Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to Break Up the BCS

It's time for major college football to do an enema and clean things up. Every year 120 or so universities take the field in Division 1 or whatever it's called nowadays with hopes of attaining the brass ring or the crystal football from the head of GM or Sears or whatever company can afford to sponsor the event. (The way things are going, Hank Paulson will be handing off the US Government BCS championship, but I digress.) Yes, 120 teams in an egalitarian system that any team who wins ALL their games has a chance to make the dance.

What? This isn't the case? Oh, you mean, if you aren't in one of the Big Six conferences, you have no shot of being national champion? But Boise State and Utah most surely have the opportunity after getting through their respective schedules unscathed. Wait, they played weak schedules in weak conferences so their perfect records aren't so perfect? How would we ever know if these teams have what it takes to play with the big boys? In fact, we don't. Hawaii, last year, proved that the smaller conference champions with perfect records have no chance against a major conference champion. But, Boise State, the previous year, proved that conference champions CAN win against a major conference champion when they beat the Sooners in the Orange Bowl.

So wait, which is it? They can or they can't? The answer is, who knows? There's really no way to determine whether a strong team from a historically weak conference can play with a good team from a good conference, except in a bowl game. However, these weak conference champions will never get the shot for the BIG game and a National Championship despite having a team that is truly good enough win it all. The best shot they have is one of the lower tier BCS games.

What can be done? Here's a couple of RADICAL proposals that have no shot of ever happening, but it would give EVERY team a chance to win a championship and ultimately might make things more interesting than it is now. The first is to scramble up all of the conferences, big and small, and realign to create 8 mega conferences with 2 divisions each or 16 mega conferences. If you REALLY want to give every team a chance at winning the national championship, take teams from the Pac 10, WAC, Mountain conference and create a couple of conferences made up of all these teams jumbled together. In this case, Utah and BYU could play against Cal or Oregon or USC in a meaningful conference game to prove their worth. Boise State can play against ASU or UCLA. In Midwest, teams like Penn State and Michigan could play against teams like Cincinnati and Bowling Green in league play. This would give a team like Bowling Green a chance to win their conference with some big time programs and have a shot in a playoff of conference champions from across the country. A conference might have 16 teams, but the winner of the 2 divisions could square off in a conference championship to determine the conference representative. This way, everyone has a chance.

Another alternative is to acknowledge that the mid-majors for the most part, are not the same level as the major 6 conferences today, and create a new division. The mid-majors will be in their own NCAA division and each have a shot at being the best, like the 1-AA champion. In this format, every team really does have a chance to call themselves champions if they make it through their schedule and beat the other teams. This would also free up the Big 6 from throwing the smaller conferences a bone and would lead the way to a playoff system, with the best teams from each major conference.

In other words, settle things on the field and not in the press box. The two alternatives above at least get college football closer to that than the huge mess that we have now. If these alternatives are reasonable, what's holding it back? The money of course. The powers that be have little incentive to change ANYTHING. The big conferences have teams with 70,000 to 110,000 seat stadiums and are doing quite well thank you. The mid-majors can dream of making the big time, and if they are good enough to make it to the BCS, can get a LARGE payday. Really, this is myopic thinking. With a shakeup and a chance to make it so the underdog truly has a chance to win it all, this can be as exciting, if not more exciting than March Madness and all of the lame bowls (can you name 10 bowls played before New Year's Day? Is the Bluebonnet Bowl still in the mix?) that we currently have to hear about?

These changes would give college fans what they hope for every season, clarity on who REALLY is the BEST TEAM in the nation, and leave the soap opera for Desperate Housewives.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Roid Rage: Are we all that surprised?

Last week, the Mitchell Report came out with a few surprises. In reality, it was more like watching David Copperfield: you know that the magic trick was just slight of hand and not the result of god-like magical powers that made the Statue of Liberty disappear. We were led to believe that 45 year old Roger Clemens, still blowing the doors off, was doing it through a hard-working, clean weight training regimen. Apparently it wasn't as clean as we had hoped. Ol' Roger, among other high profile names, was fingered quite a bit as a 'roid user in the report, and it sucks. Most fans would really like to believe that the "game" is pure and that everyone playing is on the up and up. But, really, has it ever been? For that matter, has any other sport (NFL, anyone?) ever not been?

I really hate these hypocritical baseball purist bastards who praise the achievements of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens for years and years, with the hint of impropriety going on, and then, turn and blast those same players for steroids. The biggest jerks/idiots in this whole thing are the Commissioner Bud "Spineless" Selig and the rest of the owners who turned a blind eye to this after the 1994 strike. Bud and the Billionaire Boys club KNEW what was going on. But like a gambling addict on a winning streak, the winning and large money FELT too good to walk away, or in this case, make a stand and say it was wrong.

After the Strike, Baseball Purity as a religion should have died a long hard death. Let's be honest, folks. After playing a half season and then shutting it down and NOT having the World Series, any sacred cows were sacrificed. Baseball, which was becoming less popular as the 80s closed and the 90s charged in, lost its mojo and was in serious trouble. When the players came back about 3 weeks into the 1995 season, I went to see the California Angels, my childhood team, a few times. A team which once attracted 2.3 Million people a year when Reggie Jackson was in town, were getting exactly 15,000 people a game for the first 2 months of the season. With the ballpark only one fifth full, I got to do something that I had never done growing up, sit behind the screen at home plate in the 1st row before the 7th inning stretch of a tight ballgame. No one cared, because frankly, the general public didn't care. For the Angels, the seats filled up when they ran up a 13 game lead in August, but for most teams, 1995 was a disaster.

Then, came the homers. In 1996, McGwire and Griffey flirted with Maris' single season record of 61. Next came the buzz about baseball again. "Will they do it? Will Big Mac pass the Babe and Maris?" With the buzz, came ticket sales. Whenever the home run trains of McGwire, Albert "Taco" Belle, and other guys who had pumped up the HR numbers rolled into town, ticket sales skyrocketed. Everyone wanted to watch a large guy hit a baseball, long, high, and far into the night sky. It was awesome! The fans loved it, the players loved it (with more money available to make $15 M a year), and the owners loved it because baseball was back.

We all know what happened for the next 10 years. McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro, and dozens of others assaulted the baseball and the record books with super-human strength, and we loved it. There was talk of steroids (McGwire was asked this quite often in 1998 as he hit 70 HRs, but he always suggested it was Creatine.) We WANTED to believe him, so we did. He was the HR King. When Barry Bonds, big head and all, crushed Big Mac's record in 2001, the questions started about steroids, but weren't really that loud. Bonds and the rest of baseball trucked on. Then, we got a glimpse behind the curtain. Actually, Jose Canseco whispered to us, "Psst....look how they do it. Look how I did it." The house of cards came tumbling down.

Congress got involved, holding grandstanding public hearings about the assault on the purity of baseball and the use of illegal substances. They brought our heroes in front of their publicity seeking panels to say "C'mon, tell us that we haven't been duped and that everyone is on the up and up. And, say it under oath." We know how that went: not well for baseball. The cat was out of the bag. Next came Balco, grand juries, and other nonsense that could have been stopped when it started. It wasn't.

Bud Selig, the former controlling owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, in the early 90s led a coup d'etat against Commissioner Faye Vincent, and did exactly the opposite of what the mostly corrupt and deplorable Black Sox era owners decided was in the best interests of the game: to keep the executive decisions for player and team conduct separate from the moneyed interests of the individual owners. With his power grab, Bud effectively doomed the sport to where it is today: seven pence much the richer, but completely discredited with all players who hit 40 plus dingers or win 20 games after age 30 under suspicion. Bud should have taken it like a man and said, "It went on and it shouldn't have, but WE DIDN'T ENFORCE IT and we are rolling our way to the bank. So there." End of discussion. Instead, Bud wimped out and placed the blame for the enforcement anywhere but in his office.

The funny thing about the baseball controversy is how a sport that has NO DOUBT had its players beef up with anything they could get their hands on has somehow slipped past the radar. Looking at today's hulking monsters who play every Sunday in the fall, it's almost comical that the NFL has somehow avoided the scrutiny of the media and Congress. I guess in this sense, it's better to not be the National Pastime, but instead be the most popular kid in school and in the sports-viewing public. Let's go back to 1985, when some guy named Fridge Perry was an anomaly on defense: a 300-plus guy who was actually somewhat mobile. But he was 300 lbs! Few guys were THAT big in the NFL in the early to mid-1980s. Now, today's average college offensive line is loaded with 300 lb steers who can run the 40 in less than 5 seconds. Do you think these hulks are clean of any artificial substances that end in roids? You have to be kidding.

I have little physical evidence to substantiate my claims, except for the blistering pace of human evolution over the last 20 years that allows a 300 lb man to move like he was 160 lbs. If baseball has steroid problems, then a physically punishing sport like football is definitely rife with juicers. (I mean, has anyone been fooled?) What's the difference between baseball and football? Football has better leaders and has a better marketing machine. Somehow, they have Obi-waned the powers that be and the public, but minimally enforcing violations and being proactive that "we are doing something to offenders we catch". Baseball hemmed and hahed and is in trouble.

Where to now? Steroids are clearly bad and give the athletes who use them an unfair advantage that people who are clean do not enjoy. Athletes put themselves at risk for severe health problems at the cost of a few years of fame and money. I wish steroids weren't sullying the games we watch. As a young kid, I hoped one day I might play somewhere on the big stage, but knowing that others made themselves better unfairly makes me wonder if I even had a chance to make it without cheating. Steroids have been around since the mid-1950s. Any player who played any sport since is suspect. Like many others out there, I feel duped, but can you blame a guy who watches others gain an unfair advantage in a way too tolerant environment and does it just so he can earn his $10 Million a year? It's a tempting mistress with that kind of money on the line.

Cheating by taking steroids is not right, but baseball has to own up and legitimize the records that happened before the enforcement of these rules. In the United States, governments cannot prosecute people for actions that were not considered crimes at the time of commission, even if laws are now on the books as crimes. Baseball didn't ban these substances outright until it was already infected and players were tainted. When they drew the line in the sand by officially banning the substances over the last couple of years, anything after those points can then be put up for scrutiny, and any player caught should be suspended. Anything before, unfortunately, should not be changed. You don't have to like it, but it's really the only fair thing to do at this point. For this whole mess, you can blame Bud.

Final Four

One game was a blowout. The other was a squeaker. One had the two highest scores this week. One had a couple of the lowest scores. One team from each game moves on.

This week we had the #3 Fatty Mortadella and the upstart #6 Big Giant Bunnies in one match up and the #4 Trojan Busters vs. #5 Team Ya Mo Be There in the other.

#3 Fatty Mortadella vs. #6 Big Giant Bunnies

What's it like to score over 110 points, be the second highest score for the week and get eliminated from the playoffs and the big money payoff? You can ask Fatty Mortadella. Fatty came in as the number 3 seed and had to play the suddenly hot Big Giant Bunnies, who had played its last two games with elimination on the line. If Team Mortadella had scored 11 less points last week, they would have been #4 and would have advanced. As it goes, they faced the Bunnies and lost, big this week. But it wasn't for lack of effort.

In this league, if you score over 110 points, you have a good chance of winning. Chance was not in Fatty's favor. BGB scored 146 points this week while Fatty scored 113. BGB was paced with Jay Cutler (?), who has pretty much sucked from a fantasy standpoint in most of the last 10 weeks with a huge 27 points. Marion Barber had his every 2nd or 3rd big game with 28 while Brandon Marshall had 24. Team Mortadella got 29 from Peyton, 22 from new fantasy All-Star Earnest "Cadillac who?" Graham, and 24 from Jamal Lewis. Unfortunately for Team Mortadella, that's where the high scoring stopped. BGB kept on going with "I'm on a Plaxican Radio" Burress with 19 and the Colts D with 18 on their way to a season high score of 146. Cioffi got 12 from Braylon and 15 from the Jags D, but the Shockey, Positively Shockey zero from J. Shockey was a killer in this game. Cioffi, had they scored 11 less last week, would be looking at a semi-final matchup against Kat. Instead, they are hitting the pinata after all the candies gone, playing for 5th next week.

#4 Trojan Busters vs. #5 Team Ya Mo Be There

Both of these squads came in as the hottest teams over the last month. Trojan Busters reeled off 4 straight in its playoff march, while Ya Mo Be There put together 5 in row. If both teams came in hot, they left wondering what the hell happened last weekend. Only Team Ya Mo Be There was a little better in a game that was pretty horrible all around. Before a point adjustment on Sunday night, these two had wrestled weakly to a tie at 63. (63? Good time to have a couple of really bad performances!) Ya Mo had a game high 13 from Tony Gonzo. McNabb did enough with a blistering 12, while Action Jackson got 11. For the Trojan Busters, Westbrook had another great game with 18 points. Thomas Jones and Fred Jackson each had 11. Beyond that, complete futility. Trojan Busters had 5 players with exactly 3 points, including Carson Palmer who hasn't scored less than 10 all season. Only Jeff Reed scored more than 3 points with 8. Ya Mo had 3 players with 2, including normally reliable TO. Chris Chambers had enough to help Ya Mo with the win. They take it by 2 and face Team Kat in the semis. Good luck to all teams!

Best of the Rest-Consolation Style

Soul Crushing Dynasty, pissed off to be eliminated from the playoffs, took out its aggression on the game Under Achievers, 116-98. SCD had 26 from all of a sudden superstar Fantasy QB Matt Hasselbeck and 25 from Joseph Addai. 20 from the Seachickens D helps too. In a valiant losing effort, Underacheivers got 25 and 21 respectively from NO tandem Brees and Colston. Parker and Berrian had nice games, but the normally reliable Steelers D folded like cheap plastic with a -4. That was the difference as SCD wins.

Spoiler of Troy had a big game after a mostly disappointing regular season, kicking the crap out of Team Buckman, 109-41.

Team Keith beat Team Duggan 66-29. Neither team seemed to be in this one in a battle for bragging rights.

So, the playoffs commence with Team Jeter taking on a suddenly hot and dangerous Big Giant Bunnies. Team Kat plays the suddenly susceptible Team Ya Mo Be There, who is sure to turn it around from last week. These should be AWESOME GAMES.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Playoff Preview

It's the playoffs! We have some good first round matchups on tap, and for guys who didn't make the playoffs, we have games scheduled for the next 3 weeks. Playing for pride is a good thing!

This week we have the #3 Fatty Mortadella and the upstart #6 Big Giant Bunnies in one match up and the #4 Trojan Busters vs. #5 Team Ya Mo Be There.

[b]#3 Fatty Mortadella vs. #6 Big Giant Bunnies[/b]

Big Giant Bunnies has had its playoff mettle tested early, just to get in. The last two weeks were elimination games for BGB. After barely defeating Team Keith in Week 11, they had enough left to beat Soul Crushing Dynasty to avenge a week one loss and make the playoffs with a 6-7 record. Like many teams, BGB had some tough losses that could have gone their way. And, unfortunately for them, they had the 2nd highest amount of points scored on. They are led by Reggie Wayne who's had a breakout season in Marvin Harrison's absence and Marion Barber, who is good for 15 points from some red zone carries. Rudi Johnson, a fantasy disappointment most of this season, has come back from injury and will help BGB's cause against Fatty Mortadella.

Fatty had some early season woes, only to roll off 6 straight midseason, and slowed down slightly the last few weeks. Fatty's attack begins with Peyton Manning, a brave first round choice that is usually reserved for the running backs. The pick was a good one as Peyton is #3 among QBs through week 13. Mortadella lost Ronnie Brown midseason, but has picked up serious slack with Earnest Graham and Jamal Lewis running like it's 2004. Braylon Edwards of the Browns has been huge this year and Derrick Mason rounds out the attack. Having the number 2 kicker in Kris Brown isn't too bad either. H&V have this one favoring Fatty with the amazing scores of 132 to 117. I would have to give the nod to Fatty, but this one's going to be close.

[b]#4 Trojan Busters vs. #5 Team Ya Mo Be There[/b]

Both of these squads come in as the hottest teams over the last month. Trojan Busters reeled off 4 straight in its playoff march, while Ya Mo Be There has put together 5 in row. One of these teams streaks is about to come to an end. Ya Mo Be There has found fantasy gold in Justin Fargas in recent weeks. It's no coincidence that Fargas' rise has matched Team Ya Mo's. He has been the heart and soul of this ball club, while McNabb has been struggling. Former McNabb battery mate, TO, has had another great season with Tony Romo in Dallas and is giving Ya Mo some big point action. Steven "Was No Action but is now back in Action" Jackson has had a good last 3 weeks and is giving Ya Mo a formidable running attack.

Trojan Busters has had Brian Westbrook anchoring its attack all season. Westbrook has been the top scoring running back in the league despite 2 weeks of inactivity mid-season and has proven to be a good 2nd most valuable player this year (Brady wins in a landslide). Hines Ward has had some big games of late and could be a key in the game this week. Carson Palmer has been solid mostly, but has struggled at times this year. He goes up against a kind of weak Rams D and could help Trojan Busters. Marshawn Lynch came up big most of the season, but has been out for the last 3 weeks. He may or may not come back this week putting TB's in a quandary. H&V has the score 118 to 102 Trojan Busters, but anything can and will happen. This one should come down to the end.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Week 13: That's Left...

Playoff Seedings:

1. Team Kat (11-2)

2. Team Jeter (10-3)

3. Fatty Mortadella (8-5, +10 over Trojan Busters)

4. Trojan Busters (8-5)

5. Team Ya Mo Better (8-5)

6. Team Allison (6-7): Picks up the last slot with a 12 point win over Soul Crushing.

The rest of the league will play in the consolation rounds for the next 3 weeks. The top two seeds have byes next week.

In a barn burner, the NE Pats hold on to the dreams of a perfect season. The playoff seedings came down to the last plays as well. (Not really, but we like to think so.) Brady to Welker would have given Jeter at least a tie with Trojan Busters. In the end, they fall 7 points to the TB's and remain the 2nd seed.

Team Kat got some revenge on one of its two losses this year, playing the trying to be aptly named "Beat Kat (again)" who defeated them in week 2. Beat Kat (Again) was game with big games from Vince Young, Gore, Norwood and Crosby, but when LT, Rowdy Roddy White, and Torry Holt have Rock star performances, it becomes very difficult to repeat the feat. Team Kat solidifies the top seed with a 138-85 win.

Big Giant Bunnies played itself into a chance to make the playoffs with a hard fought win over Team Keith. Soul Crushing Dynasty was in fine position to snake the last spot last week, but a tough loss put them in a must win situation this week. BGB had Jay "Sucks" Cutler at the helm and Jay DID disappoint with 2 points. Luckily, Reggie "John" Wayne showed who's the boss and put up 23 (or 1/3 of BGB's total this week). Nick Folk did well too. SCD had consistent performances from "Don't forget your bloody Matt Hasselbeck", Jones-Drew, and Joey Galloway, but little help from the rest of the lineup and came up 10 points short from the playoffs. BGB is in with the win.

Another team that had an outside shot at the playoffs was the Under Achievers (previously named, which got its wish today). Like the team that inspired the name (UCLA Bruins football who also had an outside chance for the Rose Bowl, but we all know how that went), Underachievers didn't do so well and fell to Spoilers of Troy, hard 86-50. Underachievers got some output from the Cardinals on the team (Warner and James), but nothing else. Spoilers of Troy, who had a rough, rough start to the season, caught fire recently winning 3 of its last 4 games. A couple of games that went their way and they could have been in playoff contention. 5 players scored in double figures led by Ryan Grant and Big Ben Rothlisberger. SoTroy ends the season at 4-9. Underachievers underachieved and end up 5-8.

Fatty Mortadella needed to outscore Trojan Busters by 10. In a playoff tuneup, Fatty scored 111, exactly the same amount as Trojan Busters to secure the three seed. Mortadella had 5 players in double figures, including 27 from Peyton's place and 22 from emerging All-Pro candidate Braylon Edwards. Buckman had 4 guys with 10+ including D. Anderson and Dallas Clark. Three zeros didn't help the cause, but with the season already really over, it didn't matter too much. FM wins 111-75.

Trojan Busters needed to win and outscore Fatty Mortadella by 10. They beat the 2 seed Jeter barely 111-104, but couldn't overtake the Fatty's at the end. TB's overcame a lackluster performance from Carson Palmer and had 5 guys score in double figures including Panthers D, Brian Westbrook, and Hines Ward, who helped me win here, but screwed me in my other league. Thanks and no thanks Hines! For Jeter, who got the 2 seed throughout the playoffs, Brady had a good game, but not his best with 17. Adrian Peterson back from injury got 24 points, and McGahee got 21. Jeter has been tough all year and with his powerpacked lineup is definitely going to be difficult to beat.

Ya Mo will take on Trojan Busters next week after dismantling a dejected Team Keith 118-56. Ya Mo had 4 players over 20 points including Fargas, Jackson, TO, and the now injured Derrick Ward. TK got 26 from Romo and not much else as the team struggled with not much to play for.

With that, the playoffs are set. Trojan Busters will take on Ya Mo in a 4-5 matchup. The winner playing Team Kat. Mortadella and Big Giant Bunnies square off in a 3-6 matchup, the winner playing Team Jeter.

Welcome to the Playoffs!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Can See Clearly Now...through the Mud!

In the sloppiest game in Monday Night history, the Steelers drowned the Dolphins, who don't swim too well in mud, 3-0. There was a lot riding on this one with 3 games still undecided. After the water receded, the playoff picture in our fair league was more in focus. Kat, Jeter, Ya Mo Be There, Mortadella, and Trojan Busters are in. The final slot is yet to be determine. The 5-6 teams could have positioned themselves better for the playoffs, but couldn't do it. Their stumbles left the door open for the 4-7 teams who happened to be playing a pre-playoff for the playoffs. The four 4-7's squared off in what was basically the fantasy equivalent of Death Match.

Starting with the 4-7s, the highest scoring slugfest this weekend happened between Team Allison and Team Keith. This fight was reminiscent of Hagler-Hearns in the mid 80s: Two guys standing in the middle of the ring, kicking the crap out of each other, trading haymakers until one falls. Like Hearns in the 5th in 1985, down goes Keith. This one was truly a classic match between two teams holding on to dear playoff life. Keith started the Thanksgiving games strong with 13 from Romo, 20 from Kicker Hanson, and 4 from Jericho "Crotchery". BGB countered with huge hits from Marion Barber's 17, Colts D's 12, Nick "Poc" Folk, and Reggie Wayne. The first round went to Team Allison. The second round on Sunday was looking great for Team Keith. Hard jabs from Reggie Bush and huge uppercuts from Antonio Gates and new Rookie of the Week Kolby Smith (wasn't that dude on Survivor in 2001?) sent Team Allison into the ropes. Keith needed just one more hard punch to put Allison down and out. After the huge volley, Keith had nothing left as Brandon Jacobs was out, giving him no points. Allison, sensing weakness, merely wiped his bloodied lip, licked his finger, and went kung fu on Team Keith. Kenny Watson knocked the charging Keith back with a quick 10 point jab. Then, Allison winded up with the Denver duo of Cutler and Marshall, who couldn't beat the Bears, but in this game, gave TA a combined 38 with a jarring body shot and uppercut to the jaw that sent Team Keith's down for the count this week and for the season. Team Allison lives to fight another day at 5-7 and is looking good in the fight for the 6th spot. More on that later.

Team Duggan (or newly anointed Beat Team Kat again) has had a difficult season. The highs include being the only team to take down the league leader, Team Kat in Week 2, The lows were many as the team struggled through injury and the arm of Marc Bulger. This week, Team BTKA sat the maligned Bulger and saw another high. Vince Young did not play well, but the team seeing anyone besides Bulger at the helm this week was extremely motivated by the change and gave BTKA a huge victory over slumping Team Buckman. Frank Gore, who was like Fredo in the boat for most of the season (dead to Tim), decided to put on the effort that was becoming a top fantasy pick. Mr. Gore got 32 points as the icecaps of his season slowly melted away. Ocho Cinco looked like he might score his number, but had to settle for Veinte Ocho. Mason Crosby and Donald Driver also contributed to BTKA's biggest game in 10 weeks. Team Bucks didn't have it this week. Javon Walker appeared to be ready for the Bears but got zero. Randle-El also produced nothing. Derek "Brady Q who?" Anderson got Bucks 16 while the two Dallas', Clark and D, got him 10 and 15, but that was all. Bucks with a low point total is almost certainly out of the playoffs with the loss.

Soul Crushing Dynasty had a chance to be in good position heading into next week. At 5-6, they were tied with for the last playoff spot. This week, they leave remain tied for the 6th spot, but in a much weaker position. They took on a surging Ya Mo Be There. Even with Eli Manning at QB this week (I looked up "Eli" in the Old Testament translation guide and it literally means "Thrower of interceptions"), Justin Fargas and Steven Jackson were a tough combo of runners this week putting up 38 combined points. TO had a decent game with 12, while the rest of the team did enough to get the win. Soul Crush got 11 points each from Hasselbeck, Addai, and Seattle D. Jones and Jones-Drew got 8s, but only gave Soul Crush enough to get 60. Team Ya Mo clinches a playoff spot with the 77-60 win.

The other 5-6 team tied for 6th heading into this week Underachievers! (aka saw its playoff hopes and quest for Coach Dorrell's ouster slip a little further away this week. The Bruins skunked the mighty hurt Oregon Ducks and have an outside chance with a victory over SUC this weekend to do the unthinkable and make the Rose Bowl despite a 7-5 record. Wow...would that be amazing and a huge disappointment for a conference who had 3 teams at No. 2 and No. 1 and another at No. 3 with NONE of them going to the Big ONE in Pasadena? Stunning...I had a chance to make its own magic with a victory over the always tough Team Jeter. Jeter had a 2 game losing streak heading into this one, with All-Pro Rookie Adrian Peterson out another game with a knee injury. AP was not needed this week (most likely) as Team Jeter took a 42 point lead heading into Monday's game. The Underachievers hopes this week and most likely, for the season, were left in the slop in Heinz Field. They had Willie Parker and Steeler's D left. The Steelers D did its job pitching the shutout, Will Park had a decent 8, but they fell a little short. Jeter had 5 players in double figures including 21 from recent add Andre Hall, the rookie of the week from Denver (wait I already gave that honor to KC's Smith...oh well.) Drew Brees Resurrection continues as he got 26 for Colston scored 15 and the Edge Edgerrin James got 8.

Trojan Busters and Spoilers of Troy were in a match where the name of JStein's team could say it all. If Big Ben had gone off without the services of Hines Ward, and Jeff Reid only kicks extra points, Spoilers would have kept the Trojan Busters from clinching a spot. Unfortunately, the field was a mess, as was Rothlisberger's passing numbers. Hines Ward and Jeff Reed did their part for the TBs and secured the win. This one looked like it was going to be easy for the Busters early as TB got off to an early lead. However, Larry Fitzgerald had different plans and scored a big 29 points to give Spoilers a lead heading into Sunday night. Brian Westbrook, playing like an MVP every week, got 15 points to give TBs an 8 point lead heading into Monday. Carson Palmer and the Bucks D helped TB's cause while another rookie, Ryan Grant from Green Bay gave 19 to Spoilers.

The other 6-5 team, Team Mortadella had a slim 4 point margin over league leader Team Kat heading into Monday. Team Kat still had Heath Miller, while Team Mortadella had the exciting Ted Ginn, Jr. left on the board. Mother Nature put the kibosh on the Team Kat celebration. All Heath had to do was wade to 6 points and Team Kat would have remained at one defeat. He was shut out. Team Kat had an atypical week with a season low 78. Brett Favre had a nice bottle of chianti with the liver of the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, making the Detroit D look absolutely silly. LT had an "average" 11 while Chester Taylor had another big game in AP's absence with 14. Team Mort got consistent scoring from its top players, 20 from both Peyton and Jamal Lewis and 11 from Braylon Edwards and Earnest Graham. With the win, Team Mortadella is in.

As it looks, the game next week between Soul Crush and Big Giant Bunnies will most likely determine the last playoff spot. Team Beat Kat Again and are in the 5-7 log jam, but don't appear to have enough points to overcome the teams in front.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Curse of A-Rod Remains in Da Bronx

With A-Rod crawling back to Yankees by "settling" for 28 Mil per annum (wish I could crawl back for $28 Mil) and Mariano "Tomete a la " Rivera signing back up to shut down the BoSox for another three from the Bronx, it behooves me to celebrate the extension of the "Curse of the A-Rod" for another 10 in New York.

As I wrote about before a few weeks ago, when A-Rod did the old hidden ball trick with the BoSox in 2004, he single-handedly reversed 86 years of the Curse of the Bambino. Not convinced? Exhibit A. New millenium championships: Yankees 0, Boston 2. (Millenium starting in 2001 mind you.) Exhibit B, Yankees paying Texas $30 Mil because A-Rod broke his contract. Exhibit C, come back to this blog in 10 years and see if the Yanquis have won. I'm convinced that A-Rod's diss of the BoSox was too much for the baseball gods to handle. "You gave them Ruth, okay. You let Bucky Dent beat you in 1978, fine. For the other NY team, we'll have John McNamara leave in Billy Bucks to botch the play, sounds good. Pull the rug from underneath the Sox, thinking they got the best player in baseball? Enough is enough! How about you go up 3-0 and then go down faster than the Hindenberg never to fly again? Perfect!"
With A-Rod signing on again, the curse is extended. A-Rod is sure to pile on another 3 MVPs, but mark my words, the Bronx Bombers will not hold up the hardware again until the BoSox do something dumb, like trade for A-Rod.