Saturday, May 11
Monday, April 8
Welcome! Over the course of the next several hours, I will be chronicling the events leading up to and during the NCAA National Championship game between the Louisville Cardinals and that school up north - ALL LIVE FROM MY BEDROOM! Topics covered will range from analysis of the game and the tournament in general to the Cleveland Indians' home opener with the Yankees that's set to get started shortly to just any random thoughts that cross my mind, obviously with plenty of michigan bashing along the way. I have several guests lined up to stop by and plenty of Natural Light in the fridge, so let's get this thing started, I'm psyched!
Approx. 5.5 hours before tip-off
Let's keep things light and start this baby off with a joke. I know what your're thinking, but it's alright, I have plenty of material and won't run out.
A guy in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, "Wanna hear a
michigan joke?" The guy next to him replies, "Well before you tell that
joke, you should know something. I'm 6' tall, 200 lbs., and I am a michigan
alumnus. The guy sitting next to me is 6'2 tall, weighs 225, and he's a
michigan alumnus. The fella next to him is 6'5, weighs 250, and he's a
michigan alumnus. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?" The first guy says,
"Nah, not if I'm gonna have to explain it 3 times." BOOM, ROASTED!
Approx. 5 hours before tip
The Tribe are underway from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario and the first Natural has been cracked. Let's light this candle!
Approx. 4.5 hours before tip
Lot of fireworks early on in Cleveland. Travis Hafner, certainly no stranger to homers in Progressive Field, hit a three-run bomb in the first to give the Yanks an early lead, but the Tribe came right back with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning to tie it.
Approx. 4 hours before tip
Mark Reynolds swings comically hard at the ball every time. I'm shocked he doesn't knock himself over more often. Dude definitely has some pop though. I could see him being our 2013 version of Russell Branyan. Although shouting "MARKY!" doesn't quite have the same ring as RUSTY! did. RUSTY!
It's been far too long since I've ripped on michigan. I rather enjoy this one...
If a couple from ann arbor get a divorce, are they still brother and sister?
Approx 3 hours before tip
Yankees just pounding on the Indians, spoiling the first game of the season in Progressive. Oh well, at least there's 80 more.
Let's actually talk some basketball here. Whomever wins this game tonight will have definitely earned the title, as both the Cardinals and wolverines have looked by far the two best teams in this tournament, each winning their first five games by a double-digit average. Louisville's path has looked a little easier, as they have made it through 16. North Carolina A&T, 8. Colorado St, 12. Oregon, 2. Duke, and 9. Wichita St. Outside of Duke, none of those names really jump out at you, but the sheer ease at which they have been winning these games is awfully impressive. Their second half against Duke was possibly the best 20 minutes of basketball all tournament long.
michigan's route to Atlanta went through 13. South Dakota St, 5. VCU, 1. Kansas, 3. Florida, and 4. Syracuse in the Final Four. That's a tough run. Not only are those some of the best defensive teams in the nation, they all play a very different style of defense - from VCU's 'havoc' to Florida's physicality to Jeff Withey to the 'Cuse zone. Yet regardless of what type of team or defense they were facing, michigan's shooting has just been lights out each game.
I'll talk about how the two teams match up against each other and give a final prediction a bit later on. But first, since I feel dirty after actually giving scum some compliments, here's this...
How do you keep your family safe from a wolverine?
Move to Pasadena.
Approx. 1.5 hours before tip
ann arbor is STILL a whore
And Chris Webber is still a bitch. I mean I guess I wouldn't want to have anything to do with that damn school after I left either, but seriously dude, get over yourself. You're not the only person to ever have a big gaffe in an important situation. Although, his was surely the most comical.
Approx. 1 hour before tip
My roundtable is now joined (via video chat) by Kyle Poor, Tyler Youngs, and Rick Denne. Hilarity will surely ensue.
Rick's thoughts on the game - "michigan sucks." Couldn't agree more my friend.
Less than 30 minutes before tip
Finally almost tip time. All the talk in this game is pretty much on the guard play, and for good reason. Peyton Siva and Russ Smith run the show for Louisville, while michigan's trey burke was named the National Player of the Year. But I think the Gorgui Dieng/mitch mcgary matchup could decide things. mcgary has been a beast lately, and Dieng will have to stay out of foul trouble in order to attempt to contain him. michigan just absolutely dominated Syracuse on the offensive glass on Saturday, so Louisville has to do a much better job than the Orange did in that aspect. Cardinal Luke Hancock could also play a key role off the bench, as L'Ville was +20 with him on the floor and -16 without him against Wichita. Louisville will need to force turnovers like they always do, and hopefully bitchigan will finally miss a shot.
Prediction: Louisville 77 michigan 70
Approx. 5 minutes before tip
I'm setting the over/under on how many times they show Kevin Ware at 17.5. I will take the over.
Breaking News: John Beilein is only going to dress 7 players for this game. The rest will have to dress themselves.
Kevin Ware count - 1.
18:08 1st, 5-3 michigan
Siva, Smith, and burke all immediately get to the rim within the first 30 seconds of the game. burke finishes, Siva and Smith miss. Dieng definitely just got away with a goaltending though.
15:34 1st, 7-7
What an insanely fast-paced first few minutes. Clark Kellogg has no idea how to keep up, he's just yelling random things.
11:41 1st, 20-15 michigan
spike albrecht comes in and buries three three's. He's now 8/8 from trey-land in the tournament. Damn, they just really can't miss.
11:09 1st, 20-15 michigan
Kevin Ware count - 2. burke with two fouls. Oh boy.
7:45 1st, 26-19 michigan
scum goes on a 6-0 once trey hits the bench. I don't understand why they can't miss a shot.
3:51 1st, 33-21 michigan
albrecht is out of control. His career high was seven fucking points going into this game, and he now has 17. This one is quickly getting out of control. Louisville has not played this sloppily all season. burke still on the bench, but scum rolling.
Dave is finally here!! Maybe his presence will switch things up.
1:37 1st, 36-32 michigan
Nice run by the Cards. Hancock doing his best spike impression.
Halftime, 38-37 michigan
Louisville ends the half on a 14-3 run. Luke Hancock shooting 4/4 from beyond the arc, then the Peyton steal and huge alley-oop was outrageous. We may have an instant classic here.
As beer #12 dwindles down, the video chat conversation takes a turn for the worse. It's better than listening to Charles Barkley though, I guess.
18:50 2nd, 40-40
Russ Smith's possible injury is taking away from Ware shots. They showed Smith on the bench five times this half already.
11:42 2nd, 54-52 Louisville
The Cardinals finally take the lead, thanks to some really active play underneath by Chane Behanan. Russ Smith back in the game.
9:11 2nd, 60-58 Louisville
Great play by Hancock to draw mcgary's 4th foul and get three shots from the stripe. Those back-to-back Siva and hardaway drives were pretty wild. And I can't express how much I hate that damn half-on beanie that Tim Hardaway Sr. wears every game. It's gotta be 80+ degrees in there for crying out loud!
4:34 2nd, 71-65 Louisville
Peyton Siva just going H.A.M. right now on both ends of the court. burke did have a clean block there, though. Bad call.
1:11 2nd, 78-74 Louisville
L'Ville busted out their largest lead of the game at 10, but some bad mistakes by Russ Smith keeping bitchigan in it. burke and Smith both with four fouls.
00:14 2nd, 80-76 Louisville
Beilein really drops the ball by not taking burke out when you know you need to foul. They wasted at least 12-15 seconds by burke not wanting to foul out, when there was just no reason for him to be in.
FINAL, 82-76 Louisville
SUCK IT, DICK BAGS!!!!!!
Peyton Siva just straight cold-blooded down the stretch. I think it's interesting that Siva was the star of this team the past two years, then Russ Smith completely took over this season (18.9 ppg compared to Siva's 9.8), as Siva often disappeared in big games (0-9 vs. Syracuse, 2 points in the 5OT loss to Notre Dame, 4 points in the Sweet 16 win over Oregon). Tonight, Smith might have well just not been out there, while Siva controlled this whole second half on both ends of the floor.
Got to mention Luke Hancock, scoring 22 points on 5-5 three-point shooting, including a single-handed 14-point run to close the deficit at the half, to receive Most Outstanding Player honors. I told you he'd have a big impact on the outcome. Chane Behanan also playing a huge role, grabbing 12 boards while scoring 15 points.
Although I stopped keeping track, I definitely lost that Kevin Ware bet. They had to have showed him over 25 times against Wichita.
I don't think there's such a thing as too far when it comes to michigan jokes, but I figured I'd still wait 'till there was a lot of beers in me and they actually lost before I dropped this one...
michigan babies are soo ugly, their incubators are tinted.
I think 'One Shining Moment' nailed it more than ever. I really wanted to see a ton of FGCU's dunks and AC's game-winnner. Color me impressed there.
I don't give a single damn about that whole state.
Labels: michigan hating
Wednesday, April 3
Ohio St's successful season came to a crashing end in Los Angeles last Saturday at the hands of Malcolm Armstead and the Wichita St Shockers. The Buckeyes could not have possibly played any worse, and with all do respect to Greg Marshall and his talented and scrappy ball club, lost to an inferior team that we would typically beat 9 out of 10 times. The downfall in this game for the Bucks was their shooting, something that has been a strength for them this March (50% from beyond the arc in the tournament coming into this one). Here are some abysmal shooting stats that really sum up Ohio St's 70-66 Elite 8 loss...
- team shot 24% in the first half
- Thomas started 3/12
- team started 0/7
- Craft finished 2/12
- team finished 5/25 from 3's
Even after the Buckeyes went on a 23-6 run late in the game to make this one look close, they still only finished at 31% from the field. That run was sparked by some big time plays by LaQuinton Ross, who still only managed to shoot 4-12, and even though Tank finished with his usual 23 points, he was 0-6 from three-point land.
What made this game even more frustrating than the awful shooting, was the fact that OSU did have that late run in them, but it was still too little too late. It made it so it was like we lost twice. I'm watching this game in a hotel room in Las Vegas, and when the Buckeyes go down 20 with about 12 minutes to play, I pretty much gave up. I couldn't watch anymore, started getting ready to go out, and even after a short period of time was almost starting to get past the fact that our season was over (after all, I was in the happiest place on Earth). Then I see that Ohio St has cut it to 62-59 with 2:49 left, and immediately I am back into it, thinking the Bucks still have a chance. When Tekele Cotton hit a three-pointer to re-seal it, I was devastated all over again. It was a tough game to swallow.
I'd been saying all year that I didn't think this Ohio St team was that great, and they certainly weren't as good as they were the previous three years. But they got hot at the right time, winning 11 straight games, and with the way NCAA hoops is set up, especially in a field as open as this years, sometimes that's all you need - to just be a good team on a hot streak (See: Kemba in 2011). At the same time, with the way NCAA hoops is set up, especially in a field as open as this years, one team can have one bad game and lose to a team they typically shouldn't lose to. So what the Buckeyes had going for them was ultimately their demise.
However, it was a very fun tournament for the Buckeyes up to this point, with unbelievable, clutch, game-winning three-pointers from Aaron Craft against Iowa St and Ross against Arizona. And even though our season is over, us Buckeye fans still have a very strong rooting interest in this Final Four, as that school from up north still remains in the field. I think Louisville has unquestionably looked like the best team so far this tournament, but Syracuse and michigan are not far behind. L'ville will face the Shockers in the early game on Saturday, followed by the 'Cuse/bitchigan showdown. I really could care less which of those other three teams wins this thing, just as long as it's not those boners.
So to sum up the Buckeyes' 2012-13 campaign, it was an up-and-down season that ended a week too early, but gave us some great moments along the way. We'll say goodbye to Evan Ravenel, who I probably liked way more than I should have in his three-year Buckeye career, and most likely DeShaun Thomas, who has a big pay day waiting for him in the Association. Assuming Tank does leave Columbus early, it will be Aaron Craft's team next year, with Q probably having to step up as the main scorer. Should Thomas shock the NCAA basketball world and return, the Bucks could be an early favorite to be cutting down the nets next season. Until then, 139 days until kickoff...
Thursday, March 21
The last time I was talking Buckeye basketball on this blog, I was rather pessimistic (although in my defense, we weren't playing at a very high level). Since that time, Ohio St has rattled off eight straight wins, including one over then #2 ranked Indiana in Assembly Hall, a game in which I called at the time "the most impressive win in the Thad Matta era," and three victories in three days to claim the Big Ten Tournament Championship. I realize that Gonzaga hasn't lost since January and Louisville's performance at Madison Square Garden last week was phenomenal, but no one can boast the type of resume that the Bucks can put out there over the past month.
Things could not have looked much worse for Ohio St on February 19 when they were slaughtered in Madison. Staring down missing a bye in the B1G tourney and a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA bracket, it would have been very easy to play defeated for the rest of the season. Matta's squad did the exact opposite, embracing a rare underdog role and bringing home W's in each of their last five regular season games, all pretty handily too (an eight-point margin over Michigan St being the closest contest). The Bucks were rewarded with a 2 seed and first-round bye in the conference tournament, followed by a matchup with Nebraska in the Quarters, so basically two byes. After a 21-point pasting of the Huskers, OSU took the rubber match from the Spartans in the Semi Finals in a back-and-forth, hard fought game by two very quality teams. Poetic justice was in full-effect in the other Semi game, as Wisconsin upset Indiana to set up a Finals rematch between the Badgers and Buckeyes. Yes, the same Badger team that handed the Buckeyes the aforementioned 22-point beat down just four weeks Pryor. With revenge on their minds, Ohio St outlasted Wisconsin in a typical UW/OSU slugfest, 50-43 to claim the B1G crown.
For their efforts during this impressive run, Ohio St received a #2 seed in the West Region. A team from Ohio would typically be a little salty having to go out West, but really the Buckeyes could not have landed a better bracket. They will still play their first two games in Dayton, OH before they would have to hit the coast. Should they make it to the Sweet 16, that and the Elite 8 game will be played in Los Angeles.
OSU will open with the #15 Iona Gaels out of the MAAC conference Friday night at 7:15. Assuming last year's back-to-back 15 over 2 stunners was an aberration, the Buckeyes should be moving on to face the Notre Dame/Iowa St winner on Sunday. Both teams finished with identical 11-7 conference records, with ND finishing 6th in the loaded Big East and ISU 4th in the Big 12. The Cyclones are led by senior Forward Will Clyburn, while the Irish boast the impressive duo of Jerian Grant and Jack Cooley. Neither team would be an easy out, but certainly the higher-seeded Buckeyes would come in as relatively heavy favorites.
Looking ahead to possible future matchups in LA, we see why Ohio St is the trendy pick to come out of the West. The top seeds in the region are as follows - 1. Gonzaga, 3. New Mexico, 4 Kansas St, 5. Wisconsin, 6. Arizona. Are those teams really scaring anyone? I give the 'Zags a ton of credit - they've had a fabulous season and earned every right to be represented with a top seed. But let's be honest. You have one game to get to the Final Four, who do you want to play - Gonzaga, Louisville, Kansas, or Indiana? No disrespect intended for the Bulldogs, but my answer to that question isn't even close. New Mexico is a team like Gonzaga, in that they are both from a Mid-Major with an impressive record (29-5 for the Lobos). Honestly I've never seen them play this year so for all I know they could be the best team in the nation, but again, I'm not exactly shaking in my boots at the prospect of facing them.
Kansas St is another team that I don't know a whole lot about, but seems to resemble the Buckeyes of a month ago. They take care of business against weaker opponents (no losses against unranked teams), but just can't seem to get over the hump and topple a giant, with the sole exception of a close win at home over Florida (losses to michigan and Gonzaga in non-conference, 0-1 vs. Iowa St, a split with Oklahoma St, and most notable 0-3 vs. Kansas). The Wildcats will have to find a way to stop La Salle's fiery 3-point shooting just to make it out of Round 1. Wisconsin is probably the scariest team of this bunch other than maybe the 'Zags, especially since we've seen what they can do at their best this year. But the fact that we beat them twice should give the Bucks all the confidence they need. The Badgers also face a very tough First Round test against SEC Tourney Champs Ole Miss, who got hosed with a 12 seed. Arizona has been in an absolute free-fall since being ranked in the top 10 earlier in the season, and my most confident First Round upset (along with Bucknell over Butler) is for Belmont to knock off the 'Cats.
So really when you brake down this West Region, the only thing standing in Ohio St's way to Atlanta is themselves. If they are playing like they have been of late, there is no reason they should not be cutting down the nets on their way to the Dirrty South. Enjoy the Madness everyone, and as always...
Saturday, March 16
Monday, March 11
Yes, this is a Cleveland sports blog. And no, this post has zero relevance to anything like that. (There will be a Buckeyes piece post-Big Ten tourney, pre-NCAA tourney next week.) But this has been on my mind for years, and FCF seems like the best forum to do it. The greatest Jay Z songs of all-time - bracket style. If you are a Grantland follower, you may have seen this before, because they unknowingly stole this idea from me awhile ago, but my bracket is way better than theirs anyway. (Seriously, I thought this up way before they did.)
The plan is simple - find the greatest Jay Z song of all-time. The process is harder. Since it is March, instead of just making a list of my favorite songs, I put it in bracket form. The process involved tossing the 64 biggest HOV songs ever into a bracket. How I determined the seedings had nothing to do with my opinions, they were based on how popular the songs were. (I took into account Billboard's rankings, most grossing money, and just how often you hear them/people talking about them in general.) Once the bracket was set, then I just picked my personal favorites throughout, so I'm sure the readers of this will disagree vehemently. That is what makes lists like this fun - everyone has their own opinion.
I would like to point out that I honestly didn't know what I was going to have win it before I put this together and started moving things along. I kind of just went on my gut and went game-by-game. Also it is important to clarify that Jay had to be the featured artist on the song, meaning it had to come from one of his albums, not someone else's that he was in. So songs like "Get By," "Monster" and "Swagga Like Us" were not considered. But collaborations like anything on "Watch the Throne" count.
Enjoy and embrace the debate.
I jumped all over the 12's over 5's stereotype. I didn't do it on purpose, but it just so happened to work out that I chose all four 12 seeds. Lenny Kravitz absolutely kills it on the guitar in 'Guns and Roses'. Other than those twelves I went pretty chalk. The Blueprint III did really well, with 'So Ambitious' and 'Young Forever' being the biggest upsets of the round (13 over 4). My toughest call in this round was taking 'H-A-M' over 'Off That.'
Dropping Lenny and 'Guns and Roses' for 'PSA' was the toughest choice for me in this round. Blueprint III 13 seeds 'So Ambitious' and 'Young Forever' continue their Cinderella run with another win. "And when I reach the ledge I'll tell 'em all to eat a dick. Take a leap of faith and let my eagle wings spread." gets me every time. 6 seeded 'Girl's Best Friend' topped 'Dead Presidents II.' I'll never say anything negative about a Jigga song, but I feel like 'Dead Presidents' is pretty overrated if such a thing was possible. 'Niggas in Paris' overcame 'No Church in the Wild' in a battle of the Throne songs. The first high seed, #2 'Run This Town,' got bounced by 'OTIS.' I think 'OTIS' has two minutes of the hardest rapping ever created. There's a minute intro and minute outro to the the song and no hook. Kanye and Jigga just go back and forth and kill it.
It's getting down to the nitty-gritty at the Sweet 16, and two matchups in particular had me struggling. 'Public Service Announcement' and 'Dirt Off Your Shoulder' got dropped in favor of 'Hard Knock Life' and 'Big Pimpin',' respectively. Two very difficult decisions. I love me some Alicia Keys but 'Young Forever' continues it's VCU-like run into the Elite 8 by knocking out 1 seeded 'Empire.'
Three of these four were easy for me to put into the Final 4. '99 Problems' and 'Big Pimpin'' was the most difficult decision throughout the entire tournament. 'Pimpin' has the best line of the two with "Me give my heart to a woman? Not for nothin, never happen. I'll be forever mackin." But overall I have to give it to 'Problems.'
And it's 'Can I Get A...' as the winner. It was a tough call but the way I decided was to think about if I could only listen to one Hov song for the rest of my life what would it be, and I came up with this. I almost went against it considering Jay is only in a third of the song, but the one verse he does drop is the best 90 seconds of rap ever created. "Baby girl if this is so, yo - can I get a fuck you."
Thursday, February 28
In the past month or so we've learned some about this Ohio St hoops squad, but I would argue that it was little that we didn't already know. As I've been saying all year, this team is 'good-but-not-great.' They have compiled a 20-7 (10-5 B1G) record to date and are currently ranked 16th, accomplishment that no team could reach without plenty of talent. But the fact is that the majority of those 20 wins have come against inferior opponents. Our Buckeyes definitely know how to beat the teams they should beat, but typically falter in more difficult environments.
Breaking it down win-by-win, of their 20 victories, fifteen have come against teams that will be watching from home during the NCAA Tournament. (Unless one of the non-conference scrubs they beat happens to win their Conference Tournament. I can't say I'm too up to date with my Big South or MAAC rankings.) Two of the remaining five came at home against Big Ten bubble teams Iowa and Minnesota, leaving only three real quality victories - michigan, Wisconsin, and Michigan St, which also all occurred in Value City. I already discussed the W over that school up north in my last piece and I'll get to the recent Michigan St win shortly, but from just a resume standpoint there's not a whole lot that jumps out at you from that schedule of wins and loses.
Where the concern comes for the Buckeyes is when they play those top-notch teams and how they have fared. Just as was the case in the non-conference loses to Duke and Kansas, the road defeats that Ohio St suffered to michigan and Michigan St were almost encouraging from the point that they played real tough on the road against two really talented teams. (Well, one talented team and one group of giant dick bags.) But we are basically in March now and well beyond moral victories.
Furthermore, the two losses at home against Indiana and at Wisconsin are in my opinion where we found out the most about Ohio St and why there is plenty of reason for concern heading into the Madness. When the Hoosiers visited Columbus in early February, it was not pretty. Indiana was better than the Buckeyes in every aspect of the game, and proved it up and down the court for 40 minutes. Now, optimists may say, "Well, that was Indiana and they can do that to pretty much anybody. They're the best team in the nation." I'd agree 100% - and that is exactly my point. Ohio St is simply just not on that same level as Indiana. Or Duke, or Kansas, or Florida for that matter. This was further proven the following week when the Buckeyes traveled to Madison and got the beating of a lifetime at the hands of the Badgers.
Now, I've sounded super negative throughout this post so far, and that wasn't necessarily my intention. I just wanted to point out the conclusions that I've come to in the past several weeks of watching college basketball, and while these were realizations that I had sort of thought all along, I was hoping I was wrong. That all being said, it certainly isn't all bad for the Ohio St Buckeyes. There is something to be said for beating every team you're supposed to, and I feel like that has been happening on both the hardwood and the turf in Columbus for the past decade. Thad Matta just does not get upset. (In the sense of losing to inferior teams, certainly not the "pissed off" meaning of the word.) Of their seven loses, only one has come in VC (vs. #1 Indiana), and one against a team outside of the top 20 (a still tournament-bound Illinois squad).
There was also the very impressive and entertaining win that Ohio St had last Sunday against the then-ranked #4 Spartans. Aside from the always rewarding win over michigan, this was my favorite game of the year thus far. (Side note: Speaking of my favorite games involving Michigan St - remember this shot from Willy Buckets last year?) It showed me some hope, because the biggest knock myself and pretty much the entire media has given to this Buckeye team all season has been that no one can score other than Deshaun Thomas, and how we're helpless when Tank isn't at his absolute best.
While he did hit two huge threes in the second half, Thomas struggled mightily in this game, scoring only two points by halftime and finishing on 4/16 shooting. Aaron Craft was the star in this win, scoring a career-high 21 and showing an incredible knack for getting to the basket at ease, something we rarely see from AC. But in my mind the unsung hero of this game was Evan Ravenel. Rav's 10 and 5 stat line certainly won't blow anyone's mind, but watching that game I saw a different Evan than I've seen the past two seasons. He gave 18 quality minutes of nonstop 100% effort, played outstanding defense, got two enormous rebounds and one crucial block down the stretch, and most important - shot 6/7 from the line. Now while his season average of 66% from the stripe is far from pitiful and certainly a long way from the days of Dallas Lauderdale's 40-something, I'm always nervous when the big man hits the line and just hope for 1 of 2. But last weekend the man looked like J.J. Redick out there. (Too far?)
Rav's contribution could be a big factor down the stretch, as fellow big man Amir Williams has been alright but still hasn't shown the progress Matta had hoped throughout the season. The Buckeyes will visit Evanston in a few minutes to take on Northwestern, before closing the season in Indiana next Tuesday (yikes) and welcoming Illinois March 10 looking for revenge on Ravenel's Senior Night. These next three weeks with the trip to Assembly Hall along with the Big Ten tournament should give us a good idea of what we can expect come Tournament time. Are we just a solid team that beats lesser opponents? Or can Tank rally the troops and carry this team to Atlanta? Stay tuned.
Sunday, February 3
This was, at one point, part of my Super Bowl pick, but got so out-of hand that I had to post these comments separately. Let's get back to the recently-denied art modell for a moment.
I'm really starting to hate the way the ratbirds and their fans advocate relentlessly for that douche making the HoF. Can't they divorce themselves from the situation at all? I know, you're happy to have a team and he's the thief who brought it to you - I get that. Football is fun and you guys win a lot. But can't Ravens fans separate themselves from their personal situation at all, look at it objectively, and acknowledge that stealing a franchise from a fanbase like that is just wrong? How come Ravens fans are never clamoring for Robert Irsay's induction? That's what I thought. Nick sent me an article by the delightfully-named Peter Schmuckwhere Schmuck argues in favor of modell's induction, opening with:
There is little question that Art Modell would be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by now if he had not uprooted the financially strapped Cleveland Browns and moved the franchise to Baltimore almost two decades ago.
Even if you agree with this, and I don't, what has this bit of rhetoric accomplished? The only way this opening line makes sense is if you follow it with, "But he did, so he doesn't. The end." This is like a Defense Attorney at a robbery trial saying, "If my client hadn't stolen these goods, he wouldn't even be in this courtroom today." Ridiculous. A far better take on modell, one with actual facts and such, is Larry Durstin's excellent Daily Beast take on the situation. Durstin crushes Schmuck's weak arguments, pointing out that, in addition to stealing the Browns and really doing nothing Hall-worthy, modell also fired Paul Brown in the most disrespectful fashion he could arrange, ran Jim Brown out of town, and spearheaded the NFL's initial, moronic, blackout rule.
Bye, Art. You suck.
Hey, as long as I'm eviscerating Ravens "icons," how about that Ray Lewis? What a classy guy! Sure, he participated in a double homicide and ratted out his friends to escape blame, but now he loves Jesus and inspires people and does those dumb dances! We're not supposed to talk about his six kids with four different women, of course, nor the murders, because he's a changed man, you see. He's also a cheater, as the recent PED scandal (what a shock that he denies it!) illustrates. Was anyone surprised by this? That a man with no discernible ethics who returned - at age 37 - in half the normal time from a very serious injury had a little chemical help? (Deer antlers!) I'm not. And just like modell, I want to see Lewis denied this final honor as Colin Kaepernick (a November 3 birthday!) and company destroy them on Super Bowl Sunday. I'm not even struggling internally with backing a michigan grad coach - that's how much I want Baltimore to go down in flames. (Plus, michigan got theirs at the hands of the Hoosiers last night. Did you see those "WE ON" shirts they wore? Somehow, improbably, michigan keeps finding new ways to out-lame themselves.)
Friday, February 1
Fucking ravens. That's really all I have to add here. Go 49ers!
Figgs' $ picks: 0-2
Playoffs to Date
Figgs' $ picks: 3-5
Super Bowl XLVII
Sunday, 6:30 pm
49ERS (-4.5) vs Ravens
Figgs: Niners. Andy couldn't have put it better - fucking ravens. I think SanFran is definitely a better team, K-Cap will have to have a poor game for them to lose. I just really hope we get a Hov appearance during Beyonce's performance at halftime.
Joe: 49ers; Well, I was way off on both of these teams for most of this season. I came around on the Niners sooner than I did the Ravens, but eventually I was able to see they were both legit. I am hoping like crazy that the Niners pull this one off, (of course because they are playing the Ravens, but more so because it would tie them with those black and yellow assholes for the most SB wins ever.) I think I am kind of talking myself into this more because I want it to happen than because I truly believe it. Baltimore looks great, not thanks to the defense, but thanks to Joe Flacco, and one of the Top 2 WR duos in football. I think they do more well than San Fran does offensively, but Colin Kapernick is the ultimate X factor and the Ravens have not seen anything like him yet. San Fran should have a distinct advantage defensively though. Willis is like Ray Lewis was in his prime, and Aldon Smith is an absolute freak. I think the key is for San Fran to shut down Rice and make the Ravens one dimensional, and hope Flacco makes a mistake or two. They have the defense to make that happen. The Ravens match up very well with the Pats and always have, but this is a different animal. I'm gonna bank on Kapernick looking like Superman for just one more week.
AFF My logic in selecting games involving the Ravens so far, namely, "fuck the Ravens," has not served me well so far, as it has resulted in three losses on my ledger while this despicable, illegitimate franchise has again reached the Super Bowl. But I still have no hesitation in taking the 49ers in this one. No only do I think they're a better football team and that Joe Flacco secretly still isn't very good, but this weekend is trending terrifically for me. So far we've got two Penguins victories, Ohio State notching a win, the Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving posting a thrilling victory over OKC, Ohio State legend Cris Carter finally getting the call from the Hall...and most applicable to this situation, art modell once again NOT getting said call. Let's keep the good times rolling with an ignominious end to the Ray Lewis era and the steelers no longer having exclusive claim to the most Super Bowl wins.
Labels: 2012 NFL Picks
Saturday, January 19
The Divisional Round brought us much more excitement than the opening weekend from a game enjoyment perspective, but us here at FCF continued to struggle. I could not have been more wrong about Green Bay, as C-Kap went H.A.M. on the Pack giving us all a loss, as did Baltimore's shocking comeback on the Broncos. I picked up one game on the rest of the crew with Seattle after Atlanta's epic last-second win left them a half point shy of the spread. On to the Conference Championships!
Figgs' $ picks: 1-2
Playoffs to Date
Figgs' $ picks: 3-3
NFC Championship, 3:00
FALCONS (+4) vs 49ers
Figgs: Niners. I will be rooting for the Dirty Birds wholeheartedly here, hoping that maybe my picking against my boys will once again motivate them to victory. But from a logical standpoint, SanFran just seems like the better choice here after watching what Kaepernick did last week. I wasn't totally sold on him before the GB game, but what he did was unprecedented. I'm still not 100% confident that he can do it again, but I think the odds are in his favor. Obviously for the ATL to pull the upset at home they will have to at least somewhat contain him. And Matt Ryan will have to take much better care of the ball then he did against Seattle. ($)
Joe: ATL; I am making this pick because I am trying my best not to let the previous game influence my decision too much. In said previous game, Colin Kapernick looked like the greatest athlete in the history of sports. But, it was just one game. He looked nearly as good in his first start this year vs. the Bears, and followed it up with a loss to the Rams where he was awful, a week or two later. Atlanta is still getting absolutely no respect for a team that is 14-3, since they are more than a FG dog at home here. They do a lot of things very good, and as good a Kapernick has been, there is only one QB in this game that is nicknamed "ICE".
AFFWait, have we figured out why Figgs likes the Falcons? It's possible we've discussed that during a game of cards at the Figgs household and my trips to B0 erased that memory, but I can't recall. I feel like it has something to do with Warrick Dunn, but I could be wrong on that. Maybe Deion Sanders? Chris Chandler?
I agree with a lot of what Joe says here, which is not unusual. Yeah, Kaepernick was like Bo Jax in Tecmo Bowl last week, but he's a rookie giving four points, playing in a road dome against a team that had the NFC's best record this season. ATL has been dismissed long enough that I think they'll continue to be motivated to prove the doubters wrong. After the Seattle scare, they'll be more dilligent about closing games, and after Kaepernick (a Nov 3 birthday!) crushed Green Bay's defense, Mike Smith and the Falcons will have a week to prepare a defense better than GB's "watch Kaepernick run wherever he wants to" scheme. Birds.
AFC Championship, 6:30
PATRIOTS (-9) vs Ravens
Figgs: Pats. Another big number for NE and against Baltimore. I really have no confidence in either outcome, so when in doubt you might as well go against the ratbirds. Even though Denver made an incomprehensible gaffe at the end of that game last week to let Baltimore tie it, they still would not have covered the spread had it not happened. I could see a similar situation this week, with the Ravens keeping it relatively close but never really being too concerned about New England losing. The difference is that I don't expect a Belichick team in the playoffs to make the mistakes that Denver did. They also won't sit on the ball with a chance to put the Ravens away either. When brady's foot is on your throat - you're getting choked out, period. ($)
Joe: Ravens; I just see two close games this weekend, so I'm taking the points again. Baltimore always plays the Pats tough. We all knoi how close they were last year in the championship game, and they beat the Pats this year in the regular season. I could see this going either way, so I am definately going to take the 9 points, which means it might not be as close as I think it will be, but I could still get my pick right. All that said, the Pats could do exactly what they did to the Texans, and I will not be the least bit shocked because they always have that capability.
AFF Goddamn fucking ravens, killing my postseason picks so far. I am so over the endless slobbering over the ratbirds' murdering douche linebacker, their fucking purple uniforms, and, it cannot be said enough, those horrible "Art" patches. I cannot, will not pick them.
Plus, have you seen the Patriots' offense?
Labels: 2012 NFL Picks