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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ruminate with Iggins!

Sometimes I see sports stories that need to be commented on, for whatever reason, be it their bearing on Chicago sports, my Hawkeyes, a random interest, or how badly the story sucks. Gathered here are my private thoughts on these things. WARNING: Code Red can attest that looking into my mind can sometimes be like falling into a Lovecraftian dimension. You have been warned.


-Tracy McGrady, who you will remember was rejected by the Bulls, recently said that Lebron James should have signed with Chicago because LBJ and Dwayne Wade refuse to play nice together and instead just stand motionless while the other has the ball. T-Mac is 100% correct, but the better question is if the Bulls would be better with LBJ (Because we all know the Bulls with Lebron would be better than the current Heat). The Bulls, to sign James with Boozer, would have had to trade Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and James Johnson. They would have also lacked the money to resign Noah like they did, not to mention they wouldn't have had the money to sign Brewer, Korver, Bogans, or C.J Watson, leaving the Bulls to scrape the barrel like the Heat did for guys like Jerry Stackhouse. Is that a better team? When Boozer gets back the Bulls, in my mind, are very close to being the best team in the East. Derrick Rose has emerged as a premier scorer and distributor, and he has made Deng, Gibson, and Noah much better, to the point where I don't think having a Lebron James is worth losing all the rest of these players (especially considering Lebron would get along with Rose in much the same way as he gets along with Wade on the court). When the dust settles the winners of last summer's free agency may actually be the Bulls.


-Speaking of the Bulls, doesn't it feel like Ronnie Brewer should be starting over Keith Bogans? In two fewer minutes played per game he has more points, rebounds, and steals per game, not to mention his fg percentage is 50.8% while Bogans' fg percentage is a painful 36.2%, the lowest on the team! Ronnie even appears to play better defense and he has much more energy on the floor than Bogans. Thibs is doing a fantastic job with the team this year, and I understand a desire for continuity in the starting lineup, but maybe when Boozer comes back we move Brewer into the starting SG spot? He's earned it.


-There are two camps of belief about the Hawkeye's season. The first says that their 7-5 record is indicative of them being overhyped and a mediocre team. The second says that the Hawkeyes had no leadership or... jesus... "heart" and that is why they lost 5 games in exactly the same way (have the lead in the 4th quarter, give it away late, start a drive with around 2 minutes left, fail to do anything). I don't have a concrete answer for the shit I watched (Though I don't think either of those two possibilities are right), but I can definitely say that if something happens 3 times it is no longer a coincidence. Code Red blames Old Testament God. I think Ricky Stanzi sold wins and his testicles for good stats (to Satan of course). Sounds reasonable to me.

-also, tune in tonight to see the worst college basketball game played by two BCS conference schools all year! Iowa @ Wake Forest is on ESPNU in 20 minutes... you have been warned.

NFL Roundup, Week 12

Patriots 45, Lions 24
As my one concession to the deep-seated beast of superstition that lurks even in the hearts of the most rational sports fan, I generally don't trash the opposition on the week that the Bears will play them. Were I to do so, however, I would point out that secondary in Detroit is abominable. Also, I still like the matchup for the Bears at home against New England next week. That Patriots defense still has issues, and I think the Bears can get pressure on Brady.

Saints 30, Lions 27
As I watched Roy Williams hilariously fumble away a huge upset for the Cowboys, I tried to remember why exactly I bear so much ire against a guy who has generally been a marginal player on marginal or awful teams. Then loyal reader Apex put it thus:

"He was the ringleader and a standout in a long line of turds who made famous that whole Detroit Lions thing - where they dance around after every tackle and first down reception in the first half of any game and spend the entire second half forlornly explaining away turnovers and overall fuckups with a towel on their heads."

And then I remembered his guranteeing victory over the Bears back in 2006 before Chicago went out and swept Detroit by a combined 60-28 margin. Shit. I'm not trashing them. Swearsies.

Jets 26, Bengals 10
It really, really sucks to watch Carson Palmer right now. You people have no idea how much time and energy I invest in rooting for quarterbacks that I love solely based upon their magnificent ARMCOCKS. Or maybe you do. Either way, the sad deterioration of a man who was once the damn near Platonic Ideal of a quarterback just hurts. Rotator cuffs, folks. Check them, and check them often.

Falcons 20, Packers 17
Man. Nobody loses with more excuses than the god damn Green Bay Packers. Despite the fact that this is now the 4th loss they've suffered thanks to terrible penalties, a complete and utter inability to run the ball, and crippling turnovers at inopportune times, no one is willing to see those rather consistent markers indicative of a talented but perhaps undisciplined and (God forbid) flawed football team. I gather that Aaron Rodgers is an amazing quarterback, and that the Packers rack up a lot of yards and have an impressive point differential that's entirely inflated from three blowout wins over the Bills, Cowboys, and Vikings (9-24 combined with an average ranking of 25th in scoring defense), but when you lose four games for the same reasons it shouldn't be dismissed as a fluke or an easily correctable glitch. Also, I'm sorry for saying you were overrated, Atlanta. You're an impresisvely balanced team, but that defense seems to milquetoast to survive a long postseason run. They can't rush the passer with their front four. Hard to win a Superbowl like that.

Texans 20, Titans 0
I hate Vince Young. I really do. But if he could actually have played, rather than being forced into a season-ending surgery to open the door for Rusty Smith, and Fisher actually took carries away from Chris Johnson to show off Rusty Smith as a potential QB (QB rating of 25 through two games. Todd Collins is dying of envy, everyone else not so much), as some have rumored, then Fisher is the dumbest sonofabitch in the NFL.

Vikings 17, Redskins 13
That's good. The Vikings will now almost certainly keep Favre in long enough for his turnovers to hand a game in the Metrodome to the Bears.

Giants 24, Jaguars 20
Even after this game, I get the lurching feeling that the Jaguars may somehow win the AFC South. Then they'll have the most improbably postseason run of all time, and I will weep.

Steelers 19, Bills 16
Stevie Johnson blamed God for his five drops. I find that interesting, and, as a spiritual person, I must at least consider whether, perhaps, God truly does influence dropped passes. In that case, I truly wonder what horrible, horrible sins Rashied Davis has committed to bring on the unceasing fury of the Almighty.

Browns 24, Panthers 23
Jake Delhomme gave the Panthers every opportunity to win, but they came up just short. Hilarious, as Jake Delhomme is no longer a Panther. In fact, since I'll never forgive Jake Delhomme for the 2005 playoffs (JUST FUCKING DOUBLE COVER STEVE SMITH), here is his stat line since his 5 interception meltdown against Arizona in the 2008 playoffs:

15 games, 5-10 record, 252/450 (56.0%), 2789 YDs (6.2 YPA), 10 TDs, 29 INTs, 55.1 rating.

Perhaps I should start comparing people to an Old Jake Delhome rather than a Young Jake Plummer. Maybe quarterbacks named Jake are just doomed to mediocre career arcs that start or plummet into complete and total oblivion and inspire everyone to ask the question "How the f*&k is he still starting in the NFL?"

Chiefs 42, Seahawks 24
It's truly fitting that the AFC and NFC West are matched up this year in order to allow the eventual division champion of each to scrape to the 7-9 wins that will allow them to reach their first round playoff exit.

Dolphins 33, Raiders 17
Oh thank God. The Raiders still suck.

Baltimore 17, Tampa Bay 10
It may seem hypocritical to criticize Tampa Bay for being 7-0 against losing teams and 0-4 against winning teams when I've ranted against people using the Bears easy schedule against them, but the difference is that Chicago is now 2-1 against teams with winning records (although the fact that Seattle and Washington both have losing records makes those losses More embarrassing) but have been competitive and have at least been consistent defensively in every one of their games as the average score of their three losses is 19-12. Tampa Bay is clearly a mirage, however, when you look at the average score of their four losses: 28-13. They've actually been outscored on the season, and every one of their unit rankings, both offensive and defensive, is fairly mediocre outside of their 9th ranked scoring defense. They've really only been competitive in one of their losses this year. They got one TD in garbage time against the Ravens after trailing 17-3 and being virtually nonexistent on offense for most of the afternoon. The outcome was never in doubt.

Rams 36, Broncos 33
Sam Bradford and the Rams actually Bronco'd the Broncos to death, as Bradford has almost exclusively worked in the short passing game this year and is actually dead last in yards per completion, but he still worked his way to 300+ yards and a win over a terrible Broncos team in every respect. F*&k you, McWannstedt.

Chargers 36, Colts 14
Well, it's nice to see that the media will throw out every excuse for a Peyton 4 pick game that they bluntly dismissed in defense of Jay Cutler a few weeks ago. What's that? Manning has a subpar offensive line, an inconsistent running game, and young receivers? No quarterback could possibly be blamed for a four interception game with all that!

49ers 27, Cardinals 6
Derek Anderson followed up a very Old/Young Delplummer performance with an absolutely outstanding apeshit press conference:

For what it's worth, I don't really blame him. God knows we've all laughed at a funeral. The same thing happened to Erik Kramer during a loss back in 1997 or 1998, but I maintain that it's okay for Erik Kramer to laugh at being pulled for Rick Mirer or Steve Stenstrom.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I've Finally Figured It Out

I know now why I truly, deeply hate Josh McDaniels. It isn't just because of his smear campaign against Jay Cutler or his incessant arrogance despite being the guy that traded Peyton Hillis for Brady Quinn. No, it's because I've finally realized who he is. Josh McDaniels, ladies and gentlemen, is the Dave Wannstedt of the 2000s.

Look at the Similarities:

-Both took over for popular head coaches who had won Superbowls in the previous decade but had failed to win in the playoffs after the departure of many of the key players they had inherited (Payton and others for Ditka, Elway for Shanahan).

-Both were given nearly total authority over personnel decisions by the franchise owner, despite neither having any previous head coaching or GM experience.

-Both were young, hot coordinator prospects coming from the "elite" franchise of the decade, the 2000s Patriots and the 1990s Cowboys.

-Both started off surprisingly well, with Wannstedt's 93 Bears starting out 7-5 before a four game losing streak put them at 7-9, while McDaniels 6-0 start last year culminated in a 2-8 record over the last 10 and an overall .500 campaign. Wannstedt even made the playoffs in 1994 and nearly made them again in 1995 before his personnel decisions caused the team to collapse.

-The personnel decisions: Wannstedt made terrible first round picks, including a questionable pick at wideout (Curtis Conway) when the team had much more glaring needs, as well as two failed runningbacks (Salaam and Enis) and a terrible trade for a quarterback.

McDaniels has picked a wideout and a quarterback when those appear to be, if not the strong suit, at least nowhere near the most glaring weaknesses on his team, and he's drafted an underachieving runningback (Knowshon Moreno) which led him to trade away a far better player (Peyton Hillis). He also made a very questionable trade involving a quarterback. Robert Ayers (40 tackles and 2 sacks in 21 games), McDaniels' first round pick at linebacker, has been every bit as questionable as one of Wannstedt's first round picks at the position, John Thierry (never had more than 4 sacks in a season with the team).

- Finally, Wannstedt clearly should have been fired before his team's 8-24 death spiral in 97-98, but McCaskey was unwilling to fire him with money and years remaining on his contract. McDaniel's is just 5-16 in his last 21 games, but will most likely keep his job for another year as Bowlen still owes Shanahan money and would be unlikely to pay two coaches to not coach.

So there you have it, I hate Josh McDaniels because he reminds me of that hare-lipped bastard who nearly ruined my childhood. Fuck you, Josh.

College Football Roundup Week 13

Texas A&M 24, Texas 17
Mike Sherman finally gets a win over Texas and has built a team that could win 10 games if they win their bowl. How the bloody hell did that happen?

Auburn 28, Alabama 27
That was miraculous. The way Auburn's defense was playing in the game (and all season) had me convinced there was no way in hell they'd even come close to a comeback. I was gearing up for a Boise State title run and then... Cam Newton put on his brass balls and stuck it to Saban. Whatever the guy did off the field, he's just unbelieveable on it. Vince Young didn't dominate the college game in 2005 like Newton is doing right now.

Oregon 48, Arizona 29
I don't give a shit about TCU or BCS busting anymore. I want to see Oregon go up against Auburn in the title game.

Nevada 34, Boise State 31
I hate when people blame the kicker for this shit. Boise had a 24-7 lead. Point the finger at every guy in that locker room. It sucks that all of Boise's hard work ended like this, but if they want to talk about fairness, well, every other team in the country plays with the same razor-thin margin of error.

Connecticut 38, Cincinnati 17
A win over South Florida next week will put 8-4 UConn into the BCS. The Big East, Folks. Fuck em.

Michigan State 28, Penn State 22
Ohio State 37, Michigan 7
Wisconsin 70, Northwestern 23

Thoughts: Michigan State is clearly the 3rd best of these three teams. Michigan's defense is so porous that Terrelle Pryor can actually pass against it. Wisconsin is a merciless fear engine that will pummel you into the depths of hell.

Minnesota 27, Iowa 24
Poor Iggins! I normally laugh at Iowa's failures, but he just lost his beloved Floyd of Rosedale. In this case, I'm fucking guffawing.

Arkansas 31, LSU 23
ARMCOCKANSAS mercilessly removes any chance whatsoever of Les Miles backing his way into the National Title game in an apocalyptic scenario.

Oklahoma 47, Oklahoma State 41
Poor OK State. Thought it would finally be there year, but instead Oklahoma locks up the spot in the Big 12 title game against Nebraska. Probably for the best.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bears 31, Eagles 26- ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Don't let the final score deceive you. Classic Lovie Prevent defense aside, this was a total asskicking of the team that NFL Network was describing as "this year's Saints." What excuse will they find to dismiss the Bears this week? You're looking at a damn good football team, folks, and I don't care who disagrees.

Onto the breakdown:


Jay Cutler: 14/21 (66.7%) for 247 yards, 4 TDS, 0 INTS, a 146.2 rating and one absolutely bullshit unsportsmanlike call where I was only too pleased to see him give the ref the asschewing he deserved. Cutler had undoubtedly his best game as a Bear and maybe as a pro. He threw in 17 yards rushing for good measure. In a game that was supposed to be about Michael Vick, Jay Cutler stole the day and didn't give it back.

Matt Forte: 14 carries for a 117 yards. He was outstanding and was a huge part of the clock-killing 3rd quarter drives that essentially sealed the game for the Bears. That a boy, Matty.

Johnny Knox: 3 catches, 68 yards and a TD to go with the recovery on the last onside kick.

Earl Mother Fuckin' Bennett: The best damn slot receiver the Bears have had in a long god damn time. He had four huge catches and two TDs. Shirtless manhug for you, Earl.

Devin Hester: He had 3 catches for 86 yards, both of which set up scores. He's learning how to come back to the ball when Jay has to scramble, and he clearly influenced the Eagles' gameplan on punts and kicks. Great job. Best game the wide receiver corps had all year.

Greg Olsen: He had only one catch, but it was the most impressive TD catch of his career.

The Front Seven: Urlacher, Briggs, and every single defensive lineman on the field had a huge game. Vick's final numbers look good, but for 3 quarters before Lovie unwisely eased up these guys forced Vick into his worst game of the year. Julius Peppers had one absolutely beastly sack in the first half to end an Eagles threat in the red zone. Idonijie, Melton, and Toeina continued to dominate the interior and even Tommie Harris got into the action with a huge tip that led to the game-changing interception. Boners.

The Bad:

Frank Omiyale: Guh. 3 of Cutler's 4 sacks should be credited to Omiyale, and he did his part as usual to ensure the Bears kept the league lead in false starts. Fuck you, Frank.

Lovie Smith: The gameplan was brilliant until the 4th quarter. I don't blame him for the last TD that was just plain miraculous, but the prevent defense with 11 minutes left in the 4th? He's lucky Andy Reid was determined to lose this game and kicked 2 nonsensical field goals, because the Bend but Don't Break came way too damn close.

Andy Reid: seriously, man. How does someone as dumb as you build such a consistently good football team?

Rick Morrissey: What aren't you impressed with this week, fuckhead?

Circus Trip Retrospect


The Bulls just wrapped up the annual "circus trip", a 7 game road trip that takes place while the circus takes over the United Center, by coming back (again) to beat the Kings 96-85, leaving them with a 4-3 record on the trip (their first winning record on the thing since before you had the internet). Some seriously crazy shit happened on the trip, so let's recap with some quick Bull/Bears for each game.

Bulls 95 - Houston 92
-Bull: Nice start to the trip. The Bulls really needed to start strong against a bad Rockets team. Rose dropped 33 points before that became routine for him and the Bulls extended the Rockets' losing streak to 4.
-Bear: The Bulls got dominated in the 3rd quarter (30-14), their quarter of choice to get dominated in up until the last 3 games. Still, a nice win.

Spurs 103 - Bulls 94
-Bull: Rose dropped another 33 points, Noah grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Bulls looked great against one of the best teams in the west for a half.
-Bear: Once again, the Bulls got dominated in the 3rd quarter, 37-12 this time, and despite Derrick's 33 points he only has 4 assists and appears to be trying to do too much on the floor at times. However, this was the second game on the road in as many games, and it was against a great team.

Bulls 88 - Mavericks 83
-Bull: Rose drops 22, Taj Gibson is the star of the night with 17 points and 18 rebounds.
-Bear: To be honest this game was awful to watch. Both teams deserved to be put away, but nobody stepped up. The Bulls practically won by default. They tried to blow it in the third quarter AGAIN, with the quarter starting out 20-4 in favor of the Mavericks, but finished the third on a 13-4 run to make it more respectable. 18 turnovers for the Bulls... the list goes on. Beating the Mavericks is a great accomplishment, but make no mistake, neither team can afford to play like they did in this game and win a title.

Lakers 98 - Bulls 91
-Bull: The Bulls avoided the bad quarter and hung with the champs the whole game, the only thing that stood between them and victory was a barrage of Laker 3 pointers in the 4th that gave them 9 points in under 40 seconds. Rose hit 30 again and also managed 8 assists, Noah grabbed 13 rebounds and 4 steals, and the Bulls held Kobe to 20 points.
-Bear: The loss, and that's really it. It's ironic that they looked so bad in getting a win over Dallas and looked so great in losing to the Lakers.

Bulls 123 - Suns 115 (2OT)
(Look under this post)

Nuggets 98 - Bulls 97
-Bull: What a heartbreaker. C.J. Watson timed his 1 great game of the year perfectly (33 points), overcome shooting below 40% and not having Derrick for the night, and avoid a bad quarter for the 3rd time in 4 games... and screw it all up at the very end. Great night for Noah and Korver as well, and the bench showed how good it can be. Tough to take this one.
-Bear: John Lucas 3 missed two free throws to leave the Bulls with a 1 point lead with 13 seconds left. Then Melo misses a shot to win the game! There are 3 Bulls right there to rebound! Game ov... and the three Bulls knock the ball out of bounds, setting up Melo to hit the game winner as time expired. My heart hurts.

Bulls 96 - Kings 85
-Bull: Rose drops another 30, this time with 7 assists and 7 rebounds to go with it and the Bulls overcome a 13 point halftime deficit to beat a terrible Kings team. Not too remarkable.
-Bear: The Bulls were the first team to be losing to the Kings at halftime this year. That is how bad the Kings are, and the Bulls were down 13. Derrick once again picked it up in the fourth, but it has to be a bit concerning that the Bulls ended this trip by coming back from way down the last 3 games.

Overall, a great trip. The Bulls are currently 9-6 and are going to get even better soon with Boozer practicing tomorrow and hopefully returning Wednesday. More later, mostly about my inability to find Keith Bogans on the court (invisibility cloak?!) and musings about Thibodeau and of course the Heat (Shadenfreude!).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bulls-123, Suns-115 (Bulls and Bears)


Considering the circumstances, that was an incredible win for the Bulls. Down 23 at one point in the first quarter the Bulls stormed back to win in 2 overtimes, overcoming not only the deficit and fatigue from playing the Lakers the night before, but also the injury to Taj Gibson. What went more right than wrong to send the Bulls to a 3-2 record with 2 games left on the circus trip?:

Bull Market!

- The Defense. After that awful showing in the first quarter the defense tightened up and executed the gameplan that they seemed to forget for 12 minutes. They slowed the game down and contested every shot, causing the Suns to frequently heave shots as time expired.

- Derrick Rose. Derrick has that rare personality that causes him to get better in the 4th quarter and beyond. He ended up with 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 assists, and hit several key shots to keep the Bulls in the game, including the tying free throws in the fourth quarter, and the tying layup in the first overtime.

- Joakim Noah. This is the reason trading him and Deng for Melo isn't a good idea. Noah does everything; assists, rebounds, points, and he seems to clean up at least three Rose misses a game with tip-ins. Beautiful steal on Steve Nash tonight, too.

-James Johnson. He'll probably fade like he did last time he had a big game, but Thibodeau can't keep him out of the rotation after he dominated so often in this game.

Bear Market.

-The Bad Quarter. It's plagued this team all season. Normally the second or third quarter,
but tonight the first, the Bulls have at least one bad breakdown for 12 minutes a game. It's
something that needs to be fixed before the Bulls can cement themselves as the best in the East
with the Celtics and Magic.

-Offensive Pacing. The Bulls tried to run with the Suns the entire first quarter, and we saw
what happened there. The Bulls are great when they play half-court basketball, too often did
they take quick jump shots in this game and it put them in a hole early.

-Rebounding. Boy did the Bulls miss Taj. The stats are skewed in the Bulls favor because of
the two OT periods and the end of the 4th, but for three periods the Bulls got rocked on the
boards. Noah can't do it all, kids.

Next up is Denver on Friday in a very winnable game. Thank God the Bulls have one day to rest,
they'll need it after this one.

Around the NFL, Week 11

Steelers 35, Raiders 3
Oh thank God. The Raiders fans have been mildly humbled but not enough that they've been severed from the mistaken premise that they have a good football team. Guh.

Jaguars 24, Browns 20
Fuck you, Jacksonville.

Redskins 19, Titans 16
My long-standing hatred of Vince Young appears justified by the fact that he's a petulant, entitled dickhead who won't take another snap in a Titan's uniform.

Jets 30, Texans 27
The Texans' defense is a disgrace to football and America.

Ravens 37, Panthers 13

Packers 31, Vikings 3
The game that lowered the Childress-axe for once and for all. I, for one, wish he'd have kept that job forever.

Chiefs 31, Cardinals 13
The Cardinals were better in the days of young Jake Plummer. He could pull off 3-7 in Style.

Cowboys 35, Lions 19
Yeah, this little two game streak of competence will end now that New Orleans is rolling into town for Thanksgiving.

Bills 49, Bengals 31
Oh my God the Bengals are terrible.

Saints 34, Seahawks 19
The Seahawks will probably make the playoffs at 8-8 despite losing to Denver, St. Louis, New York, Oakland, and New Orleans by an average of 23 points. The entire NFC West has been outscored on the season by their opponents. Not a single one of them deserves a winning record. But one of them will make the playoffs and someone out of Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, the Giants, or the Eagles will not. There's no justice in this world.

Bucs 21, 49ers 0
That said, I hope Tampa doesn't make it either.

Falcons 34, Rams 17
Atlanta gets better every week.

Patriots 31, Colts 28
I know he's Peyton Manning and he's a record-setter and a SB champion QB (against Rex Grossman) but I can't help but get frustrated when he throws 3 interceptions, costs his team the win, mopes, pouts, screams at his linemen, and the media praises his fire and passion. Meanwhile, Earl Bennett just sneezed and tv replays clearly show that Jay Cutler did Not say God Bless You, and Tony Dungy just broke down his poor manners on Football Night in America.

Eagles 27, Giants 17
The Giants actually did a good job of containing Vick, and Eli Manning kindly threw the game away. Hopefully the Bears can do a better job of eliminating mistakes.

Chargers 35, Broncos 14
Suck it, McDaniels.

That's all for this week, folks. No Prognostication Bukakke this week as it's a holiday and my 21 game lead over Iggins! more or less dictates that he's a ball of yarn which I may drag out of the cupboard whenever I wish to bat him around before shelving him indefinitely. See ya Monday.
Go Bears.

Monday, November 22, 2010

College Football Roundup

Michigan State 35, Purdue 31
Dammit, Purdue. You had a chance to ensure that MSU would be out of the running and you blew it. I've got nothing against MSU, but the old eyeball chart tells me that they would be the least deserving of the three tied teams if they went to the Rose Bowl. At least next year there'll be a championship game to solve this.

Wisconsin 48, Michigan 28
Wisconsin once again makes its case for being the most-deserving team.

Stanford 48, California 14
Stanford. They're really good.

Virginia Tech 31, Miami 17
Yep. VT has once again recovered from a miserable early season loss to become the ACC Coastal Champion. Because the ACC is always willing to have its title contention wrecked by Labor Day.

Illinois 48, Northwestern 27
Bowl eligibility! The elusive beast has been snared in its cage! Some numbers: Illinois had 559 total yards. 519 of those on the ground. Mikel LeShoure, I love you.

Ohio State 20, Iowa 17
I really thought Iowa would win this game. Alas, Tressel has once again maneuvered himself into position to possibly secure a BCS bowl game that he will most likely lose.

LSU 43, Ole Miss 36
Had all the zaniness you'd expect from Les Miles vs. Houston Nutt.

Arkansas 38, Mississippi State 31 (2OT)

Oklahoma 53, Baylor 24
3 straight ranked opponents have pummeled Baylor's season into mediocrity. Next year, Baylor. Next year. Enjoy the Holiday Bowl or something.

Texas A&M 9, Nebraska 6
Nebraska! Offense disappearing at inopportune moments since 2001!

Oregon State 36, USC 7
Ha! Eat a dick, Kiffin.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Heat are why people hate the NBA

Being as my personal life has finally settled down (as has my laziness) I figure I'll write a few articles about the sports that Code Red has little to no knowledge of, those sports being basketball (due to a traumatic childhood incident), hockey, and combat sports. I could write about football or baseball, but years of exposure to him have proven, at the very least, that he knows more about baseball than 99.9% of the population and as my picks record indicates, he can say whatever he wants about football this year and I will accept it as fact.

There have been at least one hundred thousand articles written about why the Heat are going to win five titles or why they will win none, and by now everybody who watches the NBA has their own opinion that won't be changed until somebody wins the title in 2011. I, like anybody outside of South Beach (and only 36% of the African-American population, apparently, though that discussion is for another day) want the entire team to crash in a horrifying airplane crash. My reasoning is slightly different though. Whereas most people hate them either because they are seen as too good, dishonorable, or some other nonsense, I hate them because they are ruining a potential renaissance of basketball by trying to convince the masses that NBA basketball is the same as they perceived it when Jordan retired.

Most people will remember that when Jordan retired a wave of cocky Jordan wannabe's came into the NBA. Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, Latrell Sprewell, Allen Iverson. All tiny, cocky, annoying, narcissists looking only to make a name for themselves (victories and humility be damned). This black hole era where common sense was to find a shooting guard willing to toss up half your team's shots in lieu of running the team's offense almost killed the NBA completely.

You'll remember that I'm writing about the Heat, and here is my point. The NBA has finally come around to building teams again. Teams filled with great players who know their roles, have decent personalities, and fit into a coaches system. Teams built to win, not to fill seats! And eventually the fans would return, not because of some flash in the pan like the MLB had with the home run chase between Sosa and McGwire or like the NBA had with Bird and Magic, but like the NFL did it; with great play, strategy, consistency, and a great overall product.

Then here come the Heat, and out crawl all the people who haven't watched the NBA since Jordan played. Instead of returning slowly because they realized that the overall product was fun to watch, and the players fun to listen to and easy to relate to, they have all run back at once to see the Heat.

Of course, if these people had watched the NBA they would realize that the Heat can't win a title like they are now, and here is why:

1: They have no point guard. In the NBA right now there are too many point guards who need to be guarded by an equal. Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, even Jameer Nelson and Tony Parker among them, and they don't have anyone who can come close to defending those guys.

2: They have no inside presence. They overvalued Bosh because he looked great on an awful team. Now everyone can see he's basically a scared Pau Gasol. The Heat's 4 and 5 position combo is the softest in the league defensively, and offensively they are going to get harassed by every team with a dominant defensive big, i.e. the Bulls, Magic, Celtics, Mavericks, Spurs, Lakers, Hornets, etc.

3: Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are great defenders when they want to be, but they're matched up against positions that, in the current NBA, are filled with players made to play defense! The Bulls, Celtics, Mavericks, and Hornets get most of their offense elsewhere, which nullifies the one good defensive aspect of the Heat!

To recap, the best offensive players the Heat have match up against the best defenders on the best teams in the league, and the best defenders on the Heat match up against, at most, the number 3 or 4 scoring threats on the best teams. The Heat weren't built as a team, they were built to play streetball and sell tickets. They were built in the memory of that awful, ancient idea that came about after Jordan retired that suggests all you have to do is throw enough talent and shot takers onto a team and they'll win.

I hope that the fans who are drawn in by the Heat will realize how great the league has become after recovering from the post-Jordan days, and stay fans of the NBA and their teams, but what I fear will happen is people will come to watch the Heat, grow to hate the Heat because they epitomize why fans left to begin with, and leave when the Heat dissolve because they believe the NBA is the same as it was.

As someone who never stopped watching the Bulls, and struggled through the post-Jordan years in the NBA, take my advice: come to hate the Heat, stay because the NBA is good again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bears 16, Dolphins 0. The Return of BEAR FOOTBAW

Expect plenty of happy Bears fans and Doug Buffones this week. Chicago won tonight using the city's favorite style of football. The offense didn't have to do much, as the defense was more than willing to slap Tyler Thigpen around whenever he got cute and acted like he belonged on the same field as them. Overall, solid game by everybody except J'Marcus Webb. TO THE RECAP:


Matt Forte: He came up just shy of a hundred yards, but Matt did an excellent job moving the chains tonight. This is the first game in a while where Matt went out and took over. The Carolina game was nice, but this is the game Forte needed to have to silence some of his critics he think he doesn't run hard or decisively.

Julius Peppers: He should really be in this category every week. I know he only had 2 sacks coming into tonight, but is there any doubt that the defensive resurgence this year is 50% Julius Peppers, 50% healthy Urlacher/Briggs? The guy just wrecks offensive game plans. He has been instrumental in ruining every team's run game as well. Tonight he erupted for 3 sacks. You're the man, Pep.

Robbie Gould: He's the balls. That is all.

Brian Urlacher: Oh man. He destroyed Thigpen. Congrats on tying Singletary's record for most tackles. Even if I want to facepalm every time you talk, I'll love you forever big guy.

Any other defensive lineman: Melton and Izzy had sacks and the Bears had 6 total. Miami gained just 39 yards rushing. Only 12 yards came from plays that weren't just Thigpen scrambles.

Devin Hester: He put the Bears in good field position most of the night. As usual. He did drop a TD pass, though. So, don't do that.


Jay Cutler: He "managed" the game well most of the night, to use one of my favorite (not) cliches in sports, but that interception was brutal. The Dolphins have a fantastic secondary, but Jay made them look better than they are on a few plays. I won't hate too much, because he's my boy and frankly every completion he had had to be perfect against that secondary, but on a night when everyone else was an A, Jay was a C+

J'Marcus Webb: Okay. Not everyone else was an A. Webb was a big fat pile of FFFFail tonight. Jesus. Cameron Wake should get to take him home as a pet tonight, because he straight up owns Webb's ass.

That's all for tonight. Great win, and 7-3 is damn solid. The schedule doesn't have any easy outs the rest of the way, but that defense (Tyler Thigpen be damned, I don't think anybody'd have been able to beat that defense tonight) will keep them in every one of them. If the offensive line holds it together and Cutler steps it up, they'll be in the playoffs.

Prognostication Bukakke, NFL Week 11

Bears @ Dolphins
Code Red: I don't think people should be salivating like they are over an easy Bears win over a Dolphins team starting Tyler Thigpen and possibly missing Jake Long. I really liked what Thigpen did as a rookie in Kansas City. It'll be interesting to see if Sparano tries to run the ball against the Bears D or if he'll do what suits Thigpen best and spreads it out. That's what Gailey did for Thigpen in KC and it led to an 18-12 TD:INT ratio, pretty solid for a first year player. I don't know if Miami will trust him that much. That said, I really do think the Bears will win this game by a respectable margin.

Iggins!: Thigpen isn’t a terrible QB, but against the Bears defense he will look like it. Not to mention the Dolphin running game is less than mediocre, and they’re facing a great run D. The thing to be concerned about is the fantastic Dolphins pass defense, but I think the Bears will make it through that to pull off a squeaker. Bears win.

Redskins @ Titans
Iggins!: So hopefully Donovan and everyone else has realized he isn’t going to see any of that money in his contract. Titans win.

Code Red: I still don't buy that the Redskins were actually shrewd. There's something hidden and idiotic in that contract. Titans win.

Bills @ Bengals
Code Red: the Bills pick up two wins in a row for the first time since Clinton was in office or can the Bengals snap their seven game losing streak. I'm actually going to roll with Buffalo.

Iggins!: The Bengals will win, and I swear you won’t see so much as a mention of it anywhere outside of Cincinnati.

Browns @ Jaguars
Iggins!: What a ridiculously hard game to pick. The Browns are playing well above how good they are and the Jaguars seem to win or lose via a random drawing. I’ll take the Browns.

Code Red: The Browns are a solid team fundamentally. Jacksonville is not. Browns win.

Lions @ Cowboys
Code Red: For a while the Lions were good but not lucky. Now I think they're just bad. Tough to lose as many close ones as they have, and to lose Stafford again. Cowboys win.

Iggins!: The Lions have a losing mentality. They have lost close games for 4 years now. No reason to expect that to change. Cowboys win.

Raiders @ Steelers
Iggins!: I won’t fall into your trap, Oakland. The Steelers will bounce back here. Steelers win.

Code Red: Agreed. Oakland doesn't have the passing game to attack the Steelers like New England and New Orleans did. Steelers win.

Cardinals @ Chiefs
Code Red: I expect the Chiefs to stop their slide. Their defense is better than it has looked the last two weeks. That, and Arizona sucks like a 53 man roster of Jake Plummers. Chiefs win.

Iggins!: Lots of hate for Jake Plummer from you. Why not pick on Kordell? Chiefs win.

Code Red: Its a long story.

Packers @ Vikings
Iggins!: Favre has a knack for being a dick, I expect him to win here, but I really want him to first break both his legs in this game, then right after the game be informed that he will be suspended for eternity for exposing himself, then get brought to court and registered as a sex offender. So… let’s make that happen. Vikings win.

Code Red: I wish. Packers win.

Ravens @ Panthers
Code Red: Ravens win.

Iggins!: Ravens win.

Texans @ Jets
Iggins!: Oh my beloved Texans, why do you do this every year? Your offense is so stacked! The Texans are in serious need of a new OC. Jets win.

Code Red: They're on pace for the 2nd worst scoring defense of all time and you want to fire the OFFENSIVE coordinator? Jets win.

Falcons @ Rams
Code Red: Ahh. Matt Ryan, former wonder-rookie leading a surprise contender vs. Sam Bradford, current wonder rookie leading a surprise contender. I'll take the veteran. Falcons win.

Iggins!: I need to pick up more games so RAMS in an upset!

Bucs @ 49ers

Iggins!: The Bucs have done a good job of cleaning up all the teams they should this year, so I expect them to win here. Bucs win.

Code Red: The Bucs have another game against the Falcons and the Saints. Those two, plus an upset loss to the Troy Smith-led (Jesus Christ) 49ers should get them out of playoff contention. Where they belong. 49ers win.

Seahawks @ Saints
Code Red: The Seahawks will probably get blown out by 3 touchdowns and then continue on their way to an 8-8 division title. Saints win.

Iggins!: I hate the NFC West with every fiber of my being. Saints win.

Colts @ Patriots
Iggins!: I hate that this is some kind of annual matchup now. I most hate having to hear about it for 7 days until it happens. Patriots win, and let’s be done with this BS.

Code Red: Wait, how did NBC NOT make this the Sunday night game for the first time in 17 years? Colts win.

Giants @ Eagles
Code Red: Michael Vick was outstanding Monday night, and has been all season, but let's not lose sight of the fact that he's yet to face a defense ranked higher than 21st in the NFL as a starter this year. I think the Giants will rebound from their disaster against the Cowboys and hold Vick to non-video game like numbers. Giants win.

Iggins!: I’m going to guess Vick gets injured and Kolb comes in, throws for 300 yards and Shady racks up over 150 total yards, thus causing Philly fan’s heads to explode in confusion over who to hate (because they can’t just love having two good QBs! No, now they have to trade Kolb because keeping the best backup in the NFL for 1.4 million next year to back up your injury prone QB who throws his body around like a kamikaze would be stupid. Fuck you Philly.) Eagles win.

Broncos @ Chargers
Iggins!: The Broncos offense is consistently frightening, it’s just rare to see them get in the end zone as much as they did last week. I’m betting this is one of the weeks where Orton gets 400 yards passing but only 13 points. Chargers win.

Code Red: The Broncos offense is consistently one dimensional and racks up hollow stats against most average-to-above average defenses. The Chargers won't melt down like the Chiefs. Chargers win.

Prognostication Bukakke, NCAA Week 12

The Standings:

Code Red: 111-59 (62-38 NFL, 49-21 NCAA)
Iggins!: 94-76 (56-44 NFL, 38-32 NCAA)

Yes, that is a 17 game lead. Thanks to a 9-1 streak in my NCAA picks last week (as opposed to a solid .500 for Iggins!) I have absolutely buried my rival. But the charade must continue:

Wisconsin @ Michigan
Code Red: Wisconsin is the best team in the Big Ten without a doubt. Wisconsin wins.

Iggins!: So I was banking on Michigan winning this game before last week, then Iowa did that thing they do every year, but I’ll still bank on Wisconsin screwing this up. Michigan wins.

Virginia Tech @ Miami
Iggins!: Virginia Tech is so goddamned predictable. Throw yourself out of the National Title picture then don’t lose again the rest of the year. Winning when there’s no pressure doesn’t count, Frank. Virginia Tech wins.

Code Red: Wait. Is there ever pressure in the ACC? VT wins.

Illinois @ Northwestern
Code Red: Please, Zook. Get to a god damn bowl game and beat a Northwestern team that doesn't have their starting quarterback. Illini win. Please.

Iggins!: You’re welcome. We injured their QB on the play that cost us the game. I have a sneaking suspicion they have another shifty spread QB ready behind Persa, but I’ll take the Illini to win.

Ohio State @ Iowa
Iggins!: Life sucks. At least I have the Bears? Now that Iowa has no pressure on they’ll probably win by 20. Iowa wins.

Code Red: I actually think Iowa will win this game. They should be able to befuddle Terrelle Pryor and shut down the running game. However, I'm going to pick Ohio State, because I'm going to give this kid a few shots at maybe crawling back to respectability.

Arkansas @ Mississippi State
Code Red: Mallett's armcock will be the difference. Armcockansas wins.

Iggins!: Learned your lesson about betraying Mallett, eh? Arkansas wins.

Oklahoma @ Baylor
Iggins!: Oklahoma is the model of inconsistency, so any pick I give here has a 50-50 shot at being right. I’ll take Baylor at home?

Code Red: I'll take Oklahoma then.

Nebraska @ Texas A&M
Code Red: Hmm. Ryan Tannehill doesn't seem to be the guaranteed 4 pick monster that J-Rod would be in this game. Texas AM may stand a chance, but Nebraska should win.

Iggins!: I don’t want to live in a world where Sherman has a winning team. Nebraska wins.

North Texas @ LA Monroe
Iggins!: What the hell is this shit? What’s the line on this game? You made me do research, asshole! So from what I can tell North Texas has lost all its close games, and ULM has lost by wide margins and won their close games. I will take ULM.

Code Red: I guess I'll take the Mean Green then.

Idaho @ Utah State
Code Red: There were a bunch of shitty games this week, so again I chose to pick some shitty teams. Idaho has a good QB, so I'll take the Vandals.

Iggins!: Did you see that shitheap Idaho calls a stadium? How embarrassing. Utah State wins.

Eastern Michigan @ Buffalo
Iggins!: WOW these teams suck. Buffalo?

Code Red: Eastern Michigan it is.


SKOSCAST tonight at 7:00 PM central time. Game starts at 7:20. Be there or, well, I can't really get mad at you, I've not been in the shoutbox for the last 4 games. But still, I'll be there tonight (and probably intoxicated by halftime), so you should too.

Apologies for the delay in posting this week's Prognostication Bukakke. Iggins! hasn't yet responded to my threats of abuse and gotten his picks in. We'll try to have those up before tonight's game. The kid just doesn't want to wake up and look at his SEVENTEEN game deficit in the standings.

See ya tonight, folks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

F*&king Rick Morrissey. That F*&king F*&k.

You know the drill. Assface is in italics:

Not impressed with Bears

They don't think much of you either, pal.

Several readers chided me Monday for writing about Devin Hester's performance against the Vikings rather than the Bears' overall effort.

I'm sure that was just one of many, many complaints.

They thought I was stubbornly refusing to give the team credit for the victory. There's a very good explanation for that.

You're an insufferable shitbag who chose the Vikings to win, and, as usual, won't own up to the fact that you were wrong? Much like your nearly two-year long smear campaign against Jay Cutler based solely on the fact that you said the Bears shouldn't trade for him?

I was.


I'm still having a hard time seeing the Bears as a good football team, especially with the soft-as-a-kitten first-half schedule they recently completed and the here-comes-the-falling-anvil set of games ahead

Right. You should judge them based on games they haven't played yet. Good move!

Maybe it's a genetic thing or maybe I have a chemical imbalance or maybe my eyesight is starting to fail me.

Maybe you're just a cynical douche.

Or maybe I'm right.

This, folks, is Rick Morrissey in a fucking nutshell. In an a week where he should be writing about how he was adamant that the Vikings would win the game, he STILL sits there with a ridiculously undeserved sense of omniscience. "MAYBE I'M RIGHT." Didn't think of that, did you assholes? You'll hear about it if he is. Of course, if he's wrong he'll just write another god damn article saying why the Bears somehow still fail to satisfy his ever-changing and always-retarded standards and his confirmation bias will never, ever allow them to prove him wrong.

When will I be satisfied? When the Bears beat somebody. I don't consider the Vikings to be especially good, not with an aging, battered quarterback and a coach who waddles and quacks like a lame duck.

Mind you, Rick picked that team to beat the Bears Sunday.

And even with all that going against them, I thought they were going to beat the Bears on Sunday. That's where my belief level was and is at.

Because nothing can change your opinion, even when you're proven wrong. That's quality journalism, folks.

I'm looking for quality victories. I know the argument: Any victory is a quality victory in the NFL, especially in the current watered-down version of the league. It's one of those arguments that doesn't have a lot of meat to it, but one that, ultimately, can't be dismissed. Yes, a team's record is the bottom line.

You know what doesn't have a lot of meat to it? Saying a team isn't very good because all they've done is won, but just not in the vaguely unspecified "quality" way you're looking for.

But I also know what a good team looks like. A good team beats up on the Lions. A good team destroys the Bills. A good team doesn't lose to the Seahawks at home.

Exactly. A good team beats up the Lions (lost by 2 to the Packers, 3 to Eagles, 3 to the Jets, 8 to the Giants). A good team destroys the Bills (lost by 8 to the Patriots, lost by 3 in overtime to the Ravens). Hey, how about I further demolish this theory? A good team doesn't lose by 20 to the Browns. A good team doesn't get upset by the Cowboys at home. A good team doesn't lose at home to the Redskins. A good team doesn't lose to the Cardinals and Browns. Either there are no good teams in the entire fucking NFL, or Rick Morrissey is the biggest fucking moron to ever pick up a god damn pen.

The six teams the Bears have beaten have a combined record of 15-39. The three teams they've lost to have a combined record of 15-11.

That says a lot more to me than their 6-3 record.

Again. Welcome to the god damn NFL. You can only play the teams you're scheduled to play. If they suck, you should beat them. If you do, that's how you...make the playoffs and stuff. Only 12 teams in the NFL will make the playoffs. Let's assume I'm looking at a playoff team. That means they can only face 11 possible playoff teams in the entire season. Now, lets assume that the NFC North will only have one playoff team. That makes 10 possible playoff opponents the Bears could face. Except three of those will be in AFC divisions the Bears don't play. So that's 7 possible playoff opponents. Then again, chances are at least one or two of them will be in the NFC divisions that the Bears aren't scheduled to play this year, so that makes 5 possible games out of 16 against potential playoff teams. That means that EVERY TEAM THAT MAKES THE PLAYOFFS GOT THE MAJORITY OF ITS WINS FROM BEATING MEDIOCRE OR BAD TEAMS. So judging them solely based on their schedule would be...stupid.

Ask yourself what the ultimate goal is. If it's going to the Super Bowl, this team isn't a contender. If it's taking advantage of a league filled with average teams, then enjoy yourself. There's not a whole lot of excellence among the Bears, but there is opportunism.

Ahh. Back to the Platonic Ideal Super Bowl Team. Only TEAMS THAT LOOK ELITE TO RICK MORRISEY'S UNQUANTIFIABLE STANDARDS CAN MAKE THE SUPERBOWL. Which is why, I'm sure, Rick had the 2008 Cardinals and the 2007 Giants going to the dance. Or maybe it doesn't matter, because anyone that makes it to the playoffs has a shot at winning or making the god damn Superbowl. But sorry that I'll hope for a playoff spot and then god knows what rather than act like a pissy little ingrate because the Bears don't look like a fucking behemoth in November. I WANT GREATNESS. If I set the bar so high it can never be satisfied, then I'll always be right when I say they aren't great!

As usual, I'm ranting and most of Rick's shit is too dumb to even fisk so I'll skip down:

The Bears have no running game and a below-average passing game. On defense, they're excellent against the run but average against the pass. What says ''playoffs'' about that? Answer: a league that grows garden-variety teams.

Right. Its not like the Colts made the Superbowl last year with the 32nd ranked rushing offense in the NFL. Oh wait. That happened. But they're below average in the passing game, which is why Jay Cutler is averaging 3 fewer passing yards per game than Tom Brady. And why he's in the top half of the league in touchdown passes, yardage, and yards per attempt despite missing a game and a half with a concussion. On defense they have the 2nd best scoring defense in the NFL. They're 2nd against the run. They're 4th in total yardage allowed. They're 17th in passing yards, yes, but have allowed the fewest passing TDs in the NFL. They also have the most interceptions of any defense in the NFL. How the fuck is first in the NFL in passing TDS allowed and first in interceptions "average", Rick? Seriously. How fucking stupid are you?

If you've been reading me the last few years, then you know I've been on a crusade to get the McCaskeys to clean house at Halas Hall.

As the Bears collect victories, I fear that the number of people who agree with me is dwindling. There's no doubt we're being quieted as they continue to win. The team is in first place, so what else is there left to say?

You know why the number of people who agree with you is dwindling? BECAUSE IF THEY WIN GAMES THAT IS THE WHOLE GOD DAMN POINT OF THE SPORT. Why in God's name do Bears fans and media members want Smith and Co. fired if they win? Why? I hate when people say "I hope they lose out so so and so will get fired." Guess what. If they lose out, that'll happen anyway. They don't need your fucking help. If they win out? Well shit, maybe the guys in place are good enough. The most important thing is that NOTHING YOU DO AFFECTS THIS TEAM and that the dumbest possible fucking thing you can do is root against a team winning so that they can fire somebody and get someone in there whom you, presumably, want to win. Maybe cut out the middle man and just win?

I could end up being wrong. I could end up as a chapter titled ''Told You So'' in Lovie Smith's autobiography, if he ever writes one. I could be forced to watch the Bears' victory parade on Michigan Avenue.

But I don't think I will.

"And even if I am, I'll never admit it. I'll just rant that they didn't win the Superbowl by enough points, or that they faced an overrated team. Or I'll say any god damn thing other than "I was wrong.""

Eat shit, Rick Morrissey.

Around the NFL, Week 10

Falcons 26, Ravens 21
I'm beginning to come around to the possibility that the Falcons are better than I give them credit for being. I've always liked Matt Ryan. I still think the Saints are the best in that division, though. It'll be interesting to see their rematch in the Georgia Dome where Ryan is damn near unbeatable.

Colts 23, Bengals 17
What can you say about the Bengals? Every one of their losses is for the same reason.

NY Jets 26, Browns 20
The Jets have been wildly inconsistent the last few weeks. Hopefully they keep that up until they roll into Soldier Field.

Dolphins 29, Titans 17
Right now the Dolphins are looking at starting a third string QB and a back up left tackle on a short week against the Bears, at home, where they are just 1-3 this year. Some are probably salivating, but I won't. The last time I thought things looked this favorable for the Bears was the Seahawks game. I'm not a DOOOM type, but I'd like to see the Bears give me a few more weeks of not fumbling away games they should win before I feel bold enough to predict a bloodbath. Also, the Titans are melting down.

Jaguars 31, Texans 24
Oh Houston. You'll never change, no matter how many times you promise me you will.

Bills 14, Lions 12
I know this has been discussed over and over again but seriously, how the fuck does Shaun Hill not even TRY to get to it into the end zone on a 2 pt conversion attempt?? Worse Lions QB fuck up: Dan Orlovsky trying to pass a field sobriety test with the back line of the end zone against the Vikings in 2008 or Hill apparently thinking the last play of the game is a 2nd and Goal in the first quarter? Oh, congratulations Buffalo.

Buccaneers 31, Panthers 16
Damn the Bucs and their easy schedule. If New Orleans or someone worthier screws up and hands them a wildcard spot I'll be pissed. Unless they are then the Bears opponent in the playoffs.

Broncos 49, Chiefs 29
My hatred of Josh McDaniels is well-known and oft-stated, but I have to side with ol' Fuckface on the running up the score issue. Todd Haley can stop being a bitch. This isn't Alabama vs. Duke. You aren't supposed to be owned like that. You don't like it? Stop it.

49ers 23, Rams 20
Troy Smith throws for 356 yards to lead the 49ers over the Rams and create a log jam at the top of the NFC West, with all four teams within two games of the division lead. Everything about that division makes me hate football. That applies to its AFC counterpart as well.

Cowboys 33, Giants 20
Oh come on. You aren't even trying to make sense this year, Angry Old Testament Football God.

Seahawks 36, Cardinals 18
Arizona sure could have used a young Jake Plummer in this game. Seattle may be establishing itself as the class of that division. They've been outscored by 33 points this season. In fact, every single team in the NFC West has allowed more points than they've scored. Parity, folks. It hates you.

Patriots 39, Steelers 26
GRR! Tom Brady is angry and intense and stuff! Watch his pretty hair bounce with FIRE. Also, the Steelers suck against the spread offense. Granted, it helps that Drew Brees and Tom Brady run the offenses of the Saints and Patriots, but they're definitely vulnerable if teams can spread them out and dilute the pass rush of the 3-4.

Eagles 59, Redskins 28
The Redskins have been playing with fire all season. How do you even get to 4 wins despite being outgained in absolutely every single game this season? We know how Jay Cutler gave them a win, and the Packers also panked it all over the place when they turned it over twice and missed the GW field goal. They lucked out when Vick got hurt the first time around against the Eagles. In fact, they've consistenly managed to get every team's Worst effort. During their last two games their luck has run out, and last night Michael Vick vented the frustration of every team that had to watch the Skins over the first few weeks and wonder why nobody could manage to pull the trigger.

Not to take anything away from Vick, though. As much as I loathe to admit it he's undeniably a much better QB than he was in Atlanta. Its frightening to watch. It'll be interesting to see if Peppers and Urlacher and Briggs can slow him down in a few weeks. Historically Vick has been Brian Urlacher's bitch and has never beaten the Bears. We'll see what that means soon enough.

That's all for now, Prognostication Bukakke tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

College Football Roundup, Week 11

Minnesota 38, Illinois 34.
God Dammit. I will never, ever allow myself the stupidity of believing that Ron Zook will win a game he should win ever again.

Northwestern 21, Iowa 17
This truly softened the blow of the Illini loss, though. I'm not sure how it is that NW's spread offense gives Ferentz's defenses so much trouble when Iowa handles that scheme so well when its run by other teams, but there's no denying that Kirk Ferentz is Pat Fitzgerald's bitch.

Wisconsin 83, Indiana 20
Well, that wasn't very nice. Wisconsin is undeniably the best team in the Big Ten. Its a shame they suffered that early season loss to MSU, because they would be, I think, the Big Ten's first legitimate national title contender in a while.

Notre Dame 28, Utah 3
Well, that sucks for TCU.

Auburn 49, Georgia 31
Jim Rome had one of the greatest sports-radio statements of all time today: "I just don't see any way that Auburn can win the national title with that defense. Then again, if Cameron Newton keeps putting up 4 TDs a game, they can." Thanks for playing, Jim.

Texas A&M 42, Baylor 30
Okay, so I bought in too soon on Baylor. More concerning is the fact that Mike Sherman may actually be a decent college football coach. I hate when Mike Sherman is gainfully employed.

South Carolina 36, Florida 14
South Carolina has now made the SEC Title Game, where Steve Spurrier will bench Stephen Garcia in the 2nd quarter because he doesn't like his sideburns, or something.

Oregon 15, California 13
Congratulations, Cal Bears! I don't care if you lost, slowing down the Oregon leviathan is a worthy accomplishment in and of itself.

Oklahoma State 33, Texas 16
This just in: Illinois has a better record than Texas. Giggity.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bears 27, Vikings 13- The Dagger

With apologies to my friends at Hockeenight (and if you're a Hawks fan and you aren't reading them, you're really missing out) and the Blackhawks organization, I'm going to co-opt their anthem for a day:

Didn't this game just make you fucking giddy? I'm going to thank TEC's Cardinals for laying an egg last week, because it was a glorious feeling to watch the Bears officially put the dagger in the 2010 Minnesota Vikings season. Honestly, this game wasn't even as close as the score indicated. Take away one blown coverage on Percy Harvin and one mind-numbingly stupid endzone pick by Jay Cutler and this was a hair away from a 30-6 slaughter. How'd we get there? Let's break it down:


Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher: 17 carries for 51 yards. That was the total for Adrian Peterson today. I'm not exactly sure how many of those came on the first two drives for the Vikings, but I'll bet it was the majority. Starting in the 2nd quarter Briggs and Urlacher made the necessary reads on the stretch plays that the Vikings were running and from then on out the game was more or less decided. Left to deal with the Bears defense alone, Favre wasn't going to get it done. I was listening to the Vikings radio call for the second half while I was on the road, and Paul Allen said it best: When Briggs and Urlacher are healthy, the Bears win a lot of games.

The offensive line: For the first time this year I'm going to put them into the "good" column. They only allowed Cutler to be sacked one time, and while Jay had to pull it down and run and buy himself time on multiple occasions, that's okay. Earlier this year they weren't even clearing guys out enough to give Jay room to scramble. They also allowed Forte and Taylor to rack up 102 yards rushing against a Vikings defense that, while much worse than last year, has played respectably against the run. Good job, boys.

DJ Moore: I love that guy.

Devin Hester: God I hope he's okay, because he was an absolute terror in the return game today, and he drew a lot of attention on defense that freed up Johnny Knox (5 catches, 90 yards) and Earl Bennett.

The Tight Ends: Olsen and Davis both had TD catches that were huge. Good to see that Martz knows how to make it count whenever he does use them.

Jay Cutler: Outside of one pass, he played the best game he's played all year. He made plays with his feet, avoided sacks, threw well on the run and in the pocket, had 3 TD passes and just did everything that his talent should allow him to do on a weekly basis.

Mike Martz: For two weeks, he's called brilliant games. Here's a stat for you: despite the fact that they are still dead last in the NFL in 3rd down conversion %, over the last two weeks the Bears are 18/33. That'll do.

Brett Favre: God damn, Brett. Sometimes I forget how fun it is to watch you flail away miserably and commit four turnovers. Maybe I will miss your worthless old ass whenever you head home to your tractor and your loveless marriage in Mississippi.

Paul Allen: I don't care if he calls Vikings games. The man that brought me this and this can do no wrong. Listening to the thinly-veiled contempt that this man has for Brett Favre made my afternoon.

The Bad:

Jay Cutler's Red Zone Interception: I'm not going to throw Jay himself in the bad category when he played a great game with all things considered, so I'll just address the interception itself: Bad interception! You naughty little across-the-body-oh-God-why-we-could-have-been-up-ten-points-this-is-just-like-the-Skins-game turnover! Don't ever come back.

That's really about it. This was easily the most complete and impressive game the Bears have played all year. I won't pretend that the Vikings don't suck, but this would have been an easy game for the Bears to piss away and one they sure as hell would have over the last three years. Thursday night in Miami they get a Dolphins team that just won their first home game all year and may be playing their 3rd String quarterback. That's a must win. We'll be SKOSCasting the game that night, so see y'all then. Go Bears.

And Fuck Brett Favre.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prognostication Bukakke: NFL Week 10

Baltimore @ Atlanta
Code Red: Hmm. Overrated Ravens team vs. Overrated Falcons team. I'll take the overrateds at home. Falcons win.

Iggins!: Ravens are overrated. Falcons much less so. Falcons win.

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis
Iggins!: One of the Bengals receivers wants more catches?! NO! I am shocked. Colts win.

Code Red: I actually commend Ocho for not pointing out that Carson Palmer is the reason why he has gone into decline. Colts win.

Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Code Red: Tampa.

Iggins!: I see we have reached a consensus on the team we don’t need to waste words on this year. Bucs win.

Code Red: Truly, Carolina doth blow.

Detroit @ Buffalo
Iggins!: Stafford went down and took my damned upset pick with him. I feel bad for the Lions, but without Stafford they are resigned to losing close games. Bills win.

Code Red: Indeed. Pity Matt Stafford. Buffalo finally breaks through. That said, the Lions are way better than their record and they'll end up getting a top ten pick out of this season and will terrorize the league if they can get a healthy Stafford next year.

Houston @ Jacksonville
Code Red: Jacksonville is really good at beating bad teams and then getting pasted by good ones. I'm not sure anymore where the Texans sit, but I'll give them one last shot this week. Texans win.

Iggins!: So the Texans have a great offense. Seriously, it’s spectacular. But that defense… jesus. And the play calling makes the least of what they’ve got. I’ll take the Texans because I love em but my faith meter is running low. Texans win.

Tennessee @ Miami
Iggins!: Like putting Pennington will improve things? This one won’t be close. Titans win.

Code Red: Wait, what? The Dolphins went back to Pennington? Jesus. At this point my grandmother can throw a better deep ball. Titans win.

Minnesota @ Chicago
Code Red: Please, Jesus, let the Bears destroy Favre and put the Vikings out of their misery. If the Bears' run defense can play as well as it has most of this year and contain Peterson, I think we'll see plenty of turnovers by Favre, who has traditionally struggled against Lovie's defenses. Bears win.

Iggins!: Because I’m not a dick I won’t pick against the Bears, but I would remind you that AP DESTROYS the Bears more than any other team he plays. That said, the Bears will enjoy the takeaways and beating Brad Childress into getting fired. Bears win.

NY Jets @ Cleveland
Iggins!: So the Jets have looked like junk and the Browns have looked great. I want to pick the Browns but I don’t think Mangini’s BS works on Rex. Jets win.

Code Red: At some point the Jets have to snap out of their funk. Might as well be against Cleveland. Jets win.

Kansas City @ Denver
Code Red: Josh McDaniels is where he is for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons is that he was racist and refused to believe that Peyton Hillis could be good as a white runningback. This is America, Josh. We have no room for your bigotry. Chiefs win.

Iggins!: Peyton Hillis is breaking boundaries. Maybe one day white RBs can be thought of as equals, but until that day we will fight against the racism. Cleveland (recently), KC, and Oakland are all winning with A+ offensive lines, great RBs, and good defense. What is this, the fucking 60s? Chiefs win

Code Red: Oakland has looked good, yes, but on no planet can that offensive line be described as "Great".

Seattle @ Arizona
Iggins!: Wow. Talk about meaningless. Arizona?

Code Red: Sadly not meaningless, as the NFC West is up for grabs. My gut says Arizona as well. They'll probably give me the ol' Jake Plummer and screw me, though.

Dallas @ NY Giants
Code Red: Oh man. Tell me they aren't going to televise this. Giants win.

Iggins!: Ever seen a man get penetrated by like 6 horses at once? No? Well the closest thing you’ll ever see to it is probably this game. Giants win.

St. Louis @ San Francisco
Iggins!: St. Louis will make the playoffs at 7-9 or 8-8 while the Bears miss the playoffs at 9-7 or 10-6. Goddamn this world. Rams win.

Code Red: Sadly St. Louis is indeed the favorite at this point. Rams win.

New England @ Pittsburgh
Code Red: Oh hell. Logic tells me to go with the Steelers, but I have a feeling that the Patriots can't be as bad as they looked against the Browns. This is exactly the kind of game Belichick would win just to piss me off. Patriots win.

Iggins!: The Patriots struggle against teams with hard running games. The Steelers will hopefully remember how awesome Rashard is this week and run him 30 times. Steelers win.

Philadelphia @ Washington
Iggins!: My vote for best team in the league goes to Philly this week. Even if Vick gets hurt my vote stays the same. Eagles win.

Code Red: I wanted to give you more than one game to try to make up this week, but jesus these matchups are mostly pathetic. Eagles win.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Prognostication Bukakke: NCAA Week 11

Code Red: 95-52 (55-32 NFL, 40-20 NCAA)
Iggins!: 83-64 (50-37 NFL, 33-27 NCAA)

Yes folks, despite a terrible .500 week in college for me, I added a game over that putz to make it a 12 game lead. I am some kind of golden god. Onto this week's further rapage:

Northwestern @ Iowa
Code Red:
Screw it. I'll predict yet another mind-boggling NW win over Iowa. Why not?

Iggins!: I am 95% sure Iowa will lose, but I will pick them because I am not Benedict Arnold. Iowa wins…?

Miami @ Georgia Tech
God the ACC is awful. Miami is down a QB I believe, so I pick the triple option that I hate. Georgia Tech wins.

Code Red: I'll take Miami for funsies. The ACC is crazy.

Virginia Tech @ North Carolina
Code Red:
Ha. Two straight ACC games that are completely unpredictable thanks to that entire league being one festering pool of mediocrity. I'll take the Hokies.

Iggins!: North Carolina beat FSU last week because of the ACC Rubber Band Rule, which states that any ranked ACC team will lose to an unranked ACC team. There is always an exception team to the rule, and VaTech is normally that exception. VaTech wins.

Code Red: I actually refer to that as the Gailey-Groh Law of Greater ACC Mediocrity, which stipulates that 80% of the ACC must go 5-7 or 7-5 every year.

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma
Oklahoma isn’t mediocre, they have massive bouts of awesome and massive bouts of total crap in the same game. Maybe their bipolar? Hurray for crazies, Oklahoma wins.

Code Red: I will never pick Texas Tech in an important game. Fuck them for firing Mike Leach. Oklahoma wins.

Georgia @ Auburn
Code Red:
Georgia is slowly getting better, but they don't have the defense to stop Cam Newton. Auburn wins.

Iggins!: Simple math tells you that if Cam Newton wins the National Title, and Auburn paid 200 Gs for him, Auburn makes a massive profit. The moral of this story is simple: pay the fucking kids who are making your colleges so much money (or lower my goddamned tuition). Auburn wins.

Texas A&M @ Baylor
It is important not to mistake A&M’s win over Oklahoma as proof that they are good, and equally important that you don’t write Baylor off for getting shellacked by A MAN who is FORTY. Baylor wins.

Code Red:
Agreed. Baylor wins.

South Carolina @ Florida
Code Red:
Tough call. Florida's looked better since (rumors say) Steve Addazio has started to get some help in the play-calling department, and South Carolina just got thumped by Arkansas. I expect Stephen Garcia to do something crazy and win this game. SC wins.

Florida wins so Gene Chizik can punch Urbz in the face after he beats Florida by 30 in the SEC title game for leaking Cam Newton’s records. In a related story, the SEC churns out enjoyable stories and people at a 10:1 ratio when compared to all other conferences combined.

Mississippi State @ Alabama
This really would be the topper for Saban. This game has a shot at playing out like the 66th (or 69th now?) team in the NCAA tourney field playing in their first NIT game. They didn’t want to be in that position, and most of the team probably couldn’t give less of a shit at this point. I’ll still pick Bama to win but watch this one closely.

Code Red: I'll stick with Bama as well, but MSU is on the rise.

Oklahoma State @ Texas
Code Red:
It would be very OK State-like to lose this game. However, Texas is just too awful for me to take a chance. OK State wins.

Iggins!: Schadenfreude in full effect here. OK State wins.

USC @ Arizona
You are in love with USC games. AZ wins.

Code Red: I like reminding people that A) They suck and B)Even if they didn't, they wouldn't get to go to a bowl game. HA! That said, I actually think USC will win this game. Why? I don't know. I'm just going to try and spot you yet another game that you won't end up getting because you suck at life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Around the NFL Week 9

Chargers 29, Texans 23
Finally the Chargers win a game they should have won. Don't give up 2 TDs on special teams every week and good things will happen. That's in the Bible somewhere.

Vikings 27, Cardinals 24
God dammit. Even a young Jake Plummer wouldn't have blown a 2 TD lead in the 4th quarter to a shitty Vikings team. Fine. Leave it to the Bears to finish the Vikings season.

Saints 34, Panthers 3
The Saints are good. The Panthers are not.

Browns 34, Patriots 14
Oh, sure. 'Cuz that makes sense.

Falcons 27, Buccaneers 21
I still think the Saints are the best team in that division.

Ravens 26, Dolphins 10
The Dolphins. They're mediocre.

Jets 23, Lions 20
The rumor is that Matthew Stafford is done for the season. Honestly, I feel terrible for that kid. He's an amazingly talented player who has a shoulder that just keeps betraying him. Hopefully he'll heal properly and will be ready to go next year and can put all of this behind him.

Giants 41, Seahawks 7
Well, that loss to the Seahawks is looking more embarrassing every week.

Eagles 26, Colts 24
So the Eagles can stop Peyton Manning for four quarters but not Kerry Collins for one? That makes sense.

Raiders 23, Chiefs 20
No, I will not take pity on Raiders fans and be happy that they get to watch a somewhat competitive team for the first time in years. They aren't Lions fans who have borne their pain in silence for half a century. No fanbase in professional football is more delusional than Oakland. No one. Patriots fans, Steelers fans, Packers fans, and Cowboys fans are all annoying as shit, but each of them at least waits until their team is any good before becoming mouth-breathing front-running yokels. Raiders fans do not. They plague every god damn comments section of every article on football on the internet. I actually saw one bastard complaining in the recap of the Chargers game that it was a CONSPIRACY AGAINST RAIDER NATION that the media was still talking about the Chargers when it was clear the Raiders were going to win the division. I hate them all.

Steelers 27, Bengals 21
The Bengals aren't good.

Monday, November 8, 2010

College Football Round Up, Week 10

Michigan 67, Illinois 65
I can't say I'm not disappointed with how Illinois' defense played, but this was a fun game to watch. I'd be more upset if I wasn't just pleasantly surprised with the Illini having five wins already anyway. I still think they can win out and finish the season with 8 wins and a mid-tier bowl slot.

Clemson 14, NC State 13
Put the ACC out of its f&%king misery now.

Iowa 18, Indiana 13
Ahh. That looked like the Iowa team from last year. Underwhelming and ridiculously lucky. If they win the Big Ten I'll have to strangle Iggins! in his sleep.

Oklahoma State 55, Baylor 28
Well shit. I guess you can't expect Baylor to make That big of a leap in one year.

TCU 47, Utah 7
I thought Baylor would lose a close one to TCU. TCU curbstomped them. I thought Utah would play them tight at home. They got their asses handed to them. I'm sorry, TCU. Both that I doubted you and that you still won't get a shot at the title.

Nebraska 31, Iowa State 30
Tough break for Iowa State. Came within one failed two point conversion of beating both Texas and Nebraska in the same year. Would have been the greatest season in Cyclone history, probably.

Oregon 53, Washington 16
Oregon is a murdertrain and you will be ill-advised to get in the way. I don't care how easy their schedule is. SOMEONE should have gotten within 20 points of them by now.

LSU 24, Alabama 21
I may have to concede the LSU is actually on the good side of the lucky/good equation.

Texas A&M 33, Oklahoma 19
Oh what the bloody hell?

Arkansas 41, South Carolina 20
I'm sorry, Ryan Mallett. I will never betray you again. Even though it totally paid off when I picked Auburn.

Texas Tech 24, Mizzou 17
Oh come on, Big 12. You aren't even trying anymore.

Stanford 42, Arizona 17
Stanford has won eight games by an average score of 44-17. They lost to Oregon 52-31. Oregon is really, really good.

That's all for now. NFL Roundup tomorrow, Prognostication Bukakke to come later in the week.