Dolphins. They are terrible. Ricky Williams came back after missing 18 months of NFL gametime, and he probably should have started. Mr. Chatman (I call him Mr. because I can’t remember if it is Antonio or Jesse, and I won’t take the time to look it up because, well, they’re the Dolphins.) was already banged up, and there is no way he should start in the NFL. I am not sure at this point if they’ve been relegated to starting their rookie quarterback, John Beck, or if they have been upgrading from Trent Green, to Cleo Lemon, to John Beck. Flip a coin, and you will get your answer for that one. They traded their only quality receiver, and by quality I obviously mean extremely talented yet continuously underperforming, in Chris Chambers, who continues to underwhelm in San Diego. Their first-round pick spent the first half of the season in a walking boot, which is exactly what he was in when they drafted him at least ten picks too early, despite having the opportunity to trade down and get the same guy while still getting multiptle picks to fill some of their ridiculously bad roster. Their coach appears alive, which is the best thing I can say about him right now. And, they are on the verge of being the only winless team since the mightily bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even God could not help the Dolphins win by opening the sky for a monsoon in Pittsburgh. Not good times. Yet, it could always be worse…
They could be the New York Knicks, have a roster that is nearly $200 million, when calculating in luxury tax dollars, and have no real way to improve without continuing to spend large sums of money to pay people to go away like they did earlier this year (read, Steve Francis). Then last night, on national television, they got hammered, and I mean HAMMERED, to the tune of 104-59. Read it again, 104-59. I watched some of that game, while flipping between the Louisville-Rutgers game and the Dallas-Green Bay game. You know what was amazing about that score? It was not even that close. The Celtics pulled back on the throttle in the third quarter, yet the Knicks still couldn’t climb their way to within 40. They just flat out suck. I wish there was another way I could put it, but that is about as basic as it gets.
I mentioned watching the Louisville-Rutgers game last night that was a lot of fun to watch (after halftime). The amazing thing about that game was that Art Carmody, senior kicker from Louisville, set the all-time scoring record in NCAA history, AND still had the chance to do something he had never done before when the game ended. He nailed the game-winner. Good stuff for the former Lou Groza Award Winner. It was also fitting that the play that set up the senior’s game-winning kick was the pass from supersenior Brian Brohm to supersenior Harry Douglas. Those three had absolutely awesome college careers, and all will earn a nice, healthy paycheck over the next few years.
Now, back to those dreadful picks. I would have been much better if Gus Frerotte not fallen all over himself on the one-yard line and fumbled the ball away. The Rams should have won that game. Then again, so should the Redskins, but I will not talk about that team right now. Too much has gone on with the ‘Skins and Sean Taylor’s shooting this past week to even talk about their football right now.
TO THE PICKS and some very important questions (I’m mixing it up for new life - home team in CAPS and my picks in bold):
Atlanta at ST. LOUIS (-3.5) -
Is it too late for Steven Jackson to save his season and the season of every fantasy owner playing in the consolation bracket?
Buffalo at WASHINGTON (-6.0) -
I picked this only because it was listed. Do not wager on this game. How big of a degenerate would you be for betting this line?
Detroit at MINNESOTA (-4.0) -
Adrian Peterson is back. Take a look at his stat line thus far. Yeah, he’s good. If this year’s draft were held 100 consecutive times from today’s date, could any G.M. be dumb enough to pass on him with the first pick?
Houston at TENNESSEE (-4.0) -
Vince Young is killing me. I’m still picking him though. I never know what they’ll do week in, week out. If and when Pacman Jones takes LenDale White to a strip club, do you think LenDale is more excited for the buffet or honeys?
Jacksonville (+7) at INDIANAPOLIS -
Jax has played Indy very well in each of the past five games they have met. I’ll go with the pattern here. Does anybody remember when Byron Leftwich was a quarterback?
New York Jets (+1.5) at MIAMI -
The Jets also stink, but how could they possibly lose to Miami?
San Diego (-6.5) at KANSAS CITY -
Norv Turner v. Herm Edwards. Do you think you can logically pick this one?
Seattle at PHILADELPHIA (-3.0) -
A.J. Feeley almost beat New England, while Gus Frerotte almost beat Seattle. Sean Alexander and Donovan McNabb might both be coming back, and that is bad news for both teams. What type of bizarro world are we living in right now?
San Francisco (+2.5) at CAROLINA -
If you had to choose one quarterback to complete a pass that your life depended on, would you choose Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Vinny Testaverde, Alex Smith, or Jake Delhomme (Delhomme is minutes off of the operating table where he had his throwing shoulder surgically repaired), who would you choose?
Tampa Bay (+3.5) at NEW ORLEANS -
Alliteration question: How does Tampa keep winning with Gradkowski and Graham while New Orleans continues to play terrible at home with Brees and Bush?
Cleveland (0) at ARIZONA -
Why is Cleveland a pick’em when Arizona has no secondary whatsoever, and what is the max you can put on this game?
Denver (-3.5) at OAKLAND -
Does it even matter which running back from Denver goes for 131 rushing yards on Sunday?
New York Giants (-1.5) at CHICAGO
Would you prefer that I go with Rex Grossman and the other Adrian Peterson instead?
Cincinnati at PITTSBURGH (-7.0)
Has anybody put out an APB for Rudi Johnson yet?
Baltimore at NEW ENGLAND (20.5)
Is this the first ever NFL game where you have felt completely comfortable picking a 20-point favorite?
STANDINGS THUS FAR
Week 9: 9-5
Week 10: 6-7-1
Week 11: 7-8-1
Week 12: 7-9