Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Patriots v. Colts

Here is it, the world's most important football game, and who better to break it down nerd-style, than my good buddy The Sidler. I introduced him a bit here, and here he breaks it down:

It is the game of the century...until the media declares some other game as the game of the century in a few years. But this is the latest meeting of undefeated teams in the modern NFL era and features the two teams that have clearly put themselves head and shoulders above the rest of the league.

Before I dive into my preview, know a few things:

1. I have been a Colts fan since the Mayflower landed in Indianapolis in 1984
2. The Patriots are like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Nick Punto wrapped into one--I hate them
3. I'm going to use 's statistics, primarily DVOA (defensive value over average), which is similar to Baseball Prospectus' VORP that WWWWWW has used before.
Check this out for more information: Football Outsiders.

The Patriots, simply put, have been a juggernaut through the first half of their schedule.

How good have they been? Looking at DVOA in the last 10 years, only 10 teams have posted a +40% rating through the first eight weeks. The top two are facing off Sunday, but the Patriots 70.6% rating is 13.6 POINTS(!) better than the Colts. The key to their rating is the offense, which has essentially been twice as good as the third-best offense in the league (Dallas) and provided about 70% of the Patriots' overall value. Of course, their defense is the third best in the league, according to DVOA, putting them merely in the "great" category instead of "otherworldly." And they've done it without Richard Seymour. Great. Almost forgot special teams—thanks to Gostkowski's booming kickoffs, they have the 5th best so far.

Colts DVOA rankings: Offense: 1; Defense: 6; Special Teams: 13

It is worth pointing out that the Colts rankings are impacted by their 4th quarter performance, which has included kneel-downs, a lot of running, and even Jim Sorgi. Great article by the Boston Herald pointing some key differences, including the Pats outscoring the Colts 86-57 and attempting 25 more passes than the Colts. Which leads me to…

One final category that the Patriots are completely dominating—the all-important douchebag rating. Belichick has cranked it to 11 in his personal quest to give the entire league the middle finger for enforcing its rules. And that's not even taking the general douchebaggery of their fans (led by ultimate Pats apologist Bill Simmons) into account. When they went for it on 4th and 2 last week against the Redskins, New England crossed that imaginary line in many people's heads. Unfortunately the Redskins simply bent over and grabbed their ankles, otherwise I'd be writing about how awesome it was that Marcus Washington and Sean Taylor combined to tear the ACL of either Tom Brady or Randy Moss.

As a Colts fan that had to endure numerous articles calling the Patriots a classy, dreamy franchise over the past 5 years, it is at least refreshing that the Pats are making it easy for the sports media to question their sportsmanship. Of course they're a few years late; while Belichick and Brady have been great frontrunners, they instantly turn into pouty little bitches once someone has the temerity to defeat them. Witness Brady walking away from the podium or not showing up after two recent losses to the Colts and Belichick's inane barking following any loss. Manning might have thrown a teammate under the bus after a loss, but at least he's man enough to answer every question. And for f*cks sake, the NFL has a bigger problem with coaches wearing suits than they do Belichick dressing like a homeless man every week.

Enough about what is probably the best 8-game stretch ever in the NFL, it is time to talk about the game itself. I'll use the traditional "when X has the ball…" format that the Star Tribune used to love.

When the Patriots have the ball…
The passing game gets all of the attention, but did you know the Pats rank 8th in the league in rushing yards per game? F*ck me. On paper, that's the biggest mismatch—the Pats solid run game against the worst-rated unit taking the field, the Colts' 13th ranked rush defense. Maroney, if healthy, should be able to find openings around the edges and turn them into fairly big gains. Part of me wonders if Belichick is going to pull a complete 180 and play old school power football on Sunday; I think it would work.

The Colts have the best pass defense in the league, which is surprising considering how often the team has had the lead and both starting CBs from the 2006 team left via free agency. Also a surprise and major area of concern—the Colts are allowing QBs to complete over 65% of their passes while a team like the Steelers (#4) allow under 58%. This shows me that the secondary and LBs are keeping plays in front of them (giving up a league-low 7 pass plays of 20+ yards) and preventing other teams from racking up big YAC numbers.

So who wins this matchup—the best passing offense or best passing defense? Unfortunately, I don't think the Colts can stop Brady unless Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis set up shop in the New England backfield. Stallworth is the kind of WR that the Tampa 2 can neutralize, but there is simply no answer for Randy Moss or Wes Welker, unless…Marlin Jackson can be extremely physical with Moss at the line of scrimmage and Bob Sanders can get in Moss Mania's head, causing the old alligator arms to make an appearance.

But remember where you heard it first—I think there's a decent chance New England comes out and tries to grind out the game with Maroney, Faulk, et al.

When the Colts have the ball…
Here's a question—is the Patriots #5 rushing defense ranking being caused by their offense or defense? They have given up 4.2 yards/carry and are the only team in the top 10 to give up more than 3.8. If Colts' left tackle Tony Ugoh can play, the stretch play that direction could be the key to the game for the Colts offense. Ugoh is much more athletic than Tarik Glenn was, allowing him to get to the second level on the stretch play, opening up huge lanes for Joseph Addai. The Patriots LBs are slow (and getting slower) and they know it, which is why Adalius Thomas was brought in during the offseason. But I think Thomas is going to have his hands full with Dallas Clark (more on that next), so Bruschi, Seau, Colvin, and Vrabel will need to react quickly to get outside in time.

Adalius Thomas has gone from a devastating pass rushing LB in Baltimore to a do-everything LB and has the ability to neutralize Dallas Clark, the key to Colts passing game so far this year. Expect to see him glued to Clark all afternoon, taking away Manning's safety valve. Ben Utecht will need to step up from the TE2 position, but he'll probably fumble and get hurt instead.

There are two big questions about the Colts passing game:
1. Will Marvin Harrison play? The Colts have managed to be effective without him, but they haven't faced a secondary as good as the Patriots yet.
2. Can they keep the Patriots out of the backfield? Ugoh playing will be a big help, but I'm sure we'll see the usual array of blitzes and the Colts to have some problems with them in the first half.

Ultimately, I expect both offenses will prevail, but it will probably take the Colts a couple drives to get everything sorted out before they find a way to work Wayne and Harrison into the downfield passing game. Rodney Harrison has lost a step and the Colts first round pick, Anthony Gonzales, has the speed to expose him if the Colts can force that matchup.

Prediction time
The Colts can't afford to wait for the offense to get everything sorted out. The Patriots roll from the opening kickoff, jumping out to an early 14-3 lead that will prove to be insurmountable.

Hold on, I just threw up and need to clean up my keyboard.

OK, I'm back. If the Colts are going to win this game, a few things need to happen:

1. +2 in the turnover battle
2. Control the first half with Addai and Kenton "Hands of Stone" Keith
3. Get tons of pressure on Brady and force the passing game out of rhythm

One thing is a near certainty—if the Patriots take control of the game, they will relish running up the score on their most heated rival.

Patriots 38
Colts 31


I disagree, but then again, I'm not a Wabash educated young man. Thanks Sidler. Go Colts! F the Patriots (except Randy Moss).

Brandon Smith Leaves Team (maybe)

It appears that Gopher forward Brandon Smith will be leaving the team. Little to no information here.

Smith was very athletic, but raw, coming out of Henry, and pretty much refused to use his athleticism or go to class - to the point where he was suspended for part of last season.

Smith was the kind of recruit who would have been better served heading to a mid-major - which is where he will likely end up. This also frees up an additional scholarship for Tubby, and the way he is recruiting right now, that is a major positive.

In high school soccer news, from the Star Tribune:

Holy Angels boys' soccer coach Scott Eisentrager reports senior goalkeeper Mahshad Moin has committed to the University of Louisville. Moin was first team all-state in 2006 and first team All-Missota Conference in 2006 and 2007.

Just wanted to throw that out there.

Week 9 NFL Picks

1. On Sportscenter yesterday, two people were actually arguing over which was the bigger loss, Schilling from the Red Sox or A-Rod from the Yankees. Seriously. I don't want to get into a whole thing here, but looking at runs created vs. the average player (or runs prevented for Schilling) it's about the same differential as asking which would be the bigger loss for the Twins: losing Morneau AND Cuddyer, or losing Nick Punto. Dumbest argument ever.

2. I heard the Rockies owner say he still thinks his team is better than the Red Sox. Dude, you got swept by a combined score of 29-10. Give it up.

3. Please, please, please let the Twins trade Santana. They aren't going to spend the money and make the signings to be a world series contender, so trade your best piece when you get can three top-tier prospects for him. And do it now, in the off-season, don't wait until the trade deadline approaches when you have zero leverage. Just do it. Or sign A-Rod.

On to the picks:

Tennessee -4 vs. Carolina: The Titans just seem to get it done, especially at home. Carolina is 4-0 on the road this year, but it's against the Rams, Falcons, Saints (when they sucked), and Arizona.

Buffalo +1 vs. Cincinnati: I have zero idea what happened to the Bengals, although if all the Chad Johnson drama gets him traded, I know a few teams that could use him.

Detroit -3 vs. Denver: The Lions are 5-2, and I'm a believer. With Kevin Jones back, they have a really stellar offensive attack. Their defense still gives up yards and points, but when the Broncos' top offensive weapons are Cutler, Selvin Young, and Brandon Marshall they can shut them down. The shut down the Bears, and are Griese, Benson, and Berrian really that much worse that what Denver has?

Green Bay +2 @ Kansas City: Not really sure why. Guess I don't think the Chiefs are anything special, even at home, and the Pack are the kind of team this year that keeps finding ways to win.

New Orleans -3.5 vs. Jacksonville: Brees and company will face a tougher test to see if their offense is really back in Jacksonville versus the past few weeks. And consider me not a believer in Quinn Gray or whoever the Jags QB is, still not sure how they beat Tampa last week. Also, nice to see Colston show up this year.

San Diego -7 @ Minnesota: I know the Vikes have stayed close in most of their losses this year, but San Diego has really hit their stride since that near disastrous start. Plus, I don't even know who the Vikes QB is going to be, but I know whoever it is he can't throw anything more complicated that a 7-yard out (unless it's Jeff George). Also, when you can't throw at all, and teams are stacking the box to take away your best player, why not try a screen pass or two, and maybe a swing out to flat to get him the ball with some room to run? AP total catches last week = 0.

Atlanta -3 vs. San Fran: Yuck. I'll take the home team and the points.

Washington -3.5 @ NY Jets: Redskins shouldn't have a problem bouncing back from that ass-handing from the Patriots. They were embarrassed and will be angry, and have a nice juicy Jets' defense to take out their frustrations on.

Tampa -3.5 vs. Arizona: Somehow the Bucs lose at home to the Jags and Quinn Gray? Huh. I'm going to call that a weird aberration. Plus, Arizona - other than a weird fluky win over the Steelers, has been brutal.

Cleveland -1 vs. Seattle: I'm a believer in the Browns, and I think the Seahawks are garbage. This is a pretty easy call.

Houston +3 @ Oakland: Another crap factory of a game. The Raiders seem just slightly more screwed up right now than the Texans

Dallas -3 @ Philly: It's always a little scary taking a road favorite in a division/rivalry game, but Philly is crap.

Indianapolis +6 vs. New England: You realize the Colts are the defending champs, are undefeated, and are at home, right? Have to take them on general principle. This line also opened at 3, and is now at 6, so people are hammering the Patriots. As you should know by now, people are idiots. There will be a nice post up shortly from The Sidler breaking down this game.

Pittsburgh -9 vs. Baltimore: Baltimore is bad. Steelers are good. This should be the game that finally exposes just how bad the Ravens actually are.

Last Week: 5-8
Season: 55-51-9

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Darius Rocks

I went up to Sensor's with Snacks and we watched a little of the Spurs/Blazers NBA tipoff game. Three quick things:

1. Guy who goes to the bar by himself to watch the Wild game: That's fine. Do whatever. But when you're there by yourself, sipping on Mich Ultra, don't yell out loud at the game. It's bad enough there are people who do this in their own home, but don't go to the bar and do it. Newsflash: You're an idiot.

2. Weird old couple in the corner: Please stop fondling each other. It's creepy and weird. You're like 60. Knock it off.

3. It seems Darius Washington hooked on with the Spurs and somehow managed to get the backup PG job. Darius makes me laugh for two reasons: A) he Rick Rickert'd and went pro waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early. If my memory serves me, I don't think he even got drafted, and B) the video below. Go forward to about 1:30 to see it. I don't root for people to fail (all the time), but please notice the cocky "keep the hand up there" and look towards the bench after the first free throw. That's what makes what follows funny.

Also we had Duncan over 10.5 rebounds so woo-hoo! Go money!

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Almost Here

We are exactly one week away from the start of college basketball season, with the Coaches vs. Cancer regionals (Memphis, Kentucky, UCONN, and Oklahoma) and I couldn't be more ready. Baseball is over (F the Red Sox), Football is starting to get boring - although if AP continues to get 25 or so carries it might be more interesting. Also, F the Patriots too. I hate that team as well. The whole Boston area is a wasteland of idiocy - although I actually love the city - the sports fans up there are basically the exact kind of fans who give sports fans a bad name. I really hope Manning and the Colts beat them next week, but I'm not counting on it.

My good buddy The Sidler is preparing a nice write up on the game, and on why the Patriots and Belichick are the devil. He's very qualified, as he's a big Colts fan who grew up in Indy and went to school at Wabash College. He's such a big Colts fan, that he named his son James Edgerrin and his daughter Peyton Manning, and his best friend in high school was Courtney James. So we should all listen to what he has to say.

Unfortunately, I'm heading to Utah later this week and will miss both of the Gopher basketball exhibition games. I'm going to assume that Dan Coleman isn't tough enough, Spencer Tollackson is slightly uncoordinated and fouls too much, Lawrence McKenzie takes a lot of ill-advised shots but makes a lot of them, Abu-Shamala can't play defense or create, and Kevin Payton can't score.

The good news is, I'll be taking in a Utah State (I'll look for Bryce) vs. Laval University exhibition and a Weber State vs. Fort Lewis College exhibition. I'll be sure to report on Jaycee Carroll, who I'm actually pretty excited to see. One of the best players in the WAC over the past few years. Weber State could be interesting as well, considering they are the favorite to win the Big Sky this year. Are they better than the Gophers? I'll try to figure it out.

Anyway, the ESPN/USA Today Coach's Poll is out, and it's not perfect. Such as,

#4 KANSAS - Yeah, save the whole "they have a ton of talent back and now they'll have Cole Aldrich to give them somebody else down low" stuff. It's Kansas. It doesn't matter how talented they are, they'll choke.

#5 GEORGETOWN - Losing your best player and keeping a poor man's Dikembe Mutombo (with less offensive game) does not make you the #5 team in the country. The Hoyas do have two awesome freshmen coming in, but they're both up-tempo style guards, which doesn't work with a big guy who takes three minutes to run the length of the court.

#10 WASHINGTON STATE - Huh? They play the world's most boring style of basketball and it manages to put teams to sleep during the regular season, but as soon as they play a half-way athletic team they lose. And this year the Pac-10 is all revamped and awesome. They'll be out of the top 25 by mid-January (not before, because their non-conf schedule is something you'd expect to see from Monson's Gophers).

#20 PITTSBURGH - What? This team hasn't been very good in years, is always rated highly, and I'd like to know why. They lost three starters, and are going to be relying for most of their offense from three guards who can't shoot.

#21 STANFORD - Worst ranking ever. They barely got into the tournament last year, where they were thoroughly embarrassed, and they added nothing. The halfway decent twin is suspended because he won't go to class, and most of the rest of the team can't take care of the ball. Horrible.

#25 VILLANOVA - You can't be good when you lose three starters from a mediocre team, don't add much, and your point guard shoots constantly. Scottie Reynolds took as many shots as Lawrence McKenzie last year, and more than twice as many three pointers. Wow.

MISSING: Clemson, Syracuse, and Kansas State are all in the "others receiving votes" section, but should be top 25. Syracuse is a top ten team this year, even with Rautins out for the year, Devendorf is quality, Paul Harris is amazing, and freshmen Johnny Flynn and Donte Greene could be all conference types right away. K-State has not only possible top freshman Michael Beasley, but Bill Walker and David Hoskins as well. As long as somebody can play point, they'll be tough. Clemson started 17-0 last year before crashing - then recovered and made it to the NIT championship game. The only starter they're losing is their point guard, and last season's Mr. Basketball in North Carolina is there to step in.

And F the Red Sox.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

F the Red Sox

Friday, October 26, 2007

Week 8 NFL Picks

Seriously, I hate the Red Sox and all their fans. Please let the Rockies come back and win this, I can't take it anymore.

On to the picks, 8-5 last week:

St. Louis +3 vs. Cleveland: So Steven Jackson is back this week, but it won't matter much with that banged up O-Line. No matter how bad the Rams have looked, they have two things going for them this week which lead me to pick them:
1. The Browns are unpredictable and inconsistent. This is the type of team that can lose this kind of game and
2. More importantly, this is one of only two very winnable games left for the Rams. Unless they pull a big upset, they need to win this one or the game vs. Atlanta to avoid going winless. I bet they get that first win this week.

Detroit +5 @ Chicago: The Lions have had a couple of embarrassing losses on the road this season, and that worries me. Chicago, on the other hand, might be a broken team - they really don't have an impressive win this season.

Indianapolis -7 @ Carolina: Several reasons to take Carolina here: Carr is the last QB to beat the Colts, Manning has never beaten Carolina, Road Monday night team going on the road again, and Home dog coming off a bye. I'll ignore all of that and take the Colts.

NY Giants -9 vs. Miami: Woo hoo, the big London game how exciting. Too bad Miami is the crap.

Tennessee -7.5 vs. Oakland: You know what else? I'm starting FatDale again this week. You know what else? He still sucks. But you know what else? It doesn't matter. They give him the ball 30 times and he falls forward and racks up yards. It's all about the W.

Minnesota +1.5 vs. Philadelphia: McNabb and Kevin Curtis will probably have very good days, but the Eagles are a bad team, just noboby has figured it out yet. Childress also said in an interview that AP's role would increase. I'm hoping it'll happen this week finally, but I'm not counting on it.

Pittsburgh -3.5 @ Cincinnati: This is probably one of those trap games people talk about, but this line seems way to low. The Steelers should crush, and the Bengals should just pack it in for the season. They are not "back", as it took everything they had to beat the Jets at home. Horrible team.

NY Jets -3 vs. Buffalo: Here's the thing about Buffalo, they are pesky at home, but terrible on the road. The Jets are terrible, but not terrible enough to lose to a terrible road team.

San Diego -11.5 vs. Houston: Will probably be at a neutral site and the Chargers will have a lot on their minds and blah blah blah. They roll. Also, come back Andre Johnson - I miss you.

Tampa -3.5 vs. Jacksonville Pretty much a coin flip. EDIT: Changed this because I forgot Garrard was hurt.

New Orleans -2.5 @ San Fran: I'm still non on the Saints are back train, but San Fran is in a full on dive into the toilet. Nice sleeper pick America!

Washington +16 @ New England: I keep picking against these ridiculous spreads they give the Patriots, and I keep getting it wrong. I guess I've learned my lesson. [EDIT: I'm switching to Washington. There's just no way NE can keep it up, and Washington has a good defense.]

Denver -3 vs. Green Bay: Maybe it's my intense burning hatred for all things Wisconsin, but I just don't believe in the Packers. They're too gay.

Last Week: 8-5
Season: 50-43-9

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Sampson a Gopher - Awesome

I just received word from a source deep inside the Gopher program who claims Sampson has verballed to Minnesota. Upon checking, it turns out that this bit of awesomeness is true:

Ralph Sampson, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound senior center from Duluth (GA) Northview, has committed to Minnesota, according to sources close to the situation. The Gophers were hoping to land a center to go along with their three-man recruiting class and have a projected top ten group. He joins jucos Paul Carter and Devron Bostick and South Dakota big man Colton Iverson as the four current recruits.

How freakin' awesome is this? God Dan Monson was such a jackass. Tubby is so the man. This might end up being the top recruiting class in the Big Ten, especially if they get Joseph, or even Haralson or Leslie.

Sampson is ranked #76 on the Rivals150, but that will likely go up, as he hasn't been on the recruiting radar all that long, other than because he's Sampson's son, and has been rapidly improved over the past year.

If Al Nolen turns out to be a capable point guard, this team might be ready to compete in the Big Ten by 2009 already, assuming the two Juco players are as good as advertised.

In celebration of that awesomeness, please enjoy this awesomeness, sent to me by 2P. Please watch with sound, and if you haven't played this game you won't get it, but if you have, I guarantee you'll have a smile on your face for the entire 2:57.

Ramblings from The Todd

If you've noticed in the comments section, The Todd is rather talkative today. He's also rather drunk. I'd love to comment on being drunk in the early afternoon on a weekday, but I've done it, and I miss it. Well anyway, he sent me some random ramblings. They're only partially sports related, and far, far too pro-Red Sox, but I like to support drunken rambling as well, so away we go:

- Daytime TV sucks royal ass. I’m the biggest couch potato ever but shit, if I didn’t work, I don’t know what I’d do with myself. Embarrasingly enough I’ve been flipping between The Real Housewives of Orange Country and TRL. I think it’s time to fire up the PS2

- I’m the worst dancer ever but somehow love it. And while I’m wasted, I feel JT is working through me. Anyway, I was at the Independent in Uptown for a bit last night and that place was like fricken Footloose. A waitress came up to me and literally said, “you can’t dance here.” WTF is that? Where is John Lithgow. Am I that bad?

- This liqour store by my house has cases of Premium for like $13.50 or something, plus tax. Is that not cheap as hell? If you like the banana beer (I do), you should go to there, it’s on Lake Drive and Lextington Ave in Circle Pines. Call me and I’ll meet you at the DQ next door which has a “closing sale” sign I noticed today. That makes me sad, I love ice cream.

- I love the Shampoo Theory and validate that it holds true: I’m wasted on only my 7th beer in about 3.5 hours.

- Is today Thursday? That really sucks cuz I think I’m gonna have to go into the office tomorrow. Is it true you can’t smell booze on your breath if it’s Vodka? I’m willing to try it. Although my pants wetting might give me away as being drunk. Also I don’t have any vodka right now.

- I’m rambling and it’s amusing me.

- I miss Snacks, The Egytpian and WWWWWWW. We should watch the Sawx tonight while they go up 2-0. And what’s up with them leaving Wakefield off the WS roster….did I read that somewhere or was that my imagination?

- Kevin James is brilliant in the King of Queens but I hate those shows where the fat guy gets some hot babe. It gives douchebags like myself false hope which I refuse to let go of.

- To those Sioux fans I pissed off a few weeks ago, my apologies. I just wanna party. I got nothin but love. I missed the Gopher games last weekend but they got swept by CC in Colorado so….that hurts. UND seems to be solid as usual. Although I swear the Gophers have been slow starters in recent years, correct me if I’m wrong.

- Does anyone agree that I should make a career move and drive a bus for the MTC? How sweet would that job be? Although, I’d forsurely get a DUI. PS, whiskey plates are sweet. Can you buy those on eBay for much less than the actual 3+ DUI’s needed? I’m not sure how those work, someone please fill me in.

- Snacks, remember that time I hit a homerun over the fence off you in batting practice circa 1997? That was fun. I miss you, call me.

- (struggling)

- It’s mildly sobering to go to the liquor store at 10:47 in the morning on a weekday while still drunk to purchase a case of High Life interrupting 75 year old Pearl doing inventory at the counter. Slightly embarrassing. Even better that I’d just crawled out of bed and inevitably smelled of booze and fat girls. I take what I can get.

- That was mean, I apologize.

- The Office is on tonight. God how I love that show. How nice are Jan Levingston’s mammaries (sp?)? I heart boobs!

- Working out is so overrated and just ridiculous. If raging alcoholic, over weight, 27 year olds were cool…then consider me Miles Davis. I just pee’d my pants.

- Who wants to party? Bring the beer bong, I got the beer. Maas , I’m talking to you. Anyone else is welcome.

- Oh, how sad is it that the Gophers football lost to NDSU? I know they are dreadful but christ almighty. I’m seriously considering re-enrolling and trying to walk on. I run a 6.34 forty and can bench about 160…I gotta think that’s fas and strong enough for a starting secondary position, honestly. I have yet to watch a game this year but wow, it’s inexplicable without seeing any of the carnage. Can someone let me now if I could still tryout after re-enrolling? Maybe do a Masters program? I’m already a master at patheticness so I really don’t know how that would work. Snacks, you are smart, please explain.

- Wow, channel surfing and came across GAC….Sara Evans anyone? SMOKIN!

- I bowl in a league on Monday nights and my average is a less than stellar 124. To you, the F (pretty sure that shit ain’t regulation)!

- Jesus country is depressing, next

- Does anyone know how to get into Ultimate Fighting? I think I could be good at that but I’d have to drop about 4 weight classes. Oh wait, I’m a wuss…nevermind. I cried during The Little Mermaind, remember WWWWWW?

- I want to go down on Josh Beckett….with Schilling and Ortiz watching while Man-Ram films the tryst.

- I need a nap.

From the land of gun-racks, pickups and trailer parks….toodles.

The Todd


I just want to mention that the local news referred to new Twolve Antoine Walker as "All-star Antoine walker." No way that dude has been in allstar inlike five years. Just wanted to point that out.

Also, since I'm here, can we please stop with the whole "drinking the kool-aid" thing. That happened in the seventies. Please stop. I will give anyone $1 every time they want to say "drinking the ____________ Kool-Aid" and don't.

Also, if you've never heard anyonje say this, it's very possible I spend too much time on the internet. But just because my real life friends are so lame.


Also I'm drunker than your mom. I have to go to bed. With your mom. Yeah, whatup?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let's Go Rockies - Still!

8:53 - Sitting here waiting for our Tivo to stop recording two shows so I can watch the game (Criminal Minds and Gossip Girl.) Criminal Minds is very good, I haven't watched Gossip Girl, ever. Also, remember those other blogs where I mixed weird alcohols or drank from flasks (you're never getting it back Snacks) or complained that I was out of booze? Well it turns out we had an almost full thing of Bailey's in the fridge the whole time. Dammit. So I did a couple of shots. I also have had 40 ounces of beer so far. You know how I know it was 40 ounces? Because I got a 40. Whatup.

8:55 - Oh yeah, I have 6, 16oz bottles of Miller Lite, and a mostly full bottle of Baileys. Only five minutes to go. Rox are down 4-1 already, heading to the bottom of the fourth.

8:56 - Pam Beasley is very attractive.

9:00 - I'm on the game now, and the first thing I see is a comparison of Troy Tulowitzki and Cal Ripken. Uh....what? Can we stop with this obsession with comparing everybody to someone great? How dumb. Tulowitzki had a nice season, .291/.359/.479 with 24 HR and 99 rbi. Very good for a shortstop, gives you an OPS+ of 108. Almost certainly has a very bright future. But not quite Ripken yet, so let's relax.

9:04 - Actually, Ripken isn't as impressive as I thought. Started out hot, as a rookie with a 115 OPS+ and then had four totally awesome years, but kind of levelled out except for '99 and '91. And where the hell did '99 come from? His OPS+ leading up to it was 92, 97, 107, 91, 102, 93, and 89, then he comes in at 143. That equates from a slightly below average shortstop offensively for seven straight years to an MVP level performance. Nevermind, I'm an idiot, that was only 332 ABs. Then he finished up with 95 and 70 OPS+. I'm less impressed with him than I used to be, but he's still clearly a first ballot hall of famer.

9:08 - Francis can't get anybody out.

9:10 - I have a feeling we're going to see LaTroy Hawkins tonight.

9:12 - Varitek double to score two more. Jesus. Take out Francis now and maybe you can try him at home in game four. I haven't seen a pitcher this bad since Snacks got drunk until 4 in the morning and then tried to pitch the next day at noon.

9:17 - Just saw a T-Wolves commercial featuring Madsen, McCants, Brewer, Jefferson, and Foye. It's like the somehow knew that Ricky Davis and Mark Blount weren't in the teams long-term plans. Freaky.

9:19 - Oh yeah, the Rockies suck. 103 pitches for Francis in 4 innings. Francis was an ace tonight the way Tapani used to be the Twins ace. But that was for like 3 years. I bet Maddog used to love that guy.

9:24 - Do you think Beckett wears #19 because he was a big Scott Erickson guy?

9:27 - So I email this guy in my keeper league because I really need a RB for this week due to byes and injuries. He is in last place, with a nightmare of a team, and has Thomas Jones and Earnest Graham. I would be interested in either because they are alive, and I let him know that I'd like one of them if he wants to trade, but want to trade draft picks. In this league, if your team is going nowhere, a second round pick for Thomas Jones is pretty standard. If you think Graham is a future star, well, you're stupid, but then he's worth more than that. He emails me back that he wants to talk about Chad Johnson. What the hell? What is that? I'm not going to trade Johnson, I don't want to trade Johnson, and you don't have anybody you could package together to get him. Thomas Jones is really not going to turn your perpetually shitty team around and make you a contender. I want to trade you a second round pick for Thomas Jones so I can start him this week, and that's it.

9:31 - Boston tries a sac bunt and instead the guy is out at second. Also, why would you sac bunt up 6-1? What's the point of that one extra run? Especially since the correlation between sac bunting and scoring is tenuous at best. I get it if you need one run for any good reason, but this sure as hell isn't the situation.

9:33 - They just informed us that after the first stolen base of the world series, america gets a free taco from taco bell. I'm officially rooting for stolen bases.

9:35 - They call a balk, and our announcers spend more time discussing tacos rather than explaining the balk. If you watch the replay, it's pretty clear he stepped too close to first base on the throw to first - which is funny, because McCarver said that he "clearly stepped towards first" which is pretty clearly not the case. Weird, I know.

9:37 - Umpire makes it clear that the balk was called because of the not stepping to first thing. McCarver concurs, ignoring the fact that he said the exact opposite earlier. Also, a double for Youkilils making it 7-1. This sucks. I want to blog for a close game. I hate the god damn Gay Sox.

9:43 - Maxim named Sarah Jessica Parker the world's Unsexiest Woman. I agree. Also, another Boston run makes it 9-1. Then the announcer decides to tell us how the Rockies only had to face an overrated Cubs team and a Diamondbacks team that "wasn't very good." Yet both those teams made the playoffs. I was going to look some stuff up to prove how stupid these announcers were, but 53-year-old Mike Lowell just doubled to make it 10-1 and I'm very angry right now.

9:46 - Seriously, the smart move would be to take Beckett out. Take him out now and you have a shot to use him two more times if the series happened to go seven.

9:54 - Ten run rule?

9:55 - Joe Buck is already beginning the Red Sox love affair. I believe he used words like passion, experience, patience, love, to describe the team. I can't wait for another week of this, really I can't.

10:00 - I'm pretty sure McCarver's whole announcing thing is to just look through the boxscore and find oddities. We've just been informed that Mike Lowell is the only Gay Sox player without an RBI tonight. He never, ever, ever, says anything interesting ever. It has to be intentional.

10:08 - Infield hit for Matsui. Thus starteth the rally.

10:10 - or not.

10:15 - I really dislike those Dane Cook commercials.

10:24 - The announcers are completely convinced the reason the game is not close tonight is because the Rockies had a long layoff. Like, they won't stop talking about it. Maybe the Red Sox were just way better tonight? I know, crazy right?

10:29 - I hate to agree with announcers, but why is Beckett still out there? It's 13-1. Yes, he's only at 81 pitches. Which means that last inning they probably could have taken him out and had hte option to use him in game four. Now there justg going to go ahead and keep pitching him.

10:30 - Beckett just struck out his ninth. They tell us the record is Bob Gibson's 16 as a way for Buck to compliment McCarver who caught Gibson in that game. I'm really bored.

10:31 - Cal Ripken, Jr., Jr. doubles. It would be kind of cool if somebody lines one off of Beckett's melon or something. Just because Francona is an idiot.

10:37 - By the way, GopherNation got an interview with Colt Iverson. It's here. Go read it.

10:40 - You know, if Boston has to win it would be awesome if Drew was MVP. I'm also wondering how the hell I'm going to be able to root for KG, knowing all the idiots in Boston are in love with him. That's a toughy.

10:52 - Hey, game 2 is tomorrow. I think I'll just skip it, since I haven't watched an entertaining baseball game in far too long.

10:58 - I knew LaTroy would be involved. And he gets to face one of the worst rookie-of-the-year winners ever. And strikes him out. Well done. He should probably be a closer somewhere. Also, I'm done. Bye.

Let's Go Rockies!

Before the series kicks off tonight, I'd like to mention I'm on the Rockies to win the series at +180, and the Rockies to win tonight at +190.

I'd also like to quote Doctor Detroit on what's wrong with Red Sox fans. He puts it alot better than I could:

"And that's where Red Sox fans are flawed and you as a Yankees fan are missing the point that baseball extends beyond the Red Sux and Yankees. It didn't change, it won't change until the Red Sox have won 25 more world championships. The New York Yankees are the greatest sports franchise in the history of north America. My Detroit Tigers have a prouder history than the Red Sox. Actually so do the Marlins. Red Sox fans are annoying beyond the point of consumption because they think they are somehow at the level of the New York Yankees, Oakland A's, or St Louis Cardinals. They aren't. They are the most annoying fanbase in the history of sports for even thinking they can compare themselves to the Yankees. This is why neutral fans like me can take the Yankees but can't take the Red Sox.There is a big difference in credibility."

Well said.

Wolves get rid of crap, get crap + draft pick

It seems the Wolves found some poor, dumb bastard to take not only Ricky Davis, but also Mark Blount off their hands in the Miami Heat. The Wolves picked up 65-year old guy who never stops shooting Antoine Walker, who was awesome at Kentucky and on Coach K for the Genesis, Michael Doleac, and Wayne Simien. The bad news is that these guys are all worthless. The good news is that there is a first round pick coming the Wolves direction. It's conditional, which probably means protected in some way, and they don't say what year it is, but it's a first round pick. So that's very, very good.

The even better news is I remember watching all three of these guys in their college days, so if they just trade away those high school kids (Jefferson, Telfair, and Green), foreigners (Jaric), and Theo Ratliff (who watches wyoming?), they'll have the perfect team of people I watched in college. Using the trade machine, I've figured out what must be done:

Trade Marko Jaric to the Hawks for Al Horford, Acie Law IV, and Salim Stoudamire.
Trade Theo Ratliff to the Nuggets for Marcus Camby
Trade Al Jefferson and Gerald Green to the Hornets for Chris Paul
Trade Juwon Howard and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies for Mike Miller and Hakim Warrick
Trade Mark Madsen and Sebastian Telfair to the Bobcats for Emeka Okafor

(all of these work under salary restrictions)

Which would give you a roster of:

PG: Chris Paul, Acie Law IV,
SG: Randy Foye, Rashad McCants, Salim Stoudamire,
SF: Mike Miller, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes
PF: Hakim Warrick, Al Horford, Chris Richard
C: Marcus Camby, Emeka Okafor, Craig Smith


It's Rico Time

Rico Tucker is going to dominate more than he was going to dominate before, now that Pepperdine's leading scorer and awesome name haver Kingsley Costain was kicked off the team for violating school policy.

There's some discussion and speculation here on the Pepperdine boards, but the only real fact is that Rico is going to dominate even more with one less guy trying to get to shoot the ball. He will have to worry about about the coaches son, Jason Walberg, who averaged 14 ppg in five games last year and will probably have his dad trying to feed him the ball, but Rico should still dominate. If he and his cousin, top 100 6-6 freshman Tyrone Shelley, just play the two man game they'll be fine.

Tucker participated in both the 3-point contest and dunk contest at the Waves Midnight Madness. He lost his 3-point match, and as far as the dunk contest goes, here's how summed it up:

'Daniel Johnson and Mychel Thompson were the dunkers for the Blue squad, while Tyrone Shelley and Rico Tucker did the honors for the Orange squad. It wasn’t much of a contest, as Tucker scored perfect 40s during all three rounds. He did a 360 in the first round, a windmill in the second, and for his final dunk he brought the ball down to his knees and brought it back up over his head for a reverse jam.'

He's so awesome.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Hey everybody! I'm in Grand Rapids, Michigan and it's totally awesome. And by totally awesome, I mean it sucks. Yet another place I have to travel too that is not very fun at all. The good news: I'm drunk! Yeah for me.

You know what's not a sucky place to visit - Indiana. Specifically South Bend. I hear it's awesome, and they have a kick ass football team that once had a little piece of crap guy named Rudi with the biggest heart ever and made a really boring movie out of his story and probably made stuff up to make it touch the pure of heart. If I was a kickass receiver, I would totally go there.

Wait, what? The mighty Irish are only 1-7? How can that be?

Well, they must still be pretty awesome, since the best player in the history of Minnesota prep football (other than Joe Mauer, who was also awesome at everything he ever tried) Michael Floyd has committed to the IRish. I haven't read this yet, but I'm going to assume paging jim shikenjanski guy has much more lucid thoughts on the subject.

I just don't understand why, if you were going to a shitty shitass team, you wouldn't go to your hometown team. I bet it's that god damned Metrodome.

Seriously, why not go to Florida, Michigan, or Ohio State - his other finalists based on the zero minutes of research I've done. They win stuff. Or lose to Appalachian State. Hey, I'm in Michigan! Up yours Carr! Way to not know how to coach.

Also, Roy Williams should get his ass kicked too. That guy is far too inconsistent to make my fantasy team win all the time single handedly.

Speaking of fantasy football, those of you who think that I'm some sort of fraud for starting FatDale White this week should really probably go to hell. This is why you people never win money. If you really need a running back, and a super fat, horrible running back who gets most of his yards by falling down has the guy he's splitting carries with get hurt and you know he's going to get 25 carries, you should really start him. Even if he's one of the two worst running backs in football right now. It's really just common sense and you should all be embarrassed by your complete inability to understand simple concepts.

I will guarantee that I will never, ever have Reggie Bush on my fantasy team. The only way it would ever happen is never. Actually, there are two ways it could happen:

1) They move him to wide receiver.
2) We start giving points for kick/punt returns, and the Saints use him in the only role where he'll ever excel.

I mean really. The guy is known as a shifty, good runner in space. So we can't expect him to be a grind it out, feature back unless you're the Saints or JC. But you'd think, well, he probably breaks a long one now and again, since he's so good at that kind of thing. Well, in a full year and half, his longest career rush is 22 yards. 22 YARDS. I can't even write that big enough. 22 yards. I'm sorry, he had a 25 yarder in the playoffs last year. But he's so good.

Mewelde Moore's career long is 33 yards. Moore has had 254 carries. Bush has had 241. Yet Moore's career long is 50% longer than Bush's. I believe Snacks, and me, since I posted, has once again been proven correct, he's really just a poor man's Mewelde Moore.

Second to last thing, is that I hate the Gay Sox, and I don't wear a XXXL. I can't wait for this Simmons article tomorrow. Here's some calls, Bert:

1) Pedroia (and probably Brady) are God.
2) No mention of the Drew grandslam, which was the biggest at-bat of that series. If you remember, the Sox had just gotten the series back to Boston, loaded the bases against Carmona with no outs, and the first two guys got out. Then Drew comes out, two outs bases laloded, and hits the grand slam. If he gets out, whole different game.
3) Pretends to fear the Rockies, but you can tell by his writing that he "knows" the Sox have this one.
4) Acts like the Manny Ramirez actions were no big deal - I actually agree with this one.
5) Rips on Paul Byrd, even though the poor guy had a gladular problem.
6) Predicts Ortiz has an awesome world series since he had a bad ALCS, convinced one thing is related to the other. HINT: It's not.
7) Finds a way to rip on both the Yankees and the Colts.
8) Includes one completely non-sensical pop culture laden email.
9) Gives way too much credit to Francona, and himself, for "mixing it up" and putting Ellsbury in the lineup. Ellsbury OPS = .583, which ok, was better than Crisp in the series (.333, ouch that's f'ing terrible), but he'll just give credit to "mixing it up."

Last thing, because I'm bored now, I leave you with a top five moment in sitcom history, and if you don't get it, you're not my friend.

Oh, and go Rockies. They're +180, and I'll be hitting that hard. God I hate Boston. Not the city, the city is actually one of my favorites in the world, but the fans. I'd punch them all in the face if I wasn't a little sissy girl.

Also, in case you're curious, Courtney James is currently playing for the Dodge City Legend in teh USBL. I'd love to give you stats, but it will apparently only cost me 29 cents a day. Some of the college awesomeness wasting away in the USBL: Byron Mouton (Maryland), Kyle Cuffe (St. Johns), Jason Wingate (Manhattan), Jermaine Boyette (Weber St), Darryl Dora (Tex Tech), Lazarus Sims (Syracuse, Coack K Allstar), Roy Tarpley (I wish I was kidding), Shaheen Holloway (Seton Hall and McDonald's Allstar game superstar), Jeff Boschee (Kansas), Keith Langford (Kansas), Michael Lee (Kansas), Shawn Kemp (???????????? - Really?)

Turns out, I was looking at a list of all-time rosters, not current. Good enough. Shawn Kemp? Lot of Kansas guys too. Nice team, Snacks. What's your boy Chenowith up to?

As near as I can tell, Courtney James has been bouncing around minor basketball leagues for years. However, when you search for Courtney James on google, here's the first link: Safe for work? Borderline.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well, it's time to live blog the baseball game. I just finished watching Transformers - which fuckin' A rocked by the way, and I"m ready to blog off the Tivo machine. It's the top of the third, and it's 4-1 sox which sucks, but hopefully the rest of the game is awesome.

10:10 - The only thing I know about this game is that JD Drew hit a grandslam for those four runs, and all the faggy Boston fans should not be allowed to cheer. You all bitched and bitched and bitched about my friend's friend JD Drew who almost played softball with me once, and now he comes through for you and you dipshits are now going to be all happy and worship him. God I hate Bill Simmons and the Red Sox. I just hate 'em.

10:11 - The other thing I know is that as my Tivo starts and it's top of third with two outs and two on for Hafner and I'd solidly bet twenty bucks right now this homo strikes out.

10:15 - Hafner bounces out to first. Nice job dipshit. Way to have an awesome ALCS. You're hitting .200 for the playoffs. Miss those steroids a bit? Ass.

10:18 - Hafner's OPS+ the previous three years: 162, 168, 179. This season: 118. Wonder when he stopped taking the roids. Nice season. And his nickname is apparently "Pronk." Sounds kinda gay. Like, hey Vic Martinez, meet me behind the third base dugout later and I'll Pronk ya.

10:22 - Rbi single for my man JD Drew. It's not fair that retarded Boston fans are all like "Jah Dah Drah is the Mahn." I don't know, that was pretty weak but the point is that Boston fans are complete idiots. Good city though. Although they don't have public bathrooms. Seriously, in Boston you have to buy something from a shop and then they give you a token so you can use the bathroom. I really wish I was making this up. Also, this game better not get boring.

10:25 - Carmona is out. You know what's funny? It should have been obvious Carmona couldn't handle a game like this. He was a worse closer than LaTroy Hawkins, so how could he handle the pressure of an elimination game? Maks sense.

10:27 - Okay, Jacoby Ellbury is up. All of Boston and Tim McCarver have a hardon for this guy, so I'm going to base my opinion of him on this atbat.

10:28 - RBI single. Turns out I'm a huge fan. Nice job Cleveland.

10:29 - Double down the line to score two. This fuckin' Mexican can't get anybody out. You know who would have made that play though? Nick Punto. He's so fucking good. 8-1 Boston. I'm not even sure why I'm watching. Boston has a freakin' 16 year old hitting.

10:31 - Actually, it's not a 16 year old, it's Dustin Pedroia, and this guy walks him like he was Ted Williams. This sucks. I can guarantee I'm fast forwarding the Tivo at some point.

10:34 - I'm going to assume by keeping this homo in, the Indians are just throwing the game at this point. This guy sucks.

10:35 - I refuse to believe this happened. Youkilis doinks one off the wall, gets caught in a rundown, and then dipshit McGee second baseman throws to first to get him out and instead hits him in the damn helmet. I only have two beers left and I was going to try to pace myself but I think the smart move is to just down them as fast as I can and try to pass out real quick.

10:38 - I fast forwarded a little. It seems people got out. I'm going to leave it on +1 fast forward while I go to the bathrorm and get a beer. Hopefully something good happens.

10:42 - I'm back and it's still 10-2. Clearly the whole "ignore it and it'll get better" thing didn't work. Anybody ever had a bison burger? I'm grilling some up tomorrow and I"m looking forward to it.

10:43- I think the announcers just tried to teach me the history of rowing. I ignored it and ate a burrito instead. F-you learning!

10:45 - I also think I did pretty well on my college football bets. I know Arkansas, Iowa St, Wake, and somebody else I can't remember won. That's good. This game is boring.

10:46 - Precious little Ellsbury got out on a diving catch. I will guarantee you Simmons writes an article and finds a way to credit Ellsbury with this win. Guaranteed. And also doesn't credit Drew. Also guaranteed.

10:48 - Did I ever tell you about the time I was at Fenway and Schilling pitched really well? Yeah, well....that's pretty much teh whole story.

10:49 - Casey Blake is up. Funny story about Blake. Former Twin. Third baseman. Could we have used him? I'm glad you asked.

In 2000, the Twins grabbed him off waivers from the Blue Jays. Then in Sept 2001, the Orioles took him. In October of the same year, the Twins took him back. I'm not even kidding. So they clearly liked him. However, just over one year later, the Twins released him. Blake played for Edmonton in AAA that season, and hit .309 with 19 HRs and an OPS of .871. Yet the Twins got rid of him. He signed with the Indians for $330K. That's it. I'm going to assume Terry Ryan was having an affair with his secretary that season because why the hell else would that happen.

In case you're curious, the seasons since Blake was let go:

2003: Blake OPS .723 , Koskie .845(Blake's first season as a starter, relax.)
2004: Blake .840, Koskie .837
2005: Blake .746, Cuddyer .752 (this was when he played third, also the year the Twins were last in the majors in runs scored. nice.)
2006: Blake .835, Punto .725
2007: Blake .776, Punto .562

So, I guess, really not that the Twins needed Blake, but more like how Punto sucks. You should do a search on Punto and read about how he had THE WORST FUCKING SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL. Ignore all the drinking in that post. The point is sound.

11:00 - Weird that Hafner would strike out. Fifty bucks says he hits up his HGH dealer at some point tonight. Also, this game is boring.

11:04 - Hey Snacks, remember when I said Schilling would lay the hammer on the Indians and give up nothing tonight? Remember that? Don't you ever, EVER, doubt me again.

11:07 - Please let Drew hit a homerun here.

11:09 - F you Simmons. F you.

11:12 - Hey it's 10-2. I care.

11:16 - None of this crap will matter after Dice-K melts down in game 7. Go back to Commieland, Commie!

11:17 - Ellsbury just embarrassed himself against whatever lefy is pitching for the Indians. I haven't seen a lefty look that bad since Snacks played Town Ball with me.

11:18 - Seriously, you know it's true.

11:19 - I can't wait til they bring in Beckett in relief in game seven. He's going to get shelled. He's a very good big game pitcher, I'm fairly certain he's no Mordecai Brown.

11:22 - If Hafner or Sizemore decided to hit, at all, this would be a better series.

11:24 - Curt Schilling is saying something. I'm goinmg t assume it's about he's tough and the team is tough and the franchise is tough and it's one day at a time and it's do or die and you can't take anything for granted. Seriously, this is boring. When is game 7?

11:25 - Also, I just want you to understand that Nick Punto had the
WORST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL EVER, ever. Since Abner Doublneday or Alexander Cartwright invented baseball, whoever it was, nobody has had as poor a season as Nick Punto. I bet Maddog loves that guy.

11:28- You know, down 10-2, with first base open and Manny up, if Cleveland was ever going to bean him, this would be the time.

11:28 - Instead he hits a sac fly. I guess they weren't nearly as pissed as the media made it sound like. Weird. I've never known the media to be wrong.

11:29 - I'm fast forwarding but everybody keeps gettng on base. You should rent tranformers. I bet Optimus Prime could kick your ass.

11:31 - It's weird that Hafner would get out. He better have already dialed his supplier for game 7.

11:32 - They just showd DiceK in the dugout and I'm pretty sure he was thinking "this sucks please don't win don't want to pitch again scared and want to go home." Yep, he's going down faster than your mom.

11:35 - Game over. Fag Sox win. I'd like to dedicate this live blog to jesus. Witout him, none of this could have been possible.

11:47 - If the gay sox win, and I have to read a Bill Simmons column about them winning, I'm simply going to snap and most likely kill someone close to me. I hate the Red Sox more than a fat kid loves cake. I also just mixed schnapps, creme de menthe, and coffee liqour. Wont' someone run an intervention or call somebody?

12:05 - I'm going to be in Michigan Monday night. I'm going to assume I'm going to be drunk, likely belligerent, and hopefully all posty. When is game 7? Please let it be Monday.

12:07 - That's just dumb. Game seven is on sunday when everybody is stupid and cares about football and simpsons. Should have saved it for Monday, deproving everyone of a post on here and I'm going t stop postig now.

Gophers vs. NDSU

11:11 - Well that was fast. Three plays, and a touchdown, capped off by a WR pass from Decker to Spry. Which was misidentified by whoever this announcer is as a flea-flicker - twice, so it wasn't just an accident.

11:14 - The Gophers continue to refuse to tackle, giving up about a 70 yard swing pass to a guy who looks like a fullback. And their defense had been solid too up until that point. Stuffed a run, and stopped a three yard slant, it actually looked like this game was going to go the way a Big Ten vs. I-AA game should go, but apparently that's not to be.

11:18 - He is a fullback. Tyler Roehl, who weighs 232 but still outran the Gophers defense. On the bright side, at least he's their leading rusher.

11:19 - Shoutout to Oakdale!

11:21 - Three and out for the Gophers, highlighted by Weber missing an open receiver and a sack by the Bison. Momentum solidly gone from the Gophers side, and a tremendous statement of an opening drive wasted.

11:24 - Roehl just beat the Gopher linebackers to the corner for a gain of five, so he's clearly faster that he looks. Or is the Gopher defense is that slow?

11:30 - A crappy 15-yard penalty gives the Bison a bail-out first down.

11:32 - More bad tackling

11:34 - Hightower hits Roehl and stands him up and drives him back on third and inches. That was a pretty awesome tackle on a pretty big guy.

11:34 - NDSU misses a 34-yard FG. Gophers aren't losing yet.

11:35 - More bad passing.

11:36 - Following a false-start penalty, the Gophers decide to run the Vikings offense and instead of taking a shot downfield on 3rd and 14, they go with a wide receiver screen and pick up about three. Another three and out.

11:40 - That was about a ten yard pick up for the Bison RB, and he wasn't even touched until about 9 yards down field.

11:44 - More bad tackling. They're making Roehl look like Alstott.

11:44 - Playaction, wide open touchdown. 14-7 Bison on the last play of the first quarter. I think the time of possession there was 13 minutes to the Bison, 2 for Minnesota.

11:50 - Weber misses another wide open receiver on third and three, and the Gophers punt again. This is the offense that put up a bunch of points this year? How did that happen?

11:54 - The Bison blocking gives Roehl 10 yards before he's even touched, he then breaks two tackles, but then somehow the ball comes out and the Gophers recover. Huge break. Need to capitalize.

11:59 - Looks like a bad spot will bring the Gophers to 4th and 1 instead of a first down at the ten. But Decker needs to run his routes so they are past the marker, not 1 yard in front. Very Vikingslike.

12:01 - Given a first down after reviewing the play. Score one for instant replay.

12:03 - Pinnix stuffed, brings up 4th and 1 from the three. I think you have to go for it here. Timeout Gophers.

12:06 - Play action bootleg, Weber is close and they give him the first down. Gutsy call.

12:08 - Toucdown Pinnix, and it was easy. Momentum Gophers? Now they just have to play defense. Yikes.

12:10 - Bison completion to a guy with no Gopher within 10 yards. So much for playing defense.

12:12 - The NDSU offensive line is just destroying the Gophers. The holes they're opening are like the ones Emmitt Smith ran through his whole career which led people who are stupid to believe he was better than Barry Sanders or Walter Payton.

12:15 - Hey, they made NDSU punt. Good deal. Of course, he drops it out of bounds at the four, but still, it's a punt.

12:21 - So far this drive has gone - missed open receiver, big gain on the ground, dropped pass, big gain on the ground. They should probably just run.

12:24 - Weber is seriously freakin' terrible. I haven't watched enough this year to know if it's all year or just this game, but this is brutal. And it looks like he can't run an option either. He should have cut that one up, instead pitches to Pinnix with two guys right in front of him for a loss of four. Now 3rd and 14.

12:26 - And now a false start to go to 3rd and 19. Screen or Draw?

12:27 - The Good news: They actually went downfield to try to pick it up. The Bad News: Weber missed another open receiver. Time to punt.

12:29 - Roehl goes from his own 6 to the Gopher 25 untouched. Someone actually got him from behind, which is a minor miracle, but this is clearly the best offensive line in the history of football. Oh yeah, and there were only 35 seconds left, and the Bison had the ball on their own 6. So like, not a good time to give up a 70 yard run. Brewster should have told his defense not to do that.

12:31 - FG as half expires, 17-14 NDSU. The Gophers can't stop the run, can't stop the pass, can't pass, but at least they can run the ball. Good times.

1:05 -I'm bored and going to the bar now, go Gophers, Cyclones, Razorbacks, Demon Deacons, Tigers, Gamecocks, Terrapins, Bears, and Buckeyes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

College Football

Good lines:

Iowa St +30 vs. Oklahoma
S. Carolina -13.5 vs. Vanderbilt
Wake Forest -3 @ Navy
Missouri -3.5 vs. Texas Tech
Arkansas -5 @ Mississippi
Maryland -4 vs. Virginia
Cal -1.5 @ UCLA
Ohio State -18 vs. Mich State

Also, I really hate Alex Trebeck.

Week 7 NFL Picks

1. There's no line for the Gopher game vs. NDSU tomorrow, but according to PA and Dubay on the radio, Jeff Sagarin's ratings have NDSU favored by 7 at a neutral site, so it would 4 since the game is at the Dome. I know the Gophers have struggled and all, and NDSU is a good I-AA team, but I fully expect the Gophers to win. At this point, this is pretty much their superbowl - a game they have to win to retain any level of respect at all. Plus, with last year's game going to the wire, the Gophers won't take NDSU lightly. Minnesota 31, NDSU 21.

2. PA also said the Vikings have a 35% chance of beating the Cowboys on Sunday. Wrong. It's about a 5% chance. That guy couldn't be more of a homer if he tried. He makes Maddog look like he has balanced opinions.

3. Big win for the Red Sox last night. I expect Schilling to dominate on Saturday at Fenway, holding off Carmona something like 3-1 and pushing it to a game seven. Where I expect Dice K to completely fall apart and the Indians win 8-3.

4. NLF picks:

Washington -8.5 vs. Arizona: Leinart is hurt, Warner is hurt, Neil Lomax is hurt. Who is the QB for the Cardinals this week? Tim Rattay? The guy who has been a backup on three different teams in the last three years? Apparently Warner might try to play, but you know he'll be out of there by the end of the first quarter if he does.

New Orleans -8 vs. Atlanta: New Orleans is not back, they're not fixed, and they're not ready to make a run. Yes, they beat a suddenly horrible Seattle team, but if you watched that game they were holding on for dear life at the end. And not because Seattle got hot. The Saints had one nice half, and then reverted immediately to that crappy team that had everybody confused. But since they're playing the Falcons, they should be able to cover. And if Marques Colston wanted to start catching some passes, that would really help me out.

Buffalo +3 vs. Baltimore: Still don't believe in the Ravens. The have exactly zero impressive wins this season. And Kyle Boller might have to play QB again this week, except he'll be on the road this time. Did you know the Bills are ranked 31st in overall offense and 32nd in overall defense. Yet I'm still picking them. Yikes.

Miami +16.5 vs. New England: A division game where the home team is getting 16.5 points? Based on general gambling principles, you have to take the Dolphins here, even though the Pats have been killing teams, home or road.

NY Giants -9 vs. San Francisco: In case you're not paying attention, the Giants have won four in a row after dropping their first two, and are becoming a contender in the NFC. The 49ers are starting Trent Dilfer and are in a full on free-fall towards the bottom of the league.

Detroit -2 vs. Tampa Bay: Am I stupid to keep believing in the Lions? Maybe, but their offense is so pretty, with Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald. Kitna has the best array of weapons this side of the AFC, and now Kevin Jones is back to give them yet another weapon to show off. Then again, the Bucs have Michael Bennett now. Hopefully their trainer is prepared.

Houston +1 vs. Tennessee: This is the good team everybody thinks is bad (Texans) against a bad team everybody thinks is good (Titans). Houston is bad on the road, clearly, but have been solid at home. Tennessee has done nothing good this year, with the exception of playing the Colts close at home. You know who else did that? The Texans. Plus, the Titans either start a banged up Vince Young or Kerry Collins. Win/Win for the Texans.

Kansas City +3 @ Oakland: The Raiders are favored? Really? That's weird.

Cincinnati -6 vs. NY Jets: Well, the Bengals might as well pack it in for the season. Although the schedule is fairly soft, so it is conceivable that they could go on a late run, end up something like 9-7 and sneak in as a wild card. If that's going to happen, it's going to have to start soon, like this week. And the Jets would be a good team to do it against. Also, there's a lot of anti-Chad Johnson sentiment out there right now, and I fully support Ocho Cinco.

Dallas -9.5 vs. Minnesota: I can't think of a single reason why the Cowboys should run the ball in the first half. Pull a Patriots, pass every play in the first half, and they should be up a good 21 points at halftime. Although holy crap is Adrian Peterson awesome. It's like having Randy Moss again, knowing there's a chance on every single play, no matter where you are on the field, that a touchdown could be coming.

Chicago +5 @ Philly: Do you realize the Eagles only have two wins, and they're both at home against teams with horrible defenses? That is the mark of a crappy team. The Bears are also struggling, as evidenced by the loss to the Vikings, but I expect this game to come down to a field goal.

St. Louis +9 @ Seattle: I know the Rams are bad, but Seattle is not a good time. They just aren't. They'll probably win this game by five or six, and everybody will think everything is fine in Seahawkland, but seriously, they're bad. You'll see.

Pittsburgh -3.5 @ Denver: Denver has proven they can't handle a good team, even at home, as evidenced by the spanking the Chargers put on them two weeks ago. The Steelers have been absolutely dominant, other than a little hiccup against the Cardinals when they were still decent.

Indianapolis -3 @ Jacksonville: I know the Jags usually play the Colts tough, and I know they are having a nice season at 4-1 and are always tough at home, but three points? I figured this line would be about 6 and then it would be a tough call. Indy is going to win, and likely by at least three so a push is really the worst case scenario by taking the Colts. The Colts are elite. The Jags are a nice team. Mismatch.

And Dubay just called Manny Ramirez a pile of crap, reminding me why I consider him the world's biggest idiot.


Last Week: 5-6-2
Season: 42-38-9

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Crittle is a Jerk

Josh Crittle went ahead and committed to Oregon over the Gophers. This makes him a jerk in my book. Unless Sampson signs here, in which Crittle is irrelevant. In fact, he was irrelevant anyway. We don't need him, don't want him. He's too fat.

This makes the Sampson signing even more important. Sampson and Crittle seemed like the top tier big man prospects. The Gophers still have interest from Jarrod Jones and Steve Goins, but they are a step down. Get Sampson.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lots of Recruiting Stuff

1. There's a rumor circulating that Kentucky has withdrawn their offer to Ralph Sampson, and his choices are down to Georgia Tech and the Gophers. The rumor was posted on a Kentucky message board, and bga1 at the GopherHole says it appears the choice will be Minnesota. Lot's of discussion here. Obviously, signing Sampson would be awesome.

2. It's also said that big man Josh Crittle has narrowed his choices to either Minnesota or Oregon. Link is here, and credit goes to GopherHole poster EG9 for posting it. Crittle likes the Gophers facilities and Tubby, while Oregon has two of his former AAU teammates on their roster. The pictures of Crittle on that page make it clear he is a big, big boy. I wouldn't mind seeing him bang around the Big Ten. I don't know if they would be willing to take both Crittle and Sampson, or if they'd rather save one of those scholarships for a guard like Haralson or Joseph.

3. Speaking of Devoe Joseph, I asked Van Coleman about him during his weekly chat, and he didn't even mention the Gophers:

DWG (St. Paul, MN): What's the word on Devoe Joseph? He seems to be lighting it up and could be an all-freshman player in whatever conference he goes to, so who's in the lead?
Van Coleman: We've heard Illinois, VATech and GATech as possibilities. Marquette is waiting on Shumpert's decision before the move further on Joseph. St. John's and UConn have a little bit of an edge early because of visits already made there, but I don't think a decision is forthcoming.

I don't exactly think they know everything, but they spend a lot of time around recruits and the recruiting scene, and it can't be awesome that he mentioned six schools and not one of them was Minnesota. Scout still reports Joseph will interest, but he has a lot of schools on his list. Expect him to cut the list soon, and hopefully find the Gophers still on it.

4. Former Gopher Target Austin Dufault has committed to Colorado. Dufault is a three-star forward from North Dakota, ranked as the #32 Power Forward in his class. It had been reported that he had an offer from Minnesota, but Scout says no, so I'm unsure there. In any case, the Gophers had clearly turned to other targets, so this is no big loss. Good luck in Boulder, that team sucks.

5. Not recruiting related, but Northwestern sophomore Kevin Coble is taking an indefinite leave from the team to be with his mother, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This sucks for him, and in another, less sensitive way, it really sucks for the Wildcats. Coble was their leading scorer and rebounder last year as a freshman, and the only player on that team worth a crap. Expect Northwestern to drop from the level of the Horizon Conference teams to the level of the Ivy League teams if he doesn't return. Seriously, what is wrong with that program? Not a single NCAA berth in the history of ever? Shouldn't you get lucky as a high major at some point and fall ass-backwards into a good recruit who leads you into the tournament? I mean Seton Hall made the championship game one year, Mississippi State sucks most years, but they made a final four, and even Nebraska makes it every once in a while. What a joke. Lighten up your academic requirements, join the Ivy League or the Patriot League or one of those "smarty-pants" leagues, or learn to cheat. This is embarrassing for all of us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This is not very Interesting

There's not much to write about, but last night watching the end of the Rockies/D-Backs game I got to thinking about LaTroy Hawkins.

And congratulations to the Rockies. Even though they got really lucky in game four (pop up double, error) they really kicked ass in the first three games. After the cheapie double you could really feel the whole game shift.

Also, it's awesome and everything that they have won 20 of their last 21 games, but can we please not compare them to the greatest streaks ever? For some bizarre reason they went ahead and did this on TBS last night. Comparing the Rockies to the UCLA Bruins of college hoops, Miami Dolphins, Oklahoma for college football, and the LA Lakers. But you know what, those teams all won a whole assload of consecutive games. If you're going to compare, at least use the '35 Cubs or '02 A's. That doesn't make sense either, but at least it's the same sport.

Anyway, Hawkins had pretty decent numbers, but was 0-5 in save situations, not surprising given his history here in Minnesota. I was curious, so I looked and his stats for this year were:

Save Situations: 0-2, 5 g, 3 ips, 10 hits, 2 walks, 9 ERs, 0 K's, for an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 4.00

Non-Save Sits: 2-3, 57 g, 48.1 ips, 42 h, 14 walks, 12 ERs, 29 K's, for an ERA of 2.23 and a WHIP of 1.16.

So it's safe to say LaTroy Hawkins is a lousy starter, a horrible closer, and a pretty darn good set up guy. Remember in the three years he was primarily a setup guy for the Twins (with a disastrous closer reason mixed in) he posted ERAs of 3.39, 2.13, and 1.86 with over sixty appearances in each of those seasons.

I guess the point of this is:

1. Hawkins hasn't had nearly as bad a career as I thought. My perceptions are colored by his poor closing outings.

2. I'm pretty bored.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Public Service Announcement

FYI - Rocktober mania has swayed the betting public and there is tremendous value on the Diamondbacks tonight.

The Backs are at +162, (which means if you bet $10, you'd win $16.20) and have Micah Owings going against Franklin Morales of the Rocks.

Owings was steady this season, 8-8, 4.30 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP, but he finished the season very strong. He went 15.1 innings in his last two starts, giving up just 6 hits and zero runs. He hasn't pitched since September 27th, so that's a big of a concern, but he was throwing very well in those last two games, and is just as good on the road as he his at home.

His opponent, Morales, is a rookie who only pitched in 8 games this season and never went more than 6 innings. He pitched in one game in the playoffs against the Phillies, and didn't make it out of the fourth, giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, and a homerun in three innings.

I know the Rockies are hot, and I know they are at home, but this +162 is way too heavily weighted towards them. The value here is tremendous.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


So, I just got back home from the Diamond Jo Casino in Worth, Iowa, and I'm a little drunk and have nothing better to do, and zero opinion on anything, so why not live blog the baseball game since it seems it's the longest game of all time.

In case you're wondering, we did pretty well for ourselves at the casino. WWWWWW +250, Egypt +150, Snacks +100, Theory +90. Craps is the best game ever.

On to the game. I have five 16oz bottles of Miller Lite here, hoping I don't drink them all.

10:19 - My tv guide says the game should have ended 19 minutes ago. Yet, we're just about to start the 7th. This is excellent, because otherwise I would have to watch Saturday Night Live.

10:22 - Was Terry Francona a good player? I seriously don't remember. Good thing I have the interweb.

10:23 - And Victor Martinez pulls a Greg Gagne and swings at a 3-2 slider in the dirt. Also, I'm really, really pulling for the Indians here.

10:26 - Isn't Okajima really just this year's J.C. Romero? Or Paul Quantrill? Or just that reliever who had an awesome year that one year? Or am I wrong here?

10:28 - Also, Terry Francona career OPS+ was 81. Yikes. Also never had more than 281 At-bats in a season. Most similar to, according to, Dane Iorg and Thad Bosley. Ouch. His dad was an allstar, finished fifth in MVP voting in '59, and had a career OPS+ of 107. What a disapointment. Have no idea what that would be like.

10:31 - Youkilis, Ortiz, Manny. Not good for Cleveland.

10:33 - Youkilis was featured prominently in Moneyball. If you haven't read it, you should. If you can read. Books, Jerry, books.

10:34 - Manny really, really scares me here.

10:36 - Greg Gagne career OPS+ = 83, and was never over 100 (league average). I never realized he was that bad of a hitter. I knew bad, but not that bad. Great fielder though. By the way, is like if you took the Baseball Encyclopedia and made it nerdier.

10:41 - longest at bat ever.

10:42 - That should have been strike three. Fox's cameras even cheated on that gay pitch track thing.

10:44 - Manny gets killed on that fastball. So that Gopher game was probably kind of fun to watch. I was busy getting drunk in bars without Big Ten network in southern Minnesota. Actually, at one bar we asked about the Big Ten network and the waitress lady was like "what's that." So, there's that.

10:45 - Also, yeah, we lost on the Northwestern -6.5, but we also hit the over at 66. So there.

10:49 - The announcers have a Papelboner because he's warming up. The one time I was at Fenway, he blew the save so I'm really not impressed.

10:51 - Unnecessary diving catch by Red Sox center fielder. Looks like Snacks playing softball. Just showin' off for the ladies.

10:51 - Breaking news. Dusty Baker hired to manage the Reds. Expect the Reds to continue to be mediocre.

10:54 - Classic "Oh look what I found" by Lowell at third. Actually, very similar to how I play third. I really hate the Red Sox.

10:59 - That was strike three on Lowell. Umps continue to be in love with Boston.

11:02 - Am OFFICIALLY changing my survivor pick to San Diego based on McNair being a game time decision. Also, Lowell just fouled off like six pitches and battled just so he could take a slider right down the pipe. Nicely done.

11:04 - This seems like the kind of time where Varitek would hit a homerun.

11:06 - Or he'll look like the shell of the player he once was. Also, I'm going to go ahead and start FatDale this week. Shut up.

11:18 - Even off roids, Hafner can hit. Single up the middle. AND THEY'RE PINCH RUNNING FOR HAFNER. With two outs. Runner only on first. Tie game. This is the worst move ever. EVER. Seriously what the hell? Why would you pull Hafner, one of your top two hitters here. It's a tie game. Well PR Barfield went ahead and stole second without a throw. That's good. But still. Hafner. Tie game. Just assuming it won't get back around there. I really, really don't get it.

11:21 - Now they walk Martinez and pitch to Garko. I'd rather have Martinez.

11:24 - Also, why can't announcers say anything meaningful or question anything? Taking out Hafner is a BIG deal.

11:25 - Weird. Garko got out. Now you get to play the rest of the game without Hafner. And they're bringing in Borowski who has something like a 8.50 ERA in non-save situations. I might as well just go to bed.

11:31 - This ump is brutal.

11:34 - Base hit for Pedroia. At least something's happening.

11:36 - Actually, it's not Borowski at all, it's still Betancourt. And then Pedroia stole second without a throw. Always good to let that winning run get into scoring position without even trying to stop it. Who's managing this team, Gardenhire?

11:40 - Youkilis has now fouled off the last 27 pitches in a row.

11:41 - V. Martinez could have made an amazing catch but didn't. Now it's about to be game over.

11:43 - I've rarely seen anything like this. I'd just hit him in the ribs and move on. Except it's Ortiz next. So maybe not.

11:44 - And Youkilis flys out and we're going to the tenth. Joe Buck tells us you couldn't have hit it any harder and that's clearly a lie. Youkilis sucks. I blame Billy Beane. Seriously, read Moneyball. Just do it.

11:53 - Peralta stikes out on a pitch at his eyes. That's just good baseball. McCarver informs us that you can't hit a ball up there well. Thanks buddy.

11:57 - Papelbon misses the target by about three feet, but it still might have been a strike. Crowd wanted it. Weirdly, umps iddn't give it to him. Great catch on the next one by Youkilis though.

11:58 - Ortiz up. Does clutch exist? I'm basing it on this at-bat against some guy I've never heard of who seems terrified to throw anything near the strike zone.

11:59 - Great job by Cabrera (who McCarver keeps calling Johnny for some reason) to play a ball off his chest and get Ortiz out. Not off his throat, as McCarver is saying. I think I get why people hate McCarver.

12:02 - Mastny 2-0 to Ramirez, yet it's a fly out to right on pitch three.

12:03 - Lowell chases and we have three outs. I'm going to run out of beer. Dammit.

12:07 - Eric Gagne wears 83 now, probably the speed of his fastball. Zing. And he just struck out Casey Blake, which is not surprising based on teh fact that' he's a former twin

12:08 - Single for Sizemore. DO SOMETHING>

12:12 - A walk and Gagne is done. What the hell happened to that guy? That injury really f'ed him up. He was dominate at one point, and now he's like a poor man's Dennys Reyes.

12:15 - The whole Trot Nixon thing is just awesome, just do it. Come on Trot. And as I type, there it is. Cleveland lead. They should really get a few more since their closer is Borowski. Also, since Nixon got a hit there, the whole taking Hafner thing out didn't hurt but I still maintain that I was right, dammit.

12:17 - Also it's a nice thought that out there somewhere, Sports Guy is pissed.

12:18 - 8-6 on a wild pitch. And there should be another category worse than wild pitch. That was behind the batter.

12:21 - Base hit up the middle to score another and I'm pretty sure Javier Lopez intentionally let that one go back up the middle. I didn't know people were throwing the game. What is this, college sports?

12:26 - Lester comes in and immediately gives up a double to score another run. I'd make a cancer joke here, but that seems mean. Also, since it's a four run lead, hopefully there won't be any kind of Borowski involved at all. I'd rather throw Bob Feller here. At his current age.

12:28 - Three run homer for Gutierrez. I dont' know, feels like this one is over. Guess they didn't need Hafner. Always good to bat around in the eleventh.

12:30 - He got Casey Blake looking though, so that's good. Good for you buddy! Nicely done.

12:32 - That's awesome that they'd put Borowski in. It's really the only way for the Red Sox to get back in this one. And there's a hit for JD Drew (who almost played softball with me once - true story). And it begins.

12:34 - Varitek needs to retire. He' probably be a very good coach, but his hitting is embarrassing. I'm basing this on a sample size of two.

12:37 - Double play and game over. Good. F the Red Sox.

12:46 - I drank all the beer.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gopher Recruiting Roundup

Van Coleman of Hoopmasters posts a nice Big Ten Recruiting Roundup with a lot of info on every team. I'll concentrate on the Gophers here, as some names are thrown out that I haven't heard before:

Minnesota (Recruiting Log) has been making a late charge of late and now has three commitments this fall. They are led by two potential junior college All-Americans in 6-foot-8 power forward Paul Carter from Missouri State-West Plains CC and 6-foot-5 220-pound win scorer Devron Bostick of Southwestern Illinois CC. Both have the tools and physical attributes to compete for starting spots in the Big Ten. They are joined by one of the summer's fastest risers in 6-foot-10 big man Colton Iverson from Yankton, S.D. He has potential to be an All-League player before he leaves Minneapolis.

But, the Gophers aren't done yet. They could sign a couple more this fall with size and backcourt firepower targets they are recruiting. Upfront, they are hard on two fall targets, and very interested in a third. The two fall targets are 6-foot-11 Ralph Sampson Jr. from Northview (Duluth, Ga.) visited the Gophers in September and has visited Georgia Tech, too. He will head to Kentucky this weekend. 6-foot-8 Josh Crittle from Elmhurst Timothy Christian just visited the Gophers on October 6th, he has also visited Oregon, Kansas State, and Southern Illinois. A decision should come soon. They will have 6-foot-8 230-pound Jarrod Jones from Michigan City, Ind., on campus this coming weekend. The other big man on their radar is 6-foot-10 Stephen Goins from Chicago Curie who is also getting looks from DePaul, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, Valparaiso, and West Virginia.

In the backcourt, the Gophers still have interest in 6-foot-5 shooter Scottie Haralson from Provine (Jackson, Miss.) who visited the weekend of October 6th. He is also considering UAB, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Penn State, and Mississippi. Others they like are 6-foot-3 point Verdell Jones from Central (Champaign, Ill.), 6-foot-4 Devoe Joseph from Pickering (Ajax, Ontario), Travis Leslie, a 6-foot-5 wing from Columbia (Decatur, Ga.), and 6-foot-3 Kendall Durant who is prepping at New Hampton (N.H.) School.

Coleman mentions that the Gophers have the ability to end up with the conferences top recruiting class, and getting two of these guys listed above would help do that.

In the front court, Sampson would be a great grab, with Crittle or Goins being a good consolation prize as both are three stars.

Backcourt, I'm still hoping for Joseph, although Haralson is intriguing too. Anytime a player is described as "a shooter" it gets me very excited. Leslie is more highly regarded than Haralson, but he's also a very different player - more in the slasher mold than a pure shooter. The best player for this team may actually be Verdell Jones, a true point guard, which may be the biggest need on this team if Al Nolen doesn't work out, a 50/50 proposition. I haven't heard of Durant, but he's a three star at Scout. I'd rather have Kevin Durant.

Offers are currently out to Sampson, Crittle, Joseph, Jones. Get two of these players, or Haralson, Leslie or Goins, and the Gopher have a shot at top class in the Big Ten for 2008, and the best Minnesota class since Clem.

Week 6 NFL Picks

1. I was at the gym yesterday, and on a treadmill. It was a row of 8 treadmills, and all of them were unoccupied. I was on #7, because the TV with ESPN on it had an obstructed view from #8. Then here comes middle-aged balding guy, and he gets on #8. When #s 1-6 are all wide open. What makes people do things like this? This is the same kind of guy who takes the middle urinal. Or the person who stands waaaaay to close to you in a line, or anywhere really. Is it just a complete and total lack of regard for other people, or just completely missing a sense of personal space? Either way, freakin' knock it off people. It's really irritating.

And then a guy in front of me starts running, but he doesn't move his arms at all. AT ALL. It is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen. For real.

2. If you haven't been following the comments section at the bottom of this post, it's interesting to say the least. Sioux fans vs. Gopher fans, and they aren't very polite about it. No kids allowed.

3. Somehow, Northwestern is only a 6.5 point favorite at home against the Gophers. I suggest you jump on that.

4. On to the NFL picks, but I should mention, just to remind everyone how awesome I am, my baseball playoff picks were 3-1, even though I picked all underdogs. Last week, for NFL, was a solidly mediocre 7-5-2.

Bengals -3 @ Chiefs: I just can't bring myself to believe in the Chiefs, no matter who is QB Huard or Croyle. Or maybe it's more that I can't believe the Bengals are really that bad. Their losses are @ Cleveland (better than we thought), @ Seattle (I think overrated, but still a contender), and vs. New England. So that's three losses, but not a bad loss in the group. This would have to be where Carson and company turn it around and get back to winning, or they're done.

Houston +6.5 @ Jacksonville: Two pretty evenly matched teams. Why would home team have to give 6.5? I don't get it. Both teams have beaten who they should, and the only questionable loss is Houston @ Atlanta. Now, the Jags could win by 7, sure. But so could Houston.

Browns -4.5 vs. Miami: Miami could be the only team in history with a 0-16 season to go along with the undefeated team of 76 or whenever. With Trent Green out, they have to turn to Cleo Lemon, who, sadly, would be the best QB on the Vikings. That doesn't mean he's any good though. And I'm still a believer in the Browns, or at least that they're a lot better at Miami when they're at home.

Bears -5 vs. Vikings: It sounds like Tarvaris is starting again. Against the Bears defense. Holcomb didn't exactly set the world on fire and spark the team or anything, but putting Jackson in against the Bears has disaster written all over it. The final here will be about 21-7, with the Bears getting two defensive TDs and one punt return TD, and the Vikings with one score on defense.

Eagles -3.5 @ NY Jets: This one was tough. On the one hand, the Eagles have looked awful except for the Lions game. On the other, the Jets have looked awful, except they are at home, where they have their only win over the horrid Dolphins. The difference will end up being the complete and total lack of a pass rush by the Jets (they have only 3 sacks in 5 games), giving McNabb all the time he needs to pick them apart just like he did the Lions.

Rams +9.5 @ Ravens: I'm guessing I've probably picked for the Rams and against the Ravens every single week. It's worked out well on the Ravens, and not so well on the Rams. I think the Ravens defense will have a very nice day against the Rams, but I don't think they'll be a whole lot of points scored in this game, so it should stay fairly tight.

Tampa -3 vs. Tennessee: Two teams that have surprisingly put themselves towards the top of the league this season. Neither team with a signature win, or anything to distinguish one over the other. In this kind of case, I'll take the home team.

Redskins +3 @ Packers: This would be where it all starts to fall apart for the Packers. They really just aren't that good. Not a bad team at all, but not elite, and after the meltdown against the Bears, they won't be the same team the rest of the year. Whereas the Skins are getting things done, somehow.

Cardinals -4.5 vs. Panthers: So the Panthers are either starting a banged up David Carr, or a 74 year old Vinny Testeverde. And the Cardinals only have to outscore them by five for me to win money. Easiest pick of the week. Which makes me nervous.

Patriots -5.5 @ Cowboys: Sorry Cowboys, you aren't anywhere near the Patriots class. I actually wish the Cowboys would have played better against the Bills, so this line would be a little smaller. Patriots have the firepower to put up points on anybody, and the defense to stop anybody. As much as I hate it, Bill Simmons is right, this team has a shot at 16-0, and it's not going to come close to stopping here.

Chargers -9.5 vs. Raiders: Yep, they're back. After getting it together last week and destroying the Broncos, I fully expect the Chargers to start ripping off wins left and right. Against teams like the Raiders, look for the same results as that Broncos game.

Saints +6.5 @ Seahawks: I still think the Saints are a good team waiting to figure it out, even with the worst feature back in the league. And I still think the Seahawks are a mirage, shown by the complete lack of competitiveness against the Steelers last week.

Falcons +3.5 vs. Giants: Monday night home underdog. I don't have any stats, because then I'd have to look them up, but it feels like these kind of guys cover most of the time. Plus, any Monday game is a Big Game, and I wouldn't trust Eli Manning in a Big Game. I guess it's Harrington on the other side, but at least he's at home.

LAST WEEK: 7-5-2