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Archive for December, 2008

83005986RH013_Hornets_Pacers

From The Basketball Jones:

…I love the NBA, and perhaps that I am a diehard Pacers fan. In the Pacers rap, I wear a Chris Paul jersey. He is my favorite player besides Granger. Well, I made a big mistake.

You know the story about Bosh’s girlfriend and LeBron? That happened to me tonight. I was out in Indy sitting first row behind the scorer’s table, chatting it up with players left and right (they were, however, ignoring me). The P’s had a solid lead and CP wasn’t showing up much directly on offense, missing several jumpers.  He came to check in at around 3:36, and I was in complete Pacers mode. Without thinking, I murmured, “CP ain’t shit.” He quickly turned around and said, “What?” High off the fact that he even acknowledged me, I said, “Yeah, you’re lucky T.J.’s (Ford) not playing.” He replied, “Yeah, I prayed for that last night,” and rolled his eyes and laughed. I was in complete disarray, and said to the man that I had so passionately spoken in MVP support for last year: “You shouldn’t have been mentioned for MVP last year, Kobe is way better than you.” He laughed and walked off. My friend gave me the “what have you done” look.

CP, the passing machine, stopped passing then. He began to shoot every time he got the ball and took over the game going 6/8 and scoring 11 points in the final 3:36. I was standing and cheering passionately every time Granger hit a big shot and he was looking my way.

After a timeout, he walked from the bench to halfcourt smirking and smiling, staring me down the whole way. I gave him a thumbs down and shook my head. With 26 seconds left he drove, danced around with the ball and hit West for a wide open jumper to win it. I thought the game was over, but it wasn’t.

CP went over, took a photo with someone, then walked in my direction. I stood up. He stopped directly in front of the scorers table and, pointing a solid finger, and said in LeBron fashion, “It’s your fault. It’s your fault.” My legs began to shake as my star crush walked away.

I love stories like this. That is a classic NBA superstar in the making. Maybe you say he should not even be interacting with the fans at all but he did so in an appropriate manner and I think that is great for the game.

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Here are the picks for Week 17. Kevin had too much eggnog and could not get his picks in.

Game Spread Kevin Rory Mike
Raiders +13.5 x x
Buccaneers -13.5
Lions +10.5 x
Packers -10.5 x
Cowboys +1
Eagles -1 x x
Giants +6.5 x
Vikings -6.5 x
Bears +3 x x
Texans -3
Panthers -3 x x
Saints +3
Rams +15 x x
Falcons -15
Chiefs +3
Bengals -3 x x
Jaguars +11.5 x
Ravens -11.5 x
Titans -3
Colts +3 x x
Browns +11
Steelers -11 x x
Dolphins +3 x
Jets -3 x
Patriots -6 x x
Bills +6
Seahawks +3.5 x
Cardinals -3.5 x
Redskins +3
49ers -3 x x
Broncos +9 x
Chargers -9 x

This pick ’em experiment was to see how we would do against other sports minds who pick NFL games on a weekly basis.

Here is a comparison of CBS Sportsline and OWS:

CBS OWS
Harmon 129 126 Rory 136 107
Prisco 121 134 Kevin 128 100
Judge 138 117 Mike 120 123
Madden 129 126
Richard 142 113
TOTAL 659 616 TOTAL 384 330
Win
%age
0.516863 Win
%age
0.537815

Overall, we had the higher winning percentage; calculated as wins/wins+losses.

And if you look at our individual records they fit in with those over at CBS.

A couple notes; CBS always used lines that had no evenly rounded numbers. This takes away the dreaded 7 point and 3 point spread in favor of the much friendly 2.5 & 3.5 and 6.5. & 7.5. For this reason, they had zero pushes all season.

Any avid gambler would agree that the lines we used were more challenging.

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thabeet-and-monroe

Greg Monroe drives to the bucket past Thabeet

It was the Big East conference opener last night. After Uconn’s big win over Gonzaga you could have expected a let down game against lowly Fairfield last week the day after Christmas but not against Big East rival Georgetown.

It is not like in some years past where Uconn’s non-conference schedule was a joke–they have already beat 3 ranked teams. Those teams being Miami (FL), Wisconsin and Gonzaga. This goes to show just how good the Big East is going to be this year.

And take a look at the Hoya’s upcoming Big East and non-conference schedule:

Mon, Dec 29 – at (2) Uconn
Sat, Jan 3 – (3) Pittsburgh
Mon, Jan 5 – (7) Notre Dame
Sat, Jan 10 – Providence
Wed, Jan 14 – (13) Syracuse
Sat, Jan 17 – at (5) Duke
Thu, Jan 22 – West Virginia

This is followed up by three conference road games in one week at Seton Hall, Cincinnati and Marquette. A tough road for a very solid team who now has a big time marquee win.

Another big bright spot in the game was the play of Freshman Greg Monroe for Georgetown. He has an all around game; can play inside against a defender the caliber of Thabeet and can also shoot the college three.

A notable problem with Uconn has been their carelessness with the ball. Which is a somewhat shocking problem for a team with such great guards; AJ Price, Jerome Dyson, Craig Austrie and Kemba Walker. That could be their downfall this season as they make a national championship run.

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Survivor League Pick

Final week in the NFL regular season, final week in my Survivor League.  As a reminder here were the rules:

Picks must be in midnight before first game of the week.
You must pick the moneyline winner, no spreads involved.
You cannot pick a team more than once.
A no-pick, late pick, or repeat pick is an automatic strike.
Winner take all.

So far here are my picks:
Week 1: Eagles over Rams, W 38-3
Week 2: Giants over Rams, W 41-13
Week 3: Bills over Raiders, W 24-23
Week 4: Panthers over Falcons, W 24-9
Week 5: Titans over Ravens, W 13-10
Week 6: Redskins over Rams, L 17-19
Week 7: Texans over Lions, W 28-21
Week 8: Jets over Chiefs, W 28-24
Week 9: Bears over Lions, W 27-23
Week 10: Cardinals over 49ers, W 29-24
Week 11: Dolphins over Raiders, W 17-15
Week 12: Steelers over Bengals, W 27-10
Week 13: Cowboys over Seahawks, W 34-9
Week 14: Patriots over Seahawks, W 24-21
Week 15: Colts over Lions, W 31-21
Week 16: Saints over Lions, W 42-7

This week I was going to take the Packers over the ever terrible Lions, but Green Bay has been playing far less than stellar, and the Lions will be fighting extra hard not to go out 0-16, which will be remembered far longer and carry more shame than a 1-15 season.  Because of this, I chose to go with the Buccaneers over the Raiders.  The Bucs are playing for playoffs still, Oakland has nothing to gain and nothing to lose regardless of the outcome of this game, and lets face it, the Bucs are a thousand times better than the Raiders.  So my recommendation this week would be the Bucs if you can still use them.

Also as a side note, I control my own destiny in this league, if I win this week the worst I can do is split the money with the other two one-loss teams.

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Well as we enter the final week of the regular season of the NFL, I have only 2 suggested lines.

NY Giants moneyline over the Minnesota Vikings (+245).  I feel like the way the Giants have been playing as of late, it is tough to tell who will show up, but with a big win over Carolina last week, I think they have a little momentum and +245 on a team that has been so good this year is tough to pass up.

Carolina Panthers -2 against the New Orleans Saints (even).  I think Carolina takes this by a touchdown, but with a spread of 2 they are covered with a field goal anyway.

-Always remember kids, only gamble what you can afford-

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ufc-92The UFC is hyping UFC 92 as the biggest card of the year. Here in the no spin zone, we tell it how it is… and this IS the biggest card of the year. Up and down this one has 3 of the biggest fights of the year. Two of which I believe have potential for fight of the year honors.

It’s tough to find a better fight card than the one we are looking square in the mouth here.

Cheick Kongo Vs. Mostapha Al Turk

Mostapha (or Mustapha) has been fighting in the Cage Rage promotion over in England for the past several years. For this reason, he is widely unknown to the US fan. Kongo on the other hand trains with Quinton Jackson and Michael Bisping and is a UFC veteran.

Kongo is very good and experienced. It seems, however, that he can’t get on a roll. His UFC record looks something like this; 2 wins 1 loss then 2 wins 1 loss and now he is coming off a win. If you like betting based on patterns than Kongo is your guy.

I’ve been waiting for Kongo to take that next step. I thought it was going to be with a victory over Heath Herring at UFC 82 but it was another mis-step for Cheick. This might not be a must win but it is if he wants to stay relevant.

The Pick: Kongo (TKO)

Wanderlei Silva Vs. Quinton Jackson

Next on the card is Silva-Jackson 3. Forget fight of the night, this one definitely has fight of the year potential.

Silva has beaten Jackson on two seperate occasions in Pride. In fact, Silva did not just beat Jackson he destroyed him both times. In both fights it was Silva’s mui tai knees that did Jackson in. The first time it was a TKO stoppage and the second one of the most spectacular KO‘s in MMA history.

You have to take a few things into account here. Jackson is a much better fighter than when he first met Silva. However, I want to know how Jackson is going to react to the Forrest Griffin loss and his legal troubles post Griffin fight. On top of that, Silva has beat Jackson twice and there is no debating that.

This is going to be a slugfest. Last December the Silva-Liddell showdown took down fight of the year honors in many circles. Potential for a repeat is there.

The Pick: Silva (Decision)

CB Dollaway Vs. Mike Massenzio

This fight is a break for us to catch our collective breath after the previous fight and before the heavyweight fight. As far as this fight goes, it was a tough one for me to pick. Both of these guys have wrestling background and both finished their last UFC fight with a submission.

CB put away Jesse Taylor and Massenzio put away Drew McFedries. I feel like McFedries is a better win and I cannot see CB stopping Massenzio while I can get Massenzio catching CB.

The Pick: Massenzio (Submission)

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Vs. Frank Mir

The clash of the two season 8 TUF coaches. The winner will face Brock Lesnar to unify the interim-heavyweight championship (currently Nogueira) and heavyweight championship (Lesnar).

Nog always gives you a scare in the first round and it looks like he is about to get stopped. I mean, he does this ALL THE TIME. Both of these guys have made a living out of catching lesser skilled heavyweights in submissions so something has to give. I do not believe that either has ever been submitted in their storied careers.

These are two of the most skilled heavyweights ever, in the history of the sport. Maybe the single two best ever.

Nog, does however, look to be slower and older each fight. Mirr is resurging after hitting a low point in his career post-motorcylce accident a few years back.

It is just so hard to pick against Nog but one of these fight has to be where the wheels come off. In his last two fight he survived early flurries (and knock downs) from Herring and Tim Sylvia and it seems inevitable that he will have to do the same against Mir. I do think Nog can pull out another win in this one but I do not think that Mir should be such a giant underdog.

The Pick: Nogueira (Decision)

Forrest Griffin Vs. Rashad Evans

It’s getting to that point, with both these guys, where you have ask yourself, ‘How do I pick against this guy?’ The problem is you kind of have to when they face off against each other. Evans has never been beaten in the Octagon while Griffin has amounted an impressive resume himself.

Both these guys certainly are not afraid to stand and throw but at the same time they have very well-rounded games. This is one of those match-ups where if they fought 10 times they could easilly go the ways of a 5-5 split.

My initial instict was with Evans although this was partially due to the fact that he was an underdog in regards to the betting odds.

I think that Griffin’s leg kicks will play a big role just as they did when he took the belt from Rampage. Still, I will stick with my initial instincts.

The Pick: Evans (TKO)

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Hey to everybody out there; big people, little people everybody… from all of us to all of you; Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

After you do the family thing, don’t forget the Finals rematch tonight Boston @ LA.

The ‘Beat LA’ chants were on full display two nights ago when the Celtics beat the Sixers to achieve the best start in the history of the NBA–I was there and it was intense. That’ll be the best Christmas present a Boston fan can ask for.

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