Friday, October 29, 2010

NFL Week 8 picks - Johnny Downtown

Refinance your mortgage.

Sell your kids toys
Cash in the kids savings bonds you know were never going to them anyways.

Because I am here today to win you big money with my inaugural football picks.  

I am on fire with my football picks. I'm like 25-1 with my last 26 picks. Seriously, ask my son.

Lock #1 - Seattle +2.5 over Oakland  - I am a Raider fan, they never win two in a row and coming off last week's legendary drubbing of Denver you know we are looking at let down city.

Lock #2 - New Orleans -1 over Pittsburgh - Line makes no sense, go against the grain every time

Lock #3 - Dallas -6.5 over Jacksonville - Dallas FINALLY runs the ball with Kitna at the helm and they win by at least 14.

Lock#4 (Best Bet) - Detroit -2.5 over Washington - The Redskins, like the Bears, are complete frauds and Detroit at home, with Stafford back will win. GUARANTEED.


The Danger Zone with Kenny Bloggins

Today I'll show you some wrestlers who have dominated mixed martial arts since the early days.  And then I'll tell you why.  First, consider the wrestlers who became stars in the UFC and/or Pride:  Cain Velasquez, Frankie "The Answer" Edgar, Dan "The Beast" Severn, Gray "The Bully" Maynard, Shane Carwin, Jon Fitch, Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, Randy "The Natural" Couture, Kevin "The Monster" Randleman, Matt Hughes, Mark "The Smashing Machine" Kerr, Quentin "Rampage" Jackson, Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg, Tito Ortiz, "Sugar" Rashad Evans, Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk, Josh Koscheck, Dan "Hendo" Henderson, Diego "Nightmare" Sanchez, Brock Lesnar, Urijah Faber etc.  Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell was known for Kempo Karate, but he came into MMA as a college wrestler and used that foundation to ensure his karate could be unleashed. 

That leads me to why wrestlers are so successful.  Although there are hundreds of great boxers, kick boxers, muay thai fighters, judo experts and Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners, wrestlers have outperformed them all for one reason:  only an elite wrestler can dictate where the fight is fought.  That is, nobody can take down an elite wrestler and nobody can stop an elite wrestler from taking him down.  I'm talking NCAA champion/Olympic caliber wrestlers here, not Emilio Estevez from The Breakfast Club.

So if a wrestler is fighting a renowned kickboxer who would have his way with a wrestler in a striking match, the wrestler simply takes him down to his back, where a kickboxer is like a turtle on his shell.  From there the wrestler controls and batters him, using the famous "ground and pound" technique pioneered by Ohio State national champion Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, who went on to win both Pride and the UFC. 

If, on the other hand, the same wrestler is fighting a jiu jitsu/submission expert, the last thing the wrestler wants to do is go to the mat, where he would likely be choked out with one of the lethal jiu jitsu strangulation techniques.  So the wrestler fights the jiu jitsu guy standing up, where jiu jitsu has very little application/effect.  The jiu jitsu guy would rather take it to the mat, but again, there's almost no chance of taking down an elite wrestler.  It's really that simple.  Wrestlers dictate where the fight is fought and always force opponents to fight in the opponent's greatest area of discomfort.

So back to Chuck Liddell because he most clearly illustrates the point.  He loved to stand and strike (kick/punch).  Fearing his striking, opponents tried to neutralize it by immediately taking him down.  Problem was that Chuck's D1 wrestling background made it almost impossible to take him down.  So they wound up standing with him, and, invariably, got knocked cold.  A notable exception to Chuck's impenetrable takedown defense came in one fight against Randy Couture.  Randy was not only an elite wrestler, but a world class wrestler, having been a national runner up at Oklahoma State and U.S. Olympic alternate.  Randy was able to dump Chuck on his back.  Once there, Chuck was pretty harmless and wound up getting rag-dolled.  That was just another case of the wrestler fighting the fight where he wanted it.  But in that case Randy was the wrestler. 

p.s.  in the rematches where Randy did not get Chuck to the mat, Randy got KO'd.

Giuseppe Blanco - This is getting old

What better way of starting the day then deciding to rip into my favorite sports player, none other then Mr. Derek Sanderson Jeter.

I was speaking to a Yankee fan yesterday and could not believe what I heard…This guy says he heard that they were thinking of moving “Mr. Fist-Pump - Top step dugout Cheerleader” Derek Cheater to 3B, DH Arod and pick up a SS in the off season. I stared at him for like a minute, like a fat guy stares at a treadmill. Can you friggin believe that! Remove a 2 time gold glove SS from playing the field to sit and DH. The guy made $33 Million in 2010 and now you wanna use him to DH? If that’s the case, man Edgar Martinez got ripped off making only $7 Mil as his top salary year. I’m sure Edgar would give you 25 hrs (in that park) and 100 rbi’s. Maybe Derek can make a better “Jump-Throw” from 3B. Who knows?

Speaking of Getting Old...Being in my early 40’s I feel like my age has really turned the corner. I was food shopping the other day (what else is there to shop for other then XXL T-Shirts with a iron on of something that kinda makes you feel young enough to be a “Jersey Shore” Cast member). I returned the shopping cart to the kid who rounds up all the carts in the parking lot and he goes “Thanks Sir”. Sir? Really? I look like a Sir? I was hit smack in the face with reality. I stopped for a second and felt like I should be sitting next to Tony Soprano’s mother in Green Grove Nursing home. I felt old and frumpy. But, I guess that’s life my friend, we keep going and do the things that make us feel young. Like Food Shopping, Acai Juice and Fantasy Sports Baby!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kenny Bloggins - Three points and a cloud of dust

1)Now that Junior Seau has literally gone over the edge, what exactly is left in U$C's famed trophy case in Heritage Hall? OJ's Heisman? I think that's still in evidence in Judge Ito's chambers.

Reggie Bush's Heisman? USC owes that to the grifter who bought Bush's parents a house.

Leinart's Heisman? I think he gave it to Derek Anderson, who since gave it to Max Hall. Another Heisman for a BYU QB.

Brian Cushing's trophies? They are locked in the laboratory that is bioengineering more rhinoceros plasma for him to inject.

The Trojans' fall from grace makes you forget that Tiger didn't go to school there.

2) I'm convinced that the San Fran relief pitchers are all wearing the same fake beard, and that it hangs on a coat hook in the Giant bullpen. Especially that beirdo Brian Wilson. Mick Fleetwood would be proud that Wilson has gone his own way.

3) Since early September, the Phillies fans and media have been planning the championship parade.

This was a done deal. How could they lose with H2O? After years of jealousy and frustration with the Yankee payroll, Philly had gone out and purchased their own set of heroes because "buying" a ring is so simple (just ask the Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox etc). So when Halladay threw the no-hitter in the NLDS, the grand celebration began in earnest. This was the Super Bowl Shuffle all over again minus the dance steps (and the ring).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AC Philthy - Why you should hate Notre Dame

Ladies and Gents, I give you AC Philthy.

AC is a huge Phillies and Eagles fan and a perfect example of how sports fans in New Jersey are split in half geographically - but that is a story for another day. My family still hasn't really accepted him with his Philly ties but we hide it well.

Philthy is also a rabid Rutgers fan so you have to feel for him.

He was successfully broken and is a New York Ranger fan.

And almost forgot, he does a killer Cornholio and if you know what that means I promise you will like this site. 

Here is his first entry:

I hate Notre Dame and you should too

Let me preface this entry by saying, if you like Notre Dame and didn’t either go to Notre Dame, grow up in the Midwest, have a prominent male member of your family don the Blue and Gold in a revenue producing sport, or are a card-carrying member of the Eyerman family of Northeast Pennsylvania; I automatically question everything about you.

There are two things keeping Notre Dame Football relevant – NBC and Rudy. Ironically, I love the movie Rudy.

The trick is to picture Rudy as an aspiring seaman playing for Navy. Also, Chelcie Ross looks like an Admiral (that’s Admiral Devine to you) and grew up in Fort Dix, NJ. Trust me, I have seen the movie a hundred times and have gotten to the point where I can mute out every ND reference and replace it with Annapolis, Midshipmen, Beat Army, Anchors Aweigh and the like.

It is also telling that there is not one good looking girl in the movie. I believe that all the women in South Bend look like Brady Quinn’s manish sister. Aside: Did AJ Hawk dump her yet? I got that whole thing when he was trying to stay in the news and get drafted in the first round even though he ran a 4.9 40 but c’mon.

Finally, no one likes a fat Jon Favreau. Aside part deux: Was it ever explained to us how D-Bob became a millionaire six months after graduating from ND? I still think they were setting us up for a sequel. He’s so little! Sorry, had to throw that in.

Coincidentally, Navy kicked the snot out of Notre Dame this past weekend.
The simple fact is, Navy is better than Notre Dame and have been for a couple of years. Notre Dame continues to get big-time recruits year after year; they are just under-coached and over-hyped. From 1995 – 2007 the Irish lost 9 straight bowl games. That may be the best kept secret in sports. Let’s be real, the Notre Dame fan contingent consists of millions and millions of sheep. I am not saying you can’t be a fan of a random team; it just shouldn’t be Notre Dame.

To address this problem, I have taken the liberty of matching common lifestyle attributes to the appropriate college team. Please use the following stream of consciousness to find your new found rooting interest (if necessary):
If you own a boat… you are now a Navy fan. If you are a licensed electrician… you are now a Virginia Tech Hokie. If you own a farm, work on a farm, or have ever milked a cow… you are a Texas A&M supporter. Like to hunt or have a unhealthy obsession with the game Risk?... Go Army! If you have ever shanked someone… the U is always accepting fan applications. On a related note, if you have ever participated in a flash mob or riot of any kind… welcome to the Idaho Vandals family. Do you have a credit card that earns airline miles?... rock the wishbone with Air Force. When all else fails… root for the APR Top 10, good special teams, and the best tailgating scenes.

Notre Dame Football is what my wife would call a “Monet” and Adam Dunn hilariously refers to as a “40-footer” – good from far but far from good. They think they are smarter than everyone else and claim athletic poverty due to their stringent admission standards yet Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen can’t figure out a two-deep zone. They have an unrivaled hype machine and enough financial backing to run a small country but I’d bet my Guinness Stew that even they are getting nervous about the lack of production on the field. Poor Ty Willingham!

In a different life, Rudy could have probably been Navy’s 2nd string fullback. That man, Alexander Teich, racked up 210 rushing yards on the Irish this past Saturday. Time will tell if Brian Kelly’s ever-so-slight hint of scumbagedness is just what the Irish needs to get back to the top of the mountain. Until then, however, overrated and brimming with naivety, Notre Dame Nation marches on… to the Hawaii Bowl.

Biggie Slow - American sports fans are communists

It is with only a bit of pleasure that I introduce Biggie Slow.  

To call him big and slow is an insult to big and slow people. Imagine the love child of Luke Harangody and Kathy Bates and if you've got him nailed.

BS is originally from the 'burbs of Chicago and is the only one of us not from the Northeast. He hates all things New York and doesn't have a problem letting you know. He claims to be a die hard White Sox and Bulls fan but that may be questionable. He still wears a Harold Baines and a Luc Longley jersey. His beloved Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup of course and it pains me to type that sentence.  

OK, seriously, Biggie may be the most intelligent of us all and this first post will show it. Enjoy
American Sports Fans Are Communists

Before we get started, I should probably introduce myself. Well, not myself per se – but rather an introduction to my writing style. I never passed third grade English, so my grammar sucks (quite literally Word just informed me I misspelled grammar). I don’t know proper punctuation. When in doubt I like to throw in a semicolon; it’s pretty much my favorite punctuation and I don’t think it gets nearly enough airtime. Writing style? Glad you asked. I like to think of it as a stream of consciousness overlaid with a moderate case of ADHD. Facts or data to back up my point? Well, not so much.

From each according to his ability to each according to his need

That’s right, Karl Marx in the very first post. I think it’s time to call a spade a spade. For as much as we in America talk about our love of the free market and all things wholesome, when it comes to sports - Americans are bunch of Communists.

Communism, as best as I can understand it, is an economics system. It is neither good nor bad (although I might suggest that it is highly inefficient which explains why it hasn’t seemed to be sustainable, but that’s a conversation for another day), just a way to divide up resources.

Here’s my third grade understanding of communism; it’s all based on equality. You go ahead and produce/sell what you can. You put all revenue that you made into one giant pot, and you get to take out what you need. Everyone else does the same. There’s probably more to it than that, but I don’t care.

Assuming an individuals fundamental needs are generally the same, then one can reasonably argue that a persons withdrawals should be about the same. But not everyone has the same training, skill set, education or whatever - and so peoples contributions to society are going to be all over the freaking place (I personally try to contribute as little as possible).

That sounds a hell of a lot like revenue sharing to me. I’ll even one up that. If the amount of money we spend on professional sports is the appropriate representation of its popularity, I would suggest that that more communist the revenue sharing/salary cap the sport the more popular it is.

The highest revenue sports are:
1. NFL,
2. MLB,
3. NBA,
4. NHL (depending on how you cut it, of course).

I thought about getting into specifics about differences in the different leagues, but I just don’t have the energy, so you’ll just have to look it up, but my belief is that the NFL is the most redistributive (is that even a word) and I’m going with it. So in the NFL you not only revenue sharing but a salary cap and a freaking salary floor? Who the hell is running this league? Lenin? Yeah, yeah, parity in the league makes every game is competitive, blah. Can’t wait till we have that crapfest Seahawks Chiefs in the Superbowl this year. That’ll be awesome. I mean isn’t just a matter of time before everyone in the league finishes 8-8?

Here’s the thing. There are few teams I dislike more than the Cowboys (Packers, Vikings, Red Wings, Twins, Cubs, Pistons, Pacers, and of course Yankees, Mets, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks (I can’t help it, I have a lot of hate) – but surgical freak Jerry Jones wants to pump two billion dollars into his stadium and his team more power too him. Why should he have to share his investment with the poorly run St. Louis Rams? It doesn’t make any sense.

Why are we rewarding owners who are crap? Here’s a link to a good post on the incentives or better yet, disincentives revenue sharing creates.

So I’m a business owner, and I’m going to out my little product on the market. I mean I didn’t spend any more on investing in infrastructure or hiring any engineers to develop it or anything. As a matter of fact the product doesn’t even work. It kills people with ennui. I call it the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of going out of business quickly, my competitors who do have a product works and people like and just give me money every year to help me stay in business. Every friggin year. That makes sense.

I believe there’s a term for that. Communism.

Giuseppe Blanco - Don't be a fan to be a fan

Our third contributor Giuseppe Blanco, is a spitting image of the Knicks, Danilo Gallinari (and not just because they are both handsome Italians). He's got the game to go inside and mix it up, but he can also shoot the three from all over the court.

He once held a SAG card and made appearances in A Bronx Tale, Bonfire of The Vanities and if you search hard enough on you tube, a jail scene in All My Children (classic stuff)

GB is all about the 80's. No one knows the decade better and he was a well known DJ back then.

He has been known to tweet live during "Jersey Shore" and "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"
Could have starred in Jersey Shore, the early years, as he was a regular at the Aztec in Seaside Heights, circa 1987.

Still hasn't recovered from Beltran looking at strike three from Adam Wainwright back in 2006.
    On to his first entry:       
    Don’t be a fan to be a fan!

    Let’s get on the same page quickly. My life is all about the letter “F”.

    “Family”, “Food” and “Fantasy Sports” (Other F’s involved but we won’t go there).

    In my “Famiglia” I represent the Mets, Skins and Jets (Had my share of Riggins and Piazza Jerseys). I have many issues, but just to touch on a few………

    1) People who pretend to be sports fans just because being a fan is cool at the time they choose to be a fan (i.e. Super Bowl, The World Series, World Cup Soccer). They couldn’t tell you what a encroachment is or what a ground rule double is. Think they would know what defensive indifference is?? But, their the first one’s to meet at the bar and yell at the TV screen as if they really care and know what’s going on.

    2) Parents who bring their kids to play youth sports but are only there for the social aspect to show they know a lot of the other parents and only pay attention when their kid has the ball, hit’s the ball or shoots.

    3) Male sportscasters who pretend their Female sidekicks are not the most drop dead gorgeous girl you have ever seen. They look at them as if they are really listening about the segment but God only knows what they are thinking and really want to say. I wonder if I am the only one that realizes that.

    Kenny Bloggins - Three points and a cloud of dust

    I give you Kenny Bloggins.

    He may or may not be related to me and he may or may not be an in-law. You'll have to figure that out on your own.

    KB is all things college football. He is a Big Ten guy and I dare you to debate him on anything college football related. Don't even get him started on USC.

    KB is a Washington Redskins and New York Yankees fan. He is also all things anti-Philadelphia which sits well with me.

    Here is his first post:    

    Three Points and a Cloud of Dust

    1) I chuckle every time I hear someone mention Donovan McNabb and Canton in the same paragraph, let alone sentence. He's having another banner year according to the media, currently ranked 24 out of 32 in QB rating.

    2) How can A-Roid be both the greatest hitter of all-time and the easiest postseason out in the Yankee lineup? When he's at bat I'm begging for a walk, or, better yet, a hit by pitch. When's the last time you said that about a first-ballot Hall of Famer? It's as if he's up there without a bat in his hands.

    3) I realize Halloween's approaching, but Mike Singletary's jumping the gun with the vampire repellent dangling from his neck. Did you hear his team's tough by the way? A reflection of his no-nonsense, hard-nosed approach? So far that's worth exactly one win.


    Allow myself to ... introduce myself.

    I am John, and I will be responsible for dishing the rock to my more skilled and interesting teammates on this blog. I know each of their strengths and will put them in a position where they can shine. Consider me the floor general who will lead this brigade to big and better things ... or in the toilet by Thanksgiving. Each of the contributors will be revealed to you as they write their first entry.

    This blog will continue to evolve and hopefully you will find it an interesting read and if we do our jobs right, hopefully we will get a strong reaction from you - be it positive or negative, doesn't matter a bit. Just feel free to hammer us in the comments section so we can get to creating a healthy debate.

    Some background info on me:

    • A long suffering Mets fan who now only roots for the Yankees and Phillies to lose. So you can imagine my recent joy.

    • An Oakland Raiders fan since 1980 (conveniently the year they won the Super Bowl) but I will tell you I was drawn by the awkwardness of Jim Plunkett and the stick um globbed on by Lester Hayes.

    • A die hard New York Rangers fan who knows 1994 will never be topped. I don't miss a game, read all the blogs and consider this to be my favorite team of all.

    • I was not a big NBA fan but rooted for the Knicks growing up. I completely gave up on it until my son became an obsessed Boston Celtics fan two years ago. I jumped right on that bandwagon and considering the state of all my other teams, you can't say squat to me.

    I also write a blog on ... you'll never guess .... gardening so this is a fun diversion from that but I will drop some gardening knowledge on you here and there so brace yourself.

    We hope you enjoy this new venture and thank you already if you've made it this far.