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Full Count: Takeaways from Week 2 of the MLB Season

 

1. Christian Yelich Is A Man Of The People

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A Wisconsin family held up a sign asking Christian Yelich to hit a home run so that their father would buy them a puppy. Yelich obliged by firing 3 home runs into Lake Michigan (which I assume at this point has been fully replaced with Miller Light) giving the family what they came for. But he was not done yet, he then brought the family into the Brewer’s locker room and gave them a puppy who they named Yeli.

Also, by taking the Cardinals behind the woodshed for 3 homers, he only needs a few more to tie the single-season record for home runs hit against the Cardinals (A weird stat I know, but impressive nonetheless). The reigning MVP is on his way to having an incredibly strong 2019 season.

2.Chris Davis Is Back, Baby

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Crush’s legendary, historical, comical, and kind of relatable hitless streak finally came to an end this week after 54 ABs. He got his first hit when he roped a 2 RBI single against the Red Sox. He followed that up by hitting a 2-run homer to the dismay of everyone who was hoping that the Red Sox would be a decent team this year. I have no idea how the Red Sox became the team that everybody, including Davis, can take deep but it gives me no joy. The Orioles playing better than the Red Sox makes me about as happy as a turtle who just found out the other turtle he has been trying to mate with for the past 4 and a half hours is just a suspiciously turtle-shaped rock.

3.Blake Snell Is An Idiot

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In a stroke of genius Tampa Bay Ace and 2018 Cy Young award winner broke his toe trying to nudge a statue in his house. If there is anything to be learned from this incident is that you should aspire to never put stone objects in your house. When you start going down the road of putting anything granite in your house, other than countertops, you’re on a one-way track to becoming a person who has a bookcase full of geodes. I don’t know how it happens and I don’t think they do either, one day you’re installing a granite centerpiece for your living room and the next you’re polishing a geode coffee table to balance your chakras. Also, Blake Snell looks like he sells fake molly to college freshman on spring break in Miami.

4.The Mariners Continue to Hit Dingers

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Seattle has been raking more than a landscaper in October. More than a British politician in the 17th century.  More than a 9-year-old who is being punished by an overbearing father after the kid came home with a C+ on his report card. Any way you slice it the Mariners have been on a tear hitting a home run in 18 straight games and aren’t showing any signs of stopping. They have been playing great ball this year and should have a strong fight with the Astros for control of the AL West. Don’t be too surprised if you see them in the postseason this year.

Full Count: 5 Takeaways from Week 1 of the MLB Season

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1.The Red Sox stink.

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They stink out loud. They stink like month old whole milk. They stink more than a northern Atlantic scrod that’s been baking on the hull of a fishing boat for a month.

After being the best team in baseball last year the Sox have tumbled out of the gate big time. They lost to a man named Wade LeBlanc, who is not a pivotal member of the French Bourgeoisie but a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Rick Porcello threw a water cooler in frustration only nine games into the season.

Things are not going well. But, the Sox are opening at home tomorrow against Blue Jays so maybe they’ll be able to regain their ability to play baseball after they get presented their rings at Fenway and remember that they know how to win baseball games.

2. Cody Bellinger is the best hitter in baseball

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He is leading the MLB in Home Runs and RBIs and leading the NL in batting average. He is slashing .455/.489/1.023. He has a hit in all 10 games this season and 6 multi-hit games. He has caught fire like Paradise, California and isn’t showing any signs of stopping. He is mashing home runs this year, don’t be surprised if he not only gets into the derby but leads the entire league. He is my early dark horse(?) MVP candidate.

3. Chris Davis is the worst hitter, possibly ever.

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He has not gotten a hit in his last 47 ABs, which has broken the major league record for consecutive at-bats without a hit previously set by Eugenio Velez in 2011. He has a $161 million dollar contract and cannot hit the ball. Simply can’t do it, at this point it is like he’s converting to Buddhism and taking a vow of strikeouts. The Orioles aren’t expecting to really make any noise this year so it may not matter much, but Davis may become the biggest bust of a contract in recent memory.

4. Mike Trout is still very good at baseball.

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It is April 8th and Trout already has a WAR of 1.2. The Angels have played 6% of their games this year. If he keeps up this pace (which he very much might do, he is Mike Trout) then he will finish this season with roughly 10 WAR. At this point in his career, he has 64.2 WAR which means he’ll pass the likes of Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn, and Frank Thomas. This would be in his 10th season of baseball, the four I just mentioned all played a minimum of 19 years in the MLB. Mike Trout is just too god damn good at baseball and he has no intention of stopping.

5.Yasiel Puig Will Absolutely Fight About It.

After the Reds Derek Dietrich crushed a baseball across state lines and stopped to admire his work from his spot in the batters box and Pirates pitcher Chris Archer didn’t take too kindly to it.

Archer threw behind Dietrich the next time he came to the plate, which is the baseball equivalent of UFC fighters throwing cans of Monster at other men dressed only in a spandex bathing suit. Puig had Reds players hanging from his legs trying to stop him from knocking Chris Archer’s head into low earth orbit. Tucker Barnhardt was dragged like 4-year-old who doesn’t want to leave a birthday party with a bouncy castle.

Puig

Peanut Tillman, King of the Feds

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“Locking up” just got a whole new meaning.

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Former Chicago Bear and Middleweight champion of the world Charles “Peanut” Tillman is America’s newest FBI agent.

This new position for Tillman needs to become a “Dog The Bounty Hunter” type reality show that follows Peanut as he apprehends criminals and punches whatever they just stole out of their hands. Every episode of this TV show can be focused on one of the FBI’s most wanted list. The First episode can be Peanut chasing down El Chapo in the mountains of Mexico and punching a vacuum sealed brick of heroin out of his hands then taking it all the way to the house.

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The mental picture of Tillman wearing an FBI windbreaker over shoulder pads and giving Ted Bundy the business as they try to make their getaway is too good to not come to fruition. Also getting Tillman on the next season of Mindhunter has to be a priority so that he can punch the hell out of the BTK killer when they finally catch him. Maybe even an appearance on Quantico so he can force a folder out of Liam O’Connor’s hands as he walks to the water bubbler. And forget the EGOT, Tillman will be the first person in the WPEMOV (Walter Payton, Emmy, Medal of Valor) club and put that hack Audrey Hepburn in her place.

Tillman can teach the Peanut Punch to all the other agents and they’ll dominate the FBI vs CIA charity boxing match for years to come.

The first case Peanut should be put on is investigating Brian Urlacher for identity fraud after growing that suspect full head of hair. It’s just unnatural and there must be foul play involved.

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Congrats Peanut on becoming an FBI agent and pre-congrats on the Oscar-winning TV show, Peanut Punches Perps” (working title)

3 Suggestions To Improve The AAF

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The dust has settled, the smoke has cleared, and Trent Richardson has properly run power. The AAF since its first televised week has been drastically losing viewers from a combination of poor play, lack of player name recognition, and payroll issues. I have a trio of solutions to solve these problems that will most definitely produce a more compelling game on and off the field.

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1. Sign Le’Veon Bell

Le’Veon Bell’s contract negotiations with the Pittsburgh Steelers have been a story since the summer and have yet to be resolved. In order to boost player name recognition, the AAF must bring in a player who fans will want to watch play. Bell has been one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL since he first stepped onto the field, and would bring his highlight reel play to a league desperately needing attention. He wants guaranteed money and the AAF should be the league to offer the first fully-guaranteed football contract. Give him a 1 year deal for $25 million and let him run loose on the Atlanta Legends. Now, a league who had trouble paying for Week 1 salaries probably should not be trusted to pay up such a sum for good reason. But new emperor of the league and noted billionaire Tom Dundon should work out a side deal for Bell. Give him the money on a separate basis than the other players and let a fully healthy 2015 Fantasy Football PoTY run for 11.3 ypa. It will be as compelling to watch as Derrick Henry high school highlights and nationally broadcasted to remind everyone how good Bell is at football.

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2. Let the fans play

Fan involvement is one aspect of any league that promotes viewership growth. The NBA has fan interaction during halftime shows, so why shouldn’t the AAF? Every halftime show in the AAF should give all of the washed-up high school football players tailgating in the parking lot a pair of shoulder pads and a dream. The ball starts in the red zone and the teams trade possessions until halftime is over and a winner emerges between the crew cut 40-somethings that still think they could have made it if it wasn’t for that knee injury. The winner will be both the viewer and participants as a series of extremely sloppy attempts at running a bench concept give the right amount of spectacle and cringe factor to make compelling television.

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3. Vote Players Off Of The Island

Let the rosters be dictated by the viewer much like American Idol winners are chosen. Throughout the course of every game, fans can vote on removing one person from the roster. Whether that be a cornerback for blowing coverage, a quarterback for butt-fumbling, or a coach for losing track of the game clock, they can all go. Letting fans pick the outcome of weekly cuts will promote the thing that Twitter hopes to create, mobs of angry users getting mad at people they don’t know. The mob-mentality about poor play will satisfy everyone’s need to have their opinion heard and make for a reality show atmosphere.

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These 3 suggestions will make the AAF a spectacle unlike any other and will make the NBA an afterthought for the rest of the AAF’s season.

Robert Kraft Solicits Prostitution In Jupiter, Florida

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Robert Kraft was caught red-handed soliciting prostitution for getting rub-n-tugged in Jupiter, Florida. Words that I never thought would come from these fingers. But, in hindsight, we should’ve seen it coming. Wearing Air Force 1’s and suits as a 77-year-old man, wearing those blue shirts with white collars like he’s on Mad Men, these are both red flags that should’ve been seen sooner. A hedge fund manager who wears air force 1’s is simply not to be trusted. Also, people who go to Jupiter, Florida when they are not contractually obligated to be within city limits should be locked up.

There is also a video of the act. This sex tape may come in at 2nd on the all-time list right behind Pamela Anderson and in front of Kim Kardashian and Ray J. I hope there is audio of his mouth-full-of-nickelodeon-gak speech asking how this poor woman’s day is going before asking for her to go “a little bit lower” as she limply caresses his cookie-dough-consistency belly. If Kraft is really about that AF1 life he would still have those shoes on while he’s wearing the slightly brown, mildew stained robe they give you at a massage parlor. Those bedazzled Patriot AF1s glistening in the light as he lets out a bloodcurdling scream when he sees the Dow Jones went down a point and a half while this ‘masseuse’ works on him like a college student on a clogged shower drain.

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In all seriousness, this is a terrible set of circumstances for the women involved in this story. They are trafficked women who were forced to perform sex acts on over 1,500 men per year and were given no time off with minimal hygiene. I dearly hope that some kind of justice for these women is carried out and they can once again regain total control of their lives. The high level of media scrutiny that comes from the involvement of famous people hopefully means this is over quickly and efficiently with an outcome that benefits the women.

Maybe Kraft will get suspended 4 games and Patriots fans will riot outside courthouses in Florida demanding a pardon of his sentence, maybe they’ll sit idly by while justice is carried out. We all know which one they’ll pick, right?

Here is a comprehensive tweet chain of the exact details:

Baseball Finally Did A Thing

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After the many months of stagnant baseball waiting for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper to sign their record-breaking contracts, sweet relief has finally come. Manny “Ankle Breaker” Machado just signed the largest ever free agent contract in North American sports history. At 10 years and $300 million, he will be living his best life in sunny San Diego. He moved what I am assuming is 5 minutes farther down the street from where he was living while on the Dodgers. He’ll still be able to go to SoulCycle and drink Jamba Juice with his vegan kimchi burrito between innings, which I’ve heard was a major selling point in not going to Chicago or Philly.

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Maybe Manny can start a new life in San Diego, become friends with a couple of Navy SEALs and run along the beach early in the morning while shouting statements about being told what to do. Maybe, he’ll become a dolphin trainer at Sea World and be able to ride off into the sunset of his young career on the backs of pilled-out rapist fish. Or, he’ll become a surfer and give up the dirt of the diamond for the slightly grayish sands of Coronado Beach and do his best Paul Walker in “Into the Blue” impersonation.

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Whatever Manny does decide to turn his life into, I’m sure that he’ll do it to the utmost of his ability and with that world-renowned motor of his.

On a more serious note, I think that Machado will play some gold glove shortstop for the Padres for the next 5 years. He has an opt-out in that 5th year of this contract and I think he will absolutely take it if he has not been dealt by then. I am anticipating another Stanton in Miami situation. Machado will be in San Diego until a new manager comes in and wants to “change the culture”. He will then be dealt to a big market that can afford that mammoth contract like Houston or Chicago when they want to keep their slim World Series dreams alive after years of being competitive.

So in San Diego, the land of surfing and Navy SEALs, a glorious 5 years of 3rd place in the NL West are upon you. Enjoy it until Machado goes full heel and ends up in those Chicago pinstripes, until then, as the old saying goes, “Bad hustle isn’t a bad look if you take out the second baseman with you”.

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Donald Trump Is A Gambler, Here’s Why

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Is Donald Trump tipping his hand about who he has a future on?

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If there’s one thing we can agree on, serving McDonald’s at the reception of the National Champion Clemson Tigers is a bizarre move that really sends off a weird vibe. But what if it is a carefully calculated move to entice a current NFL coach into winning the Super Bowl.

Now Andy Reid has been atrocious in the playoffs for the past 6 or so years, but he flipped the script this year faster than a McDouble in the microwave. Was Donald Trump’s McDonald’s buffet a bat signal to Andy Reid that there was a goal at the end of the tunnel. Not a trophy, plaque, or parade, but an all-you-can-eat Big Mac spread that would bring any red-blooded American (or college kid) to their knees.

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Were those sweet 5/2 preseason odds too much to pass up for the McDonald’s Don? I think so. If Trump’s campaign showed us anything it’s that he knows the pulse of middle America. Andy Reid is middle America personified. A gut that is the result of sitting in an office chair for 10 hours a day, a closet full of Tommy Bahama shirts for the yearly trip to Orlando, and a utility belt for all those car problems that he assures his wife he can fix.

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Donny thought he was slick presenting the Dollar Menu spread to those college kids in order to set off the fast food alarm in Andy Reid’s head. But I’m on to him.

 

P.S.

Jackson Carman roasted POTUS like a Christmas ham.

We Don’t Know What A Catch Is, And Neither Do Officials.

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The NFL officiating crew of the Chicago-Philadelphia Wild Card game just made the debate of what is a catch in the NFL even more muddied.

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At the end of the first half, Anthony Miller was thrown a pass that was seemingly broken up and ruled incomplete on the field, it would have been a completion down to the 5-yard line. The ball laid on the turf and both teams returned to the line of scrimmage for the next play.

Upon further review, it was deemed both a catch by Anthony Miller and a fumble by Anthony Miller. The referees called the play dead so nobody recovered the loose ball. It was assumed that it was an incomplete pass. In the review, the referees said that since the ball was not recovered by anyone, that the play is negated, and the catch does not count.

This play just exemplifies what is wrong with NFL officiating. They blew a play dead and took away what happened on that play, even though there was no real reason to negate it. He caught the ball, so he should get the yards. The play cannot be negated because the referees messed up the call on the field.

From the infamous Dez Bryant catch against the Packers in 2014 to this play today, the rules have changed dramatically to the exact opposite. The pendulum has swung so far that now everything is a catch and nobody knows why.

A change needs to be made, we’ve gone from “surviving the ground” to one step and it’s a catch. There is an in-between there that needs to be decided on. Also, the call of a negated play was terrible and that should simply not be an option.

Anyway, go Bears -6.

The Run, Pass, Option. Wild Card Picks

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The Run, Pass, Option. is your weekly NFL betting guide. Take these bets and everything your bookie has.

Run with these teams

Chicago -6

The red-hot Bears defense will be the only team to shut down Nick Foles. Even though he has been great, and is a Super Bowl MVP the Bears will be able to put the clamps on him. I like the Bears playmakers against the Eagles D. Pick the Bears -6

eddie j

Dallas -1.5

This is the year that the Cowboys win a playoff game. They have added the pieces to beat good competition, and their defense is the key. The linebacking duo of Smith and Vander Esch will be able to stop the Seahawks running game, which they lean on heavily. The Seahawks O-Line is far more banged up than the Cowboys, and that will be the key to a Dallas W. Pick the Cowboys -1.5

 

Pass On These Favorites

Houston -1.5

Andrew Luck and the Colts have lit it up against the Texans this year, and T.Y. Hilton has repeatedly torched these division rivals. While Houston has been one of the best teams in football all year, the Colts have played just as well. Indy’s Offensive Line will be the key to victory and Darius Leonard leading the defense will be able to shut down the run. Pick the Colts +1.5

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Baltimore -3

Nobody is giving the Chargers a chance to win this game a week after they lost to the Ravens. A team as good as the Chargers will be able to change their gameplan enough to win this game. The loss came from a couple of fluke interceptions and the Baltimore offense breaking big runs. If those interceptions don’t happen, the Ravens don’t win. Pick the Chargers +3

 

The Last Option

Sea/Dal Under 43.5

Two running teams and two good defenses? This is the recipe for a low scoring game that will be decided on a fluke play or long field goal. I like the Cowboys winning 17-14 in a very boring game. Take the Under 43.5

Texas Is Back

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The 28-21 Sugar Bowl victory for the Texas Longhorns over the Georgia Bulldogs proved one thing, Texas is back.

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Sam Ehlinger proved last night that he can make this Texas team a legitimate threat to win any game they play in if the Oklahoma win didn’t already do that. This team played like Bevo when he sees Uga give him those eyes during pregame.

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There was no more telling series of plays than the Texas drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown by Ehlinger. They ran more or less the same play 4 times in a row, an Ehlinger keeper that barely eked out that yard even though Georgia knew it was coming. But Herman didn’t care about that, he wanted Ehlinger to break Vince Young’s single-season rushing touchdown record by any means (and concussions) necessary.

Ehlinger plays with that swag that is necessary for a big-time college quarterback to have. He runs like a power back and drops his shoulder more than he slides. He wore a Drew Brees jersey in the stadium before the game just to establish what he intended to do.

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Oh, and he has the best wristband game in the nation.

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By the fourth quarter of this game, when it was all but wrapped up, the Texas defense seemed to just be trying to flex on Georgia. They got two targeting ejections on the same drive just to up their level of difficulty. It’s like playing on All-Madden difficulty at the end of a blowout game to make yourself feel better.

With Kyler Murray leaving Oklahoma the path to the Big 12 championship is wide open for Texas to come in and take it next year. If Herman can keep this up, it will be all horns up for the foreseeable future in the Big 12.

OK cool, Hook ‘Em

P.S. The Texas at Iowa State game on Nov. 16 will be one of the games of the year in the Conference if Brock Purdy continues to play at the level he is playing at now.

Hump Day Deep Dive #3- The First College Bowl Game

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College Bowl Season is upon us, a nearly month-long parade of obscurely named games in even more obscurely named place. In the storied history of College Bowl Season there have been some gems, the Advocare V100 Independence/Texas bowl (a pyramid scheme), the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (there are no Popeyes in the Bahamas), and the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl (The Venn Diagram of people who watch G5 bowl games and buy Bitcoin is just two separate circles.)

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(May I interest you in some fruity vitamin gummies?)

But how did this all start? From a man who enjoyed eating out of bowls so much that he wanted to watch a football game in one? Possibly. Was it from somebody in a hot air balloon, that looked suspiciously like the monopoly man, describing a stadium when looked on from above as “a large bowl full of tiny people? It’s likely. Was it started as entertainment for a parade much like the football games played on Thanksgiving? Well, let’s take a look.

In 1902, the fabled Tournament of Roses Parade needed a source of entertainment that wasn’t the traditional ostrich races tug of war competitions. Parade organizer James Wagner thought bringing the best football teams from the east and the west to clash head-to-head would be a great idea. And boy was he wrong. Michigan, the representative of the East, took on Stanford in a true stinker of a game.

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(Michigan 1902)

Michigan was known as the “Point-a-Minute” team, and they really knew how to pour it on. They finished the 1901-02 season with a whopping 550 points in 11 games (including this game). They also did not let up a single point at any time during that season. It was thought to be a good idea to bring in a 3-1-2 Stanford team to run into this past iteration of the Alabama Crimson Tide. To be frank, it did not go well. Michigan went up 49-0 before Stanford players quit and Captain Ralph “Human Embodiment of Smokey the Bear” Fisher threw in the towel.

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(Stanford 1902)

This was the revenge tour of Fielding H. “Peaky Blinders extra” Yost. The season prior he had coached at Stanford and was now facing his former team. His Wolverines finished the game with 527 rushing yards on 90 attempts (forward passes were not legal) and Stanford finished with only 67 yards.

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The game was played on a 110-yard field and scoring at the time was 5 points per touchdown or field goal and only one-point conversions. A game like this is like watching the love child of the Army-Navy game on steroids with any MAC game, with 594 yards rushing and 37 punts it would make anyone want to strap on a helmet and neckroll and run up the middle for hours on end in a rural Illinois corn field.

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(That is how you run power)

This game was so lopsided that football was not played at the Tournament of Roses for another 14 years when Washington State played Brown University in 2016. For some reason, people thought it was a better idea to watch ostrich races than a bastardized version of rugby that had bizarre scoring rules and almost an equally bad algorithm for determining champions as there is today.

So what can we learn from this? That if it was not for the heroic actions of one Fielding H. Yost to join a super team and take down his old squad in the most embarrassing way possible, then Kevin Durant would have nobody to base his decision off of. Thank you, Mr. Yost, for ruining the NBA.

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The Run, Pass, Option. Week 15 Picks.

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The Run, Pass, Option. is your weekly NFL betting guide. Take these bets and everything your bookie has.

Run With These Teams

Chicago

The Chicago Bears may just be the best team in football even when their quarterback gives the ball away like condoms in a college dorm. The Packers somehow pulled out the victory last time by a single point, but they don’t stand a chance. The Bears are not going to let their biggest rival beat them another time and Nagy will want to get the offense back on track against an in-conference rival. Take Chicago -6

Tennessee

The Tennessee Titans an underdog by 2 points is a vast oversight, even on the road, and they will beat a Giants team which is completely one dimensional by a million. Derrick Henry won’t have as big of a week as he did last week, which isn’t that hard to say. The Giants looked really good last week but water will find its level now. Tennessee -2

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Pass On These Teams

Kansas City

The Chiefs are running into a buzzsaw this week in the Chargers. We saw last week how a good defense can keep the Chiefs in check, and the Chargers have a much better offense than the Ravens do. The Chiefs are favored by 2.5, but I think the Chargers will take them down a peg this week. Take the Chargers +2.5

Los Angeles Rams

Somehow the Rams are favored by 11.5. This is just way too many points for a team playing Super Bowl Champion Nick Foles. The Eagles have not played well this year, but they will cover this huge spread after barely losing a very important game to the Cowboys. Take Philadelphia +11.5

The Last Option

Under 39.5 for DET/BUF

38 degrees and raining in Buffalo this weekend between two terrible teams? Ill take the under now and twice on Sundays. The Lions put up 17 points against the worst team in football Arizona Cardinals, and the Bills are more or less just running QB draws with Josh Allen. There is a very good chance there is only one touchdown this week. Under 39.5

matt stafford

The Run, Pass, Option. Week 14 Picks.

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The Run, Pass, Option. is your weekly NFL betting guide. Take these bets and everything your bookie has. (4-5-1 In the past 2 weeks)

Run With These Teams

Jaguars +5.5

This is just one of those games where there is absolutely no scoring, the kickers and punters are busy, and the defense is holding every play to under 4 yards. This classic AFC south matchup has yielded some of the lowest scoring games in recent memory, and this is sure to be another one. I’ll take the Jaguars playing for pride and covering this 5.5-point spread, losing in a game with a single touchdown scored. Jaguars +5.5

Falcons +5.5

I’m not entirely sure what to say about either the Packers or Falcons at this point of the season, but the one sure thing is that the turmoil going on in Lambeau will not translate to a blowout win. Aaron Rodgers playing in his first game without Mike McCarthy might make for some sideline and analyst fireworks, but Joe Philbin is most certainly not the man to lead the Packers. The Falcons start playing good football again this week and cover this spread. Falcons +5.5

Pass On These Teams

Cowboys -3.5

The Cowboys are playing excellent football at this point in the season, but the Eagles only lost to them by a touchdown a few weeks ago and they most certainly will not lose this time. Golden Tate made an appearance right on time this week and he seems poised to be a consistent contributor for the rest of the season. The Eagles are going to cover, if not win this game outright. Eagles +3.5

Cardinals +3

It’s hard to say pass on a team that just soundly beat the Packers in Lambeau (which we called last week), but they are just about done for the season. That was their best game and they will most certainly lose by more than 3 against the most puzzling team in the league, the Lions. They have played up and down to competition all year, but this is the week they right the ship and beat the Cards on the road. Lions -3

The Last Option

Over 45.5 for SEA/MIN

Both the Vikings and Seahawks have shown that they can score points this season. The Vikings, after being embarrassed by the Patriots, will most certainly want to run up the score on the Seahawks to maintain their season trajectory and make the playoffs. The Seahawks have been sneakily one of the toughest beats in the league, in large part due to the grinding running game and excellent play of Russell Wilson. 45.5 will be easily covered. Take the Over 45.5

russell wilson

The Run, Pass, Option. Week 13 Picks

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The Run, Pass, Option. is your weekly NFL betting guide. Take these bets and everything your bookie has. (1-3-1 on the season)

Run with these teams

New Orleans -7 over the Dallas Cowboys

Everything the Cowboys do, the Saints do better. Ezekiel Elliot is the engine that drags the rest of the Cowboys to wins. Other than that Thanksgiving win with Amari Cooper having a game for the ages, the passing game has not been the Cowboys strength. The New Orleans rush defense is the best in the NFL, and good enough to shut down a battered Cowboys offensive line. Forcing Dak to throw the ball to keep up with the Saints great offense does not bode well for the Boys. Saints -7, expect them to win by two touchdowns.

andrew luck

Indianapolis -4 over the Jacksonville Jaguars

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Jaguars have not been playing up to expectations this year, especially since winning the week 2 Super Bowl over the Patriots. It also doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Colts are one of the hottest teams in football. The Colts offensive line play has been superb, and they are allowing Andrew Luck to play almost uninhibited. The Colts pass protection is better than the Jaguars pass rush, expect the Colts to win handily Colts -4.

Pass on these teams

Green Bay -14 over the Arizona Cardinals

These are not the Packers of 7 years ago. There have been key injuries to the Packers offensive line, secondary, and receiving core. This is not a good sign to beat the Cardinals by 14 points. With Patrick Peterson locking up Davante Adams all night, and a hobbled Jimmy Graham the Packers rushing game will have to play better than they have all year. Chandler Jones rushing against either an injured David Bakhtiari or whoever is filling in means Aaron Rodgers won’t have any time to throw the ball. I think the Packers will win, but the Cardinals will cover, Cardinals +14.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 over the LA Chargers

The Chargers are shaping up to be one of the toughest teams to beat in the AFC, the return of Joey Bosa coupled with the improved play of Phillip Rivers and the emergence of Mike Williams as a legitimate threat make them a formidable opponent. The Steelers just lost to the Denver Broncos even with Big Ben playing a decent game(save for a game losing goal-line interception) and it seems their offense has been figured out. Take away the big plays from Antonio Brown and limit James Conner’s production out of the backfield, and the rest of the Steelers offense isn’t capable enough to go out and beat a good team. Expect the Chargers to take out the reeling Steelers at home. Chargers +3.5

The Last Option

Under 48 for Baltimore at Atlanta

Lamar Jackson, while effective enough to move the football, is prone to throwing interceptions and leaving points on the field. The Falcons have only been converting on 50% of their red zone chances in their last 3 games. Expect a lot of field goals and fans angry that their team can’t convert in the red zone.  Under 48 for Bal@Atl

Hump Day Deep Dive #2- Chuck Bednarik

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The Chuck Bednarik award in College Football is awarded each year to the best defensive player in the country. Recipients include Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers, and Aaron Donald. The award is a common discussion topic in the world of college football, but little attention is paid to the person it is named after. Chuck Bednarik had one of the most interesting and controversial careers in the NFL. And in the day of specialized position players, the most unbelievable college and professional football lives in the history of the sport.

Charles “Chuck” Bednarik, also know as Concrete Charlie was the son of the possibly the grittiest people of all time. Slovakian immigrants who worked at Bethlehem Steel. There’s no wonder that he turned out to be the person he is. After he graduated from high school, he became a waist gunner in a B-24 in WWII. Even if he didn’t play football this guy would have been honored because he went on to be awarded the Air Medal and a number of other honors in his time in the Air Force.

He returned from the war and went to Penn to play football. He became the number 1 overall pick in the NFL draft as a 233-lb center. He came in third in Heisman voting and won the Maxwell Award for the best all-around player in college football. The Maxwell is basically given to the Heisman winner every year, and this guy won it as an offensive lineman in the Ivy league.

When Smokin’ Charlie first went to camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1949, he not only became the starting center but the starting middle linebacker. He was even better at linebacker than he was at center. He once injured Frank Gifford (the famous Frank Gifford who was a Hall of Fame running back and Emmy award-winning sportscaster) so badly that he could not play again for over 18 months. He also helped to win the 1960 Super Bowl by grabbing Green Bay ball carrier Jim Taylor and holding him in place for 8 seconds to run time off of the clock, because in those days forward progress was not invented.

This was a guy who was playing Tom Thibodeau level minutes for the Eagles, starting on offense and defense for 14 years and missing 3 games. He was called Concrete Charlie because in the offseason he was a concrete salesman.

A concrete salesman

Being a concrete salesman is possibly the strangest job for a professional athlete to hold, and maybe the best possible thing Ol’ Chuck could have been. Imagine lining up against a guy who not only plays both sides of the ball for fun, but because he wants a little extra scratch to treat his old lady he sells concrete in his spare time. That’s a guy with nothing to lose, knowing him he probably built the stadium with his own two hands because he didn’t like the design of the concourse. He was almost certainly the guy who put the prison in the bottom of the Linc and personally put unruly fans in there.

In addition to him being a crazy person on the football field, he has continued to be president of the “hating all generations who come after you” fan club. He has been quoted as calling current players “pussyfoots” and that they “couldn’t tackle my wife Emma”. Just all time burns from Charlie. Even when people pointed out that more modern players like Deion Sanders and Troy Brown played both sides, he insisted that him playing interior positions was better than them playing receiver/defensive back.

Bednarik also had a feud with Jeff Lurie in the 90s because Lurie wouldn’t buy 100 copies of his book. Chuck held a grudge against Lurie until ’06 when they reconciled. Chuck was high up on the list of all-time haters, and also on the list of noted racists in Philly history.

He joins Frank Rizzo in the terrible Philly person column for comments he made about Eagles players. Charlie was quoted as calling possibly the best defensive player of all time Reggie White a “typical coon”. A terrible statement by a man who hated basically everyone who wasn’t Charles Bednarik or his immediate family. He then apologized for his statements about Mr. White and said that he had been confused at the time he made those comments. A simple misunderstanding that would be swept under the rug with talk about his role on the 1960 championship Eagles team, right? Wrong. He corrected himself, saying that it was not Reggie White who was a “typical coon”, but all-time great wide receiver Terrell Owens. Huh, what a terrible guy Concrete was.

I feel it is appropriate at this time to mention Bednarik had his number 60 retired by the Philadelphia Eagles. Also, the vast majority of the players who have won the Bednarik award are black, so a fitting end for Chuck’s legacy that the people who he viewed with such contempt have been regularly outperforming whites in College Football.

So, in the end, maybe Charles was a very good player who won a Super Bowl based off of the fact forward progress wasn’t invented yet, and he is viewed as the best center in NFL history. But, there are other facts that need to be discussed with him, like being a player hater and a noted racist.

He is also the proud owner of one of the most gnarled pairs of hands to have ever existed. He gives Ronnie Lott a run for his money with the way his tree-root-like fingers make multiple 90-degree turns.

bednarik hands

The Run, Pass, Option. Week 11 Picks.

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The Run, Pass, Option. is your weekly NFL betting guide. Take these bets and bankrupt your bookie.

RUN with these picks:

Titans at Colts (-2)

The Titans are playing like a team possessed, a road dog just a week after shutting down the Patriots at home. The Colts are also playing great behind very good line play, but the Titans are possibly the best defense they’ve played in the last 5 weeks. The Titans have the number 1 scoring defense, along with the allowing just under 100 rushing yards per game and the number 6 pass defense (228.2 ypg). This is the best defense the Colts have played since their week 4 loss to the Texans. Expect this to be a low scoring affair, and the Titans to win outright. Pick= Titans (+2)

Cowboys at Falcons(-3.5)

Dallas has a new lease on life with the addition of Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliot imposing his will against the Eagles. The Falcons defense is bottom third of the league in scoring, passing ypg, and rushing ypg. The Falcons running and passing game out of the backfield, which has been their bread and butter, will be neutralized by the outstanding linebackers of the Cowboys. Expect the Cowboys to cover this spread in a close scoring game. Pick=Cowboys(+3.5)

 

Pass on these teams:

The Jaguars

The Jagwires are done and finished. This week they are running not only into the buzzsaw that is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense, but also the Big Ben revenge game from last year’s playoffs. The Steeler’s Defense got back to their roots against the Panthers last week in pressuring Cam Newton and throwing him out of rhythm. The Jaguars Offense isn’t even close to how good the Panthers is, especially how dynamic of a player Cam Newton is compared to Blake Bortles. The Jaguars are going to get worked over like Sonny Liston in 1965 by the Steelers, and you can safely place them into the “pretender” column. The Steelers are at (-5.5), take this confidently. Pick= Steelers -5.5

The Lions

Somehow the High School substitute science teacher that is Matt Patricia has won some big games in his first year in Detroit. And don’t get me wrong, I like the Lions as much as the next guy who likes watching mediocre November football. But, the Lions have no chance of stopping the Panther’s Offense. Cam will be sure to drive the ball down the field and score, following that abysmal showing against the Steelers. Expect Cam, McCaffrey, and Curtis Samuel to run it up on the Lions to get back on track. The Panthers will cover their (-4) spread comfortably this week. Pick=Panthers -4

 

The Last Option:

The Vikings and Bears over/under is currently at 45. Now both of these teams have heralded defenses, and most people expect a low scoring affair. But, hammer this over this will be a fast-paced game. Both teams have found a dynamic passing attack, and both have had success on the ground. Do not expect either of these teams to be held below 17 points. This is the surprise high scoring game of the week. Pick=Over 45

Hump Day Deep Dive #1-Old Hoss Radbourn

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This is a weekly blog that will take a look at figures in sports that deserves a deeper dive.

We think of ace pitchers in the modern MLB mowing down teams at an unfathomable pace, racking up stats and outdoing their predecessors. We lose sight of those who are truly giants of the sport. Among those, the best single-season campaign put together by a pitcher, the immortal Old Hoss Radbourn.

Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn in 1884 had a season that will never be matched. He started and completed a staggering 73 games that season and finished with an unimaginable total of 678.2 innings pitched and 2,672 batters faced. For those 678.2 innings pitched he finished with a 1.38 ERA, which would have him finished first in the 2018 season. Think about that statement, in a total of almost 680 innings pitched, he had a better ERA than a pitcher who threw in 41 fewer games and 461 fewer innings in 2018.

All these stats need to be put into context for the time period to make any kind of argument, right?

Radbourn pitched in the early days of the MLB, just 15 years after its formation he was dominating batters with ease. Now, does it reflect the rest of the league that Radbourn had a 41-year-old First Baseman on his team? Maybe, but that just shows Radbourn’s dominance, being able to overcome the obstacle of a 41-year-old first baseman trying to stretch for an out. Tom Brady can barely run 3 yards before falling to the ground in a crumpled heap, and 41-year-old Joe Start hit .276 before penicillin was invented. And, if the Yankees count their 47 rings from the 1920s, we can count Old Hoss tossing an ungodly amount of innings in 1884.

Radbourn started as a boy throwing rocks against a barn door to strengthen his arm, before graduating to semi-pro ball in Bloomington, Illinois. After a series of stints in Peoria, Buffalo, and the Northwest League (The first minor league outside of the east coast) his friend Bill Hunter impersonated Radbourn and agreed to a contract with the Providence Grays.

This is where the 5’8, 168 lb giant of a man that was Old Hoss Radbourn completed his Mona Lisa. His first 3 years in Providence were a buildup to something great. He slowly increased his pitching starts, starting at 36 starts in his first year to 68 just 2 years later. Radbourn was able to throw a spitball without the spit, the mythical rising fastball, and a changeup that many considered blasphemy. All before people knew that bread could be sold pre-sliced.

Now, for the storied 1884 season. It started with Radbourn being suspended for fighting fellow pitcher Charlie Sweeney after he accused Radbourn of throwing a game. It then turned itself around when just a week later Sweeney was pitching a 6-2 gem while hammered drunk, and he was ejected from the park for being as belligerent as a frat brother on dollar Vodka Red Bull night. Because of this, Radbourn volunteered himself to start every game that season so that the team would never have to forfeit. This guy put the team on his back long before Greg Jennings caught that game winning 99-yard touchdown with a broken leg.

That is how Radbourn got to the point where he was starting every single game for the Grays, and how he got to the point where he pitched 3 complete games in the world series, allowing only 3 runs and winning the pennant for Providence. This is also how he became a member of the first MLB Hall of Fame Class of 1939.

After he retired, Radbourn lived a simple life. He opened a saloon and billiards room like every man did in the 1800s. He was also a hunter, who got Dick Cheney’d by his friend on a hunting trip, losing vision in his left eye and suffering from partial paralysis. This caused Radbourn to live much like myself, a recluse who tended to sit in the back room of his apartment and drink away his sorrows because he did not like the way he looked.

The man how was once the talk of the town now was dying of both tuberculosis and syphilis at the same time and would succumb to those illnesses, among others, in 1897. The man who could throw a curveball before cars could turn would forever be remembered as the owner of the best pitching season and nickname in MLB history.

And a final note, how did he get the name “Old Hoss”? Well, he got it because he loved the game so much and was as dedicated to it as an old man is to receiving letters from Publisher’s Clearing House.

old hoss.jpg

RIP, Sweet Prince

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The Michael Irvin Defense

It was foretold many years ago that Stephen A. must argue against the Dallas Cowboys on every single tv appearance. Michael Irvin becoming the human embodiment of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius made for the most entertaining First Take and Monday Night Football in recent memory. Michael Irvin starting to leak sweat like a class VI white-water rapids at the very mention of Dak Prescott slander is the Skip Bayless-esque foil that is so necessary to unlocking Stephen A.’s powers. The only thing better than a Stephen A. rant is an anti-Cowboys rant that sounds more like somebody reading a thesaurus for the word “absurd” than a composed argument.

Michael Irvin showed Max Kellerman up on his own set, in Jerry World. Kellerman should have left the Cowboys talk to the true, passionate, professionals. You simply cannot shy away from the heat that Cowboys slander brings upon you, and Stephen A. is the king of it. He was baptized in the fires of Skip Bayless’s unwavering support of a mediocre team.

Simply put, Michael Irvin needs to become the new face of insane Cowboys love on FS1.

michael irvin

An Ode To Brocktober

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November marks the beginning of many things. The countdown Thanksgiving and the ensuing comatose. Herds of human wildebeests trampling fellow shoppers so that they can score a microwave for half off. In other words, the most joyous part of the year. But for me, it marks the end of the best time period on the Gregorian calendar, Brocktober.

Brocktober is the yearly period where mediocre players somehow weasel money out of multiple organizations seemingly at will. The Miami Dolphins are the latest victims of flash in the pan play from a certain 6’7 quarterback and are now roped into keeping him around for multiple years.

Image result for brock osweiler at nfl combine                                                             (So Tall! What Form!)

Brock Osweiler is not the first player named Brock to capture the hearts of a nation. There have been many in the past, and a plethora of present players to choose from. In total, there have been 71 players (that I could find) past and present to carry the hallowed Brock family crest. In an unprecedented and simply groundbreaking move, I have compiled the raw data and run multiple algorithms to figure out the exact profile of Brock, the Division 1 football player.

How Tall Is He?

With an example like Brock Osweiler, one would think that the average Brock towers over the rest of the American population. You would be right. The average Brock clocks in at a hair under 6 foot 3, compared to the paltry height of 5’9.5 for the average American male. And not to be overlooked, 24% of all D1 Brocks are 6’4 or taller. Those are Hall of Fame numbers right there.

(For those of you keeping score, it is Brock 1, everyone else 0)

What position is he?

You were probably expecting Brock, the peak of human evolution, to play quarterback. You are correct. 17% of all Brocks plays quarterback for his respective Division 1 school. Tied for second place is Wide Receiver and Defensive Back, so you know there are some athletes in this group. Also, a healthy number of Offensive Lineman in this group, at 14%.

Where does he play?

When you think of Brock do you think of cold weather? I didn’t think so. Brock plays at overwhelmingly warm-weather schools. The most common of those schools? The University of Missouri. Mizzou. The state with the most average education system in the US. Coincidence? Don’t be so naïve my dear friend. The other metric to measure this by is the jersey color the majority of Brocks wear. 34% of Brock wear a red jersey, and 30% wear blue jerseys. So, a healthy number of Stanford and BYU Brocks out there.

What does this all mean?

To summarize the data points, the average Brock is a 6’4 quarterback who plays at Mizzou. Now, does the SEC East run through Brock? You bet your bottom dollar it does. Nick Saban is kept up at night over the prospect of Brock dashing Alabama’s playoff hopes. Kirby Smart has fits trying to game plan for the lenth of not only Brock’s arms but his hair as well.

We should all thank our lucky stars that we do not have to deal with SEC Brock every day of our lives.