Friday, December 2, 2011

Fantasy Football: Playoffs?! You kidding me, Playoffs?!

It's almost fantasy football playoff time!  One of my early posts on this blog was a run down of the teams in my longest running league, Daddy Daycare.  It's about time we check in on that league and see where everyone stands.  There are 2 more regular season weeks and then playoffs.  The top 4 teams in the league make the playoffs.  The tie-breaker is total points scored.


1.  Start Talkin DYNASTY (10-2) (1386.45pts)
2.  Colin (8-4) (1209.07pts)
3.  Bo Knows...WINNING!! (7-5) (1222.81pts)
4.  Touch Me N' I'll Suh (7-5) (1197.58pts)
5.  Ze Pipes Ze Pipes (6-6) (1235.70pts)
6.  Shots of Lame-O (6-6) (1218.28pts)
7.  300 lb. Club (5-7) (1160.06)
8.  Multiple Scoregasms (5-7) (1068.79)
9.  MIKE!!!DYKE!!! (4-8) (1110.24)
10.  REX-N-EFFECT (2-10) (1060.59)

Start Talkin DYNASTY (Brad Duppstadt) - Playoff Chances:  100%.  Team MVP:  Calvin Johnson.  Brad's team is a juggernaut and has already clinched a playoff spot.  Perhaps he was right in predicting a dynasty after all.  Nevertheless, Brad is still a dork.  Problem is, he'll never read this because he doesn't have Facebook or Twitter and only uses the Internet to shop for watches, Muscle Milk and almonds.

Colin (Colin Donlevy) - Playoff Chances:  80%.  Team MVP:  Victor Cruz.  Colin hasn't clinched a spot yet, but as the only 8-4 team, you have to like his chances.  If he wins this week, he clinches.  Colin has the annoying habit of changing his team name every week.  I find that tactic about as funny as he finds this blog.

Bo Knows...WINNING!! (Jesse Neumyer) - Playoff Chances:  70%.  Team MVP:  Cam Newton.  What a free agent pickup Cam Newton was!  Dude is a legit top 5 fantasy QB when many thought he'd be a complete bust.  Jesse has a tough finishing schedule, playing Shots of Lame-O this week and Ze Pipes Ze Pipes next week.  A win this week puts him in the driver's seat.  A loss and he can focus on his second job volunteering at The Second Mile.

Touch Me N' I'll Suh (Dan Jameson) - Playoff Chances:  70%.  Team MVP:  Arian Foster.  Foster has carried me all season, especially early in the year when Chris Johnson was CJ.5K and Antonio Gates nursed his bruised vagina foot.  I would put my chances lower than Jesse since I have less points, but I play REX-N-EFFECT this week.  If I don't win...well, if I don't win don't expect another blog post for about 2-3 months.

Ze Pipes Ze Pipes (Dan Walsh) - Playoff Chances:  56%.  Team MVP:  Aaron Rodgers (with Rob Gronkowski a close 2nd).  Talk about a 2-man show!  Walsh's team wins because of Aaron Rodgers and the Gronk.  He has an uphill battle since he's a game out of 4th, but with the 2nd most points in the league, he still has a better than 50/50 shot. That's about 50% better than the Eagles chances of making the playoffs this year. 

Shots of Lame-O (Kevin Lawlor) - Playoff Chances:  46%.  Team MVP:  Fred Jackson.  Sure, FJax is on the IR now.  But without him, Lawlor is probably 4-8 instead of 6-6.  That's because he hitched his wagon to the "Dream Team" with Vick and Desean Jackson both bombing out this year.  And he's already in a big hole this week because he thought starting Vince Young was a good idea last night.  News flash:  the Eagles suck!

300 lb. Club (Gregg Williams) - Playoff Chances:  30%.  Team MVP:  Drew Brees.  Brees has had probably the quietest GREAT season of any QB I can remember.  All everyone talks about is Aaron Rodgers with a side dish of Tom Brady.  But Brees has matched them both pretty much all year.  The problem for Gregg is that he also starts Marques Colston, Mark Ingram, Jimmy Graham, Sean Payton and the Saints waterboy.  Lots of eggs in one basket.

Multiple Scoregasms (Erik Novak) - Playoff Chances:  20%.  Team MVP:  Tom Brady.  His only other players over 100 points scored are Darren Sproles and Percy Harvin...both guys I traded to him!  It's a minor miracle this guy still has a chance after his horrific draft.  Not only did I give him Sproles/Harvin, but I spoon-fed this d-bag a win last week to keep him breathing and put my team on the ropes.  But don't worry, I'm not bitter.

MIKE!!!DYKE!!! (Mike McCarthy) - Playoff Chances:  0%.  Team MVP:  LeSean McCoy.  McCoy is a stud.  I hate to say that about a Philadelphia Eagle, Pitt Panther and Bishop McDevitt Crusader, but he is.  By the way, could there be a worse combo of HS-NCAA-NFL teams for one player?!?  Mike is upset that he won't finish last this year.  Keep your bald head up Mike, you still have a chance!

REX-N-EFFECT (Chris Ott) - Playoff Chances:  0%.  Team MVP:  Peyton Manning.  Why Manning?  Because he gives Ott an excuse to blame his pathetic season on!  Maybe co-MVPs for Manning and Andre Johnson?  Lots of injuries for Ott, who is the definition of a one-hit wonder in this league.  1 championship and 5 losing seasons. 

My Playoff Predictions:

(1) Start Talkin DYNASTY v. (4) Bo Knows...WINNING!!
(2) Colin v. (3) Touch Me N' I'll Suh

I think DYNASTY will handle WINNING.  And I'm not going down without a fight.  So I'm predicting a rematch of last year's championship game.

Start Talkin DYNASTY v. Touch Me N' I'll Suh

And hey, it doesn't take a genious to know who wins this one:  Start Talkin DYNASTY and Brad Duppstadt with his 3rd Championship!

Championships for me?  That'd be 0.     

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shots of Jame-O: The Return of the Blog

The NBA is why not bring back the blog?!

Where did the blog go?

Hey, sometimes after working a 10 hour day I just feel burned out and don't have the energy to write.  Or maybe I'm just lazy.  Either way, I'm back and hopefully I'll post more often than once every 2 months. 

The NBA:

Most of you don't care about the NBA...but I do.  And I'm pumped the lockout is over.  Starting the season on Christmas day is probably more exciting than starting in October anyway.  Who watches the NBA in November and December during peak NFL weeks?  Here's to hoping the Pistons sign Greg Oden...and amnesty clause Richard Hamilton.  Sorry, Rip.  I love ya, and appreciate the championship run in 2004.  But that contract has to go. 

Tim Teblow:

Love him or hate him.  Those are the only options when it comes to Tim Tebow.  I can't deny that what he's done the past month+ is pretty awesome.  Game-winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime in 4 out of 5 games I think now?  Impressive.  You know what's not impressive?  Tim Tebow as a quarterback.  This fairy tale has to end...and my prediction is it doesn't end well.  Just when Denver and America are jumping on Tebow's back and thinking he can take the Broncos to the playoffs, he'll go 2 for 12 for 61 yards one TD and 4 INTs.  He just can't throw that many bad passes without an interception every week, right?  Right?  Sign me up for Option 2 - "Hate him".

The Lions and Ndamukong Suh:

The Detroit Lions are on a pretty bad slide right now.  They've lost 4 of their last 6 games and are out of the playoffs as things stand today.  I still think they can rally and get a wildcard spot, but losing Suh for a game or two isn't going to help.  I'm a Lions fan and Suh supporter, but that play was just dumb.  Or, to use an already played-out phrase, STUHpid. I think the NFL will give him a 1-game suspension with "time already served" - aka the 2+ quarters he missed of the Packers game after being ejected. 

TV Shows:

Just quick rundown of what I"m watching and when:  Sunday - the best night of TV.  "Boardwalk Empire" on HBO at 9pm and "Homeland" on Showtime at 10pm are 2 of the best shows on TV right now.  "Pan Am" on ABC has been surprisingly good as well.  Monday - I don't think I watch any "live" shows on Mondays except for Monday Night Football.  I usually use Monday to catch up the Sunday shows that I DVR'd.  Tuesday - "New Girl" on Fox has found its groove and is a funny comedy.  Also, I've been watching "Raising Hope" which comes on after "New Girl."  Very underrated comedy that I never really heard about until this year.  Wednesday - "Modern Family" on ABC is always solid.  "Suburgatory" on ABC is another new comedy that I enjoy and same with "Up All Night" on NBC.  A good year for new comedies so far.  Thursday - the NBC comedies are still some of my favorites - "Parks and Recreation", "Community" and "The Office" (in that order).  "Person of Interest" on CBS is a very promising crime drama.  And "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is definitely the best "laugh out loud" comedy on TV right now. 

Until next time....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Retro Live Blog: Lions and Tigers and Bears

As a Detroit sports fan, last night was epic. The Tigers played the Rangers in Game 2 of the ALCS and the Lions hosted the Bears on Monday Night Football, the first time the Lions hosted a MNF game in seemingly forever.  What better way to capture the night than a (retroactive) live blog?!  Picking up in the 8th inning of the Tigers game:

7:25pm:  Bottom of the 8th, game is tied 3-3 thanks to Nelson Cruz's solo home run that led off the bottom of the 7th.  Joaquin Benoit walks Elvin Andrus to start the inning (the Rangers fastest player). Great timing. I literally just sat down on my couch after getting home from the gym and showering.  Bad omen.

7:27pm:  Whew, coked-out Josh Hamilton crushes a line drive right at third baseman Brandon Inge, who easily throws to first in time to double-up Andrus.  2 outs. 

7:29pm:  This is a good time to mention that those joining me tonight in my man cave - Lars (my dad), Colin Kait and hopefully Brad. 3 Lions/Tigers fans (me, Lars and possibly Brad). Colin sent me a text earlier in the night "I'm feeling Bears by 10."  Thanks Colin. I'm feeling 4-12 for the Seahawks and October tee times for the "Phab Phour."

7:35pm:  The Tigers get out of the inning and head to the top of the 9th.  I was just about to make a note on how the Tigers lineup is gawd awful tonight (really, they have 2 major league hitters in Cabrera and VMart and then a bunch of scrubs that wouldn't even see the field for the Rangers).  To prove me wrong, Ramon Santiago smashes a single to left (bloopy liner) and the Rangers pull Alexi Ogando (who dominates the Tigers). Let's go Don Kelly! (who?)

7:38pm:  Kelly rips a double to the right-field corner...but Santiago can't score?  That is inexcusable.  The ball seemed to sit in the corner for 3 seconds before Nelson Cruz got to it.  With 2 outs, Santiago should have been running on contact.  I have a feeling this comes back to haunt the Tigers. MVP Miggy (Miguel Cabrera) is up with 2 outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd. Another pitching change. Ps - Brad, the Tigers fan, just sent me a text that said "sh*t I forgot they were on!"  To Brad's credit, he was a Pirates fan growing up, lost interest in baseball (hmm, I wonder how a Pirates fan could lose interest in baseball from 1992-2010) and then decided to become a Tigers fan since he was already a Lions fan.  I'll give him a break here.

7:42pm:  The Rangers bring in their closer, Neftali Feliz, a guy who throws 101mph GAS.  He intentionally walks Cabrera??  What a bunch of pussies bitches sissies.  I hate baseball sometimes.

7:46pm:  VMart (Victor Martinez) pops out to end the inning.  I just pounded my first off my ottoman, hard, about 30 times. I REALLY hate baseball sometimes.  And then, as if on cue, Kait walks in. Nice timing - not in the mood for hugs, sorry honey.

7:50pm:  The Rangers start off the bottom of the 9th with a leadoff double by Adrian Beltre.  The ball missed being a home run by about a foot.  After loading the bases, the Tigers' closer Jose Valverde gets a pop out and a double play ball to escape the inning.  3-3 heading to the 10th.  Heart attack city.

8:06pm:  A promising start for the Tigers as Ryan Raburn leads off with a walk.  However, the Tigers AA lineup can barely get the ball out of the infield and off to the bottom of the 10th we go.  I'm still mad Santiago didn't score on Kelly's double in the 9th. This game has walk off written all over it.

8:15pm:  1-2-3 for the Rangers in the bottom of the 10th. Of course this game will bleed into MNF and I'll have to choose which game to watch and flip back and forth. Of course it will.

8:25pm:  Colin, Lars and Kait are all here now. We are in full-blown heart attack mode.  The Lions are about to kickoff and the Tigers are in extra innings trying to avoid going down 2 games to none in this best of 7 ALCS.  I don't know if I'll make it through this night. By the way, I need 32 points from Matt Stafford tonight to beat Colin in fantasy football. Also, I need 7 points from the Lions defense to win my matchup in another league.  These are the things I think of to take my mind off the game. Oh, and the Kardashian wedding countdown - 35 minutes!!!

8:30pm:  And we just got the first Lars negative comment: "I have a horrible feeling about this."  As a Detroit sports fan all his life, Lars is programmed to be negative and expect the worst things to happen.  We will hear comments like this about 40 more times tonight. In the top of the 11th, Cabrera hits a deep fly ball to the warning track that is caught for the 3rd out.  EFF.

8:34pm:  Ok, I'm pulling a Lars now.  I have a horrible feeling about this inning.  Meanwhile, we switch over to ESPN to check out the new MNF opening - pretty cool.  Barry Sanders doing his thing.  He is definitely the greatest running back of my lifetime and the prime reason I'm a Lions fan today.  Maybe I should hold that against him?  Did I mention I hate flipping back and forth between these games?!?  Lars is all over me - having me switch in between pitches!  I really need a second TV mounted above my first TV.  Let's make this happen!

8:43pm:  Here we go.  Dropped fly ball by Andy Dirks.  Yes, Andy Dirks is playing for the Tigers in the biggest game of the season.  On the positive side, first down Lions. Positives and negatives. All night.

8:46pm:  A quick switch back to the Tigers and....Grand Slam Nelson Cruz.  Game over.  7-3 Rangers.  Before Nelson can make it to first base the TV is back to ESPN...permanently.  Thankfully we have the Lions game or I'd be raging right now.

8:47pm:  By the way, before I changed to the Lions I did get a quick glimpse of Nolan Ryan cheering.  Does Nolan Ryan get free wings, pizza and beer at the games?  And if so, who is in charge of cutting him off?  Dude is 400lbs.

8:55pm:  To lighten the mood, Lars is quizzing everyone in the room (but me).  "Do you know the last time the Lions hosted the Bears on Monday Night Football?"  Nobody knows, of course.  October 19, 1981.  Greatest day in the history of mankind (aka, my birthday).  Do you think my dad was more excited that his first child was born, or that the Lions smashed the Bears that night?  Toss up.

9:02pm:  Ok so I've officially lost the buzz I had coming into this night. The Tigers lost on the first walk off grand slam in MLB postseason history. The Lions are flat. And I'm stuffing my face with (cheeseless) pizza.  I feel like Nolan Ryan.  I need to wake up!

9:10pm:  Great challenge by Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage to negate a pass interference penalty.  Now the Lions need a big defensive play to get rolling! Instead, they committ 3 effin BS penalties!!! Wtf? This game is sloppy right now.  Also, Cuter is a pussy sissy - he's shot putting and shovel passing footballs and getting bailed out by stupid Lions' defenders with dreads.  I'm bitter.

9:22pm:  Huge 4th and 1 stand by the Lions defense! That's the play I was talking about! Now I need a quick Stafford to Megatron (Calvin Johnson) TD!

9:29pm:  It's like they were listening to me!  73 yard bomb to Calvin for a touchdown.  7-0 Lions.  By the way, that was Calvin Johnson's 9th TD reception of the season...thru 4 1/2 games.  No other player in NFL history scored 9 TDs in the first 5 games of the season.  He's kinda good. 

9:35pm:  Random observation:  Stephen Tulloch = Dan Walsh. 5'8, stubby, all over the field.

9:49pm:  Does anyone watch commercials anymore? I swear as soon as commercials come on, my house gets silent as everyone starts texting/tweeting/checking the Internet.

10:05pm:  Full negativity mode for Lars (I'm more numb at this point) as the Lions are down 10-7 and the offense looks like crap. Oh, and that INT Stafford just threw isn't helping. The Lions are gonna be down 10-7 at half. So far the "best night of Detroit sports" effin blows.

10:11pm:  Twisting the knife even deeper, the NBA and David Stern just officially cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA season. I realize that there are not as many NBA fans as NFL or MLB, but I remain in the minority here.  I like the NBA as much as any other sport and follow it religiously.  This is a huge blow.  The 2010-11 NBA season was the best season in YEARS with the Heat becoming Enemy No. 1, tons of young stars emerging (Rose, Durant, Griffin, Wall) and a 7'0 German guy winning a championship.  Why build on that momentum?  That would be dumb.  Just cancel the season instead. 

10:17pm:  I wish I could be excited about the 2nd half.  Instead all I can think about is my trip to Texas this weekend with Colin, Jesse and Jeff.  Got tickets for the Texas-Oklahoma St. football game Saturday. Should be fun. And I hear Austin is a great city.  Not to mention this is a 4-day work week for me.  Ok...things are looking up!  Let's go Lions!

10:29pm:  Can the Lions throw to Calvin every play please?  He's unstoppable. Big first down. The Lions really need to get the crowd going. Ford Field is one of those sneaky loud buildings, only no one knows about it because the Lions have been so awful since it opened. 

10:38pm:  Ok, I'm getting into the game now and losing interest in this "live" blog.  Here are some rapid fire thoughts:  Matt Forte is killing the Lions; defense can't stop him.

10:47pm:  BOOM, Jahvid Best goes 88yds to the house! 21-10 Lions and Ford Field is rocking!  So is 1491 Timber Brook! 

11:04pm:  Enough highlights of the walk off grand slam. The Lions are up 21-10. That's all I care about right now. That, and admiring Colin's long hair.

11:09pm:  The Lions defense gets a big sack and I'm now up .38 in my fantasy matchup.  I've already conceded the matchup against Colin.  He's so smug sitting over there in the corner with his new Nike (pumped up) kicks.   

11:14pm:  Watching this game gets me pumped for December 11th when we head to Ford Field for the Vikings game. Should be awesome.

11:26pm:  Can Mike Wilbon stop tweeting about how the lions are 5-0?  Everyone knows it'll be the first time in forever. You can wait 5 more minutes. Thanks.

11:38pm:  Lions playing conservatively here and looking for a field goal instead of throwing to Calvin who is singled covered at the goalline. Don't they know he has a 2TD per game streak to keep alive??

11:49pm:  The Final:  Lions 24 Bears 13.  The Detroit Lions are 5-0!

11:50pm:  Even crazier than the Lions being 5-0 - how about the fantasy football implications of the last 2 minutes of the game.  I won my matchup with the Lions defense by 1.38 points.  If the Bears would have scored any points at the end of the game (they were tackled on the 1 yard line as time expired, I would have lost).  Lars loses his matchup by .12 points - yes .12 - when all he needed was another Lions' sack on the final Bears' drive.  And the heartbreak of all heartbreaks, Colin loses his matchup in a different league by .5 points because of....A JASON HANSON TACKLE.  Yes, Jason Hanson got credited with a tackle of Devin Hester on the final kickoff of the game.  In this league, all players get 1 point for a tackle, much to Colin's dismay.  Even kickers.  Man, I feel really terrible.  This could not have happened to a nicer guy.....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

That was a Crazy Night of Baseball!

Last night was maybe the most dramatic, exciting, incredible night in the history of regular season baseball.  Both the AL and NL wild card playoff spots were up for grabs.  In the AL, the Tampa Bay Rays were tied with the Boston Red Sox.  If both teams won or both teams lost, they would have played today in a one game playoff to see who wins the wildcard.  In the NL, the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals were in the same position.  To add to the drama, both the Red Sox and the Braves were in the midst of an epic collapse to finish the season.  The Red Sox led the Rays by 9 games, 9 games!, earlier in September.  And the Braves led the Cardinals by 8.5 games as late as September 5th.  If both teams had played just .500 baseball for the month, they would have clinched the wildcard spot days ago.


St. Louis Cardinals @ Houston Astros:  This was the weakest game of the night.  The Astros were the worst team in Major League Baseball this year and the Cardinals had their ace, Chris Carpenter, pitching.  The Cards won 8-0 and had to wait around to see what happened with the Braves.  Remember, if the Braves also win, the Cardinals and Braves would play tonight in a one-game playoff.  If the Braves lose, the Cardinals win the wildcard.

Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves:  Tough matchup for the Braves.  The Phillies are MLB's best regular season team, and the Braves were clearly reeling down the stretch.  However, the Phillies had pitcher Joe Blanton on the mound, basically their 6th best starting pitcher.  The Braves held a 3-2 lead going into the top of the 9th inning.  3 outs away from a win and a one-game playoff with the Cardinals, winner take all. 

Boston Red Sox @ Baltimore Orioles:  On paper, the easiest matchup possible for the Red Sox.  The Orioles were the worst team in the AL this season and the Red Sox have arguably the best lineup in baseball, with 3 legit MVP candidates.  But they don't play the games on paper.  After a long rain delay that only added to the drama by delaying the game just long enough so it coincided with the end of the Yankees/Rays game, the Red Sox led 3-2 entering the bottom of the 9th inning.  Enter Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox closer who had been lights out this season, especially in September.  3 outs away from a win and control of their destiny.

New York Yankees @ Tampa Bay Rays:  The Yankees had clinched home field advantage in the AL a few days ago, so this game meant nothing to them.  Sure, they knew if they beat the Rays, it gave the Red Sox, their bitter rivals, a better chance to make the playoffs.  But still, the Yankees rested essentially all of their starters and used 11, yes 11 pitchers!  All of them almost irrelevant come playoff time.  Surprisingly, the Yankees jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, beating up on the Rays ace David Price.  They held that 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Rays were 7 runs down and 6 outs away from a potentially season ending loss.


First, the Braves blew their lead to the Phillies.  The Phillies tied the game up 3-3 in the top of the 9th, forced extra innings, and then scored a run in the top of the 13th to take a 4-3 lead.  With a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the 13th, the Braves Freddie Freeman (their hottest hitter), grounded into a game-ending and season-ending double play.  2 outs away from forcing a one game playoff, the Braves complete their collapse and the Cardinals win the wildcard, advance to the playoffs and get to play the Phillies.

Meanwhile, the Rays get hot in the bottom of the 8th and score 6 runs to make it a 7-6 game.  With 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Rays pinch hit Dan Johnson.  Dan Johnson's last hit in a MLB game was on April 27th.  Yes, he hadn't had a HIT in the major leagues since April 27th!  With a 2-2 count, 2 outs and 1 pitch away from possibly ending the Rays season, Dan Johnson smacked a solo homerun to tie the game 7-7.  Later, the Rays got out of a jam in the top of the 12th and entered the bottom of the 12th inning, season on the line, tied 7-7.

Back to the Red Sox.  Papelbon enters the game in the bottom of the 9th, up 3-2, and gets 2 quick outs.  The Red Sox are 1 out away from at least forcing a one game playoff with the Rays.  Orioles 3rd baseman Chris Davis hits a 2 out double.  Outfielder Nolan Reimold hits a ground-rule double that scores Davis.  Game is tied 3-3 and Papelbon blows the save.  Next better is Robert Andino (who?).  Andino hits a soft liner to left field.  Red Sox million-dollar free agent Carl Crawford charges the ball, does a half slide/dive and can't come up with it.  Reimold rounds 3rd as Crawford comes up throwing (if you can call it throwing) and Reimold scores easily.  Game over.  Orioles 4 Red Sox 3. 

At the same time, the Rays start the bottom of the 12th inning.  The crowd is going crazy because the scoreboard for the Orioles-Red Sox game just showed the Orioles tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th.  BJ Upton leads off the inning, one of the Rays best hitters.  He strikes out, but in doing so, the crowd goes crazy again as the scoreboard updates to show Orioles 4 Red Sox 3.  Drama and tension building.  Now the Rays know they are one run away from not only completing a 7 run comeback, but winning the wildcard outright.  Next up - Evan Longoria.  Longoria already hit a 3-run homerun earlier in the game, his 30th of the season.  He works the count to 2 balls and 2 strikes.  Next pitch:  GAME OVER.  He drills a low, screaming linedrive into the left field corner that clears the fence by maybe, MAYBE, 2 feet.  Walk off.  Rays win.  Red Sox collapse.  Braves collapse.  Instant MLB classic night.

I honestly couldn't fall asleep for 30 minutes after all of this went down.  I was tweeting like a mad man (@djameson87), watching Sportscenter and sending 500 word text messages to my brother since he likely fell asleep.  Amazing night of baseball.

Playoff Matchups:

Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers @ New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Let's go Tigers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shots of Jame-O: September 22, 2011

Now that football season is in full swing, baseball playoffs are right around the corner, and the Fall TV season kicked off with new shows (and returning shows), I think it's time for another blog post.  I apologize to all of you who check this blog every single day and night hoping and praying for new posts to get you through the long weeks (McCarthy).  I AM BACK.


2 weeks down and 15 to go in the NFL regular season.  Lots of exciting stuff happening, like the Redskins and Bills both 2-0!  (You thought I was going to mention a certain blue and silver team, huh?  Nope, no jinxing from me).  I'm not going to comment on my pre-season predictions just yet, as it is still way too early.  But clearly (and as someone was kind enough to point out on the blog) I was wrong on Peyton Manning and the Colts.  As Peyton goes, so go the Colts.  At least they will have Andrew Luck waiting in the wings to learn from Manning like Rodgers did from Favre.  I think that turned out ok for the Packers.  A few other quick observations:  the Patriots and Tom Brady look like world-beaters (he's on pace for 7,500 passing yards!).  The Seahawks look absolutely horrible, mostly because they gave the keys to Tavaris Jackson (sorry, Colleeeen).  The "Dream Team" is 1-1 with Vick already wobbling.  And the Redskins and Bills look like this year's "IT" teams (reverse jinx). 

Fantasy Football:

With the NFL comes fantasy football - and who doesn't love fantasy football?  Let me answer that - I don't!  Typical start to the fantasy football season for me.  I play in 4 money leagues.  In 3 of those, I'm 2-0 and either in 1st or 2nd place overall.  My teams look strong and ready to contend all year.  In my other league, I'm 0-2.  And yes, that is the league I care the most about.  It's year 7 for that league and I've never won a championship.  I thought with Arian Foster, Chris Johnson and Antonio Gates I would be stacked.  Instead, those guys have 0 TDs through 2 weeks.  And 0 double-digit point performances.  Awesome.  Some observations:  Cam Newton!  Wow.  Whoever has Arian Foster better hope they also picked up Ben Tate (I drafted him in that 0-2 league, wisely).  Don't forget that Ben Tate was supposed to be the #1 guy for the Texans last year before a season ending injury let Arian Foster run wild.  Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Darren McFadden all look poised to battle for the #2 RB spot behind Adrian Peterson this year.  Those guys are monsters in a point-per-reception league.  Oh, and guess who has 2 more TDs than Arian Foster, Chris Johnson and Antonio Gates this year?  KUUUUUUHHHHHHHNNNNNNN.  Pick him up and drop Foster/Johnson now!  (Only if you are in one of my leagues). 

Fall 2011 TV Season:

Last year there were some exciting shows that premiered...and I think they all were cancelled after one season.  I really, really liked The Chicago Code, a FOX drama about cops in Chicago and political corruption.  Of course, it was cancelled after an awesome season finale.  Some people I know got into "The Event" on NBC.  I watched for about 6 episodes or so, and had absolutely NO CLUE what "The Event" was.  Was that ever revealed?  That reminds me a little of the AMC show "The Killing", where all season long the tag line was "Who killed Rosie Larsen?", only the finale didn't really tell us who killed Rosie Larsen.  Anyway, this season there does not appear to be a lot of new shows that are worth watching...and even if they seem interesting, my advice would be not to get too attached; new network shows rarely make it these days.  That said, here are a few that I'll be checking out:

Person of Interest:  Debuts 9/22 at 9pm on CBS.  Centers on ex-CIA hitman and a scientist who team up to prevent crimes before they happen.  The scientist is the guy who played Ben Linus on "LOST" - one of my favorite characters.  And the ex-CIA hitman is the dude from Frequency who gets to talk to his dad back before his dad dies and tries to save him.  Looks pretty cool and got decent reviews.

New Girl:  FOX comedy that premiered on Tuesday night at 9pm.  Stars Zooey Deschanel (the girl from "Elf") who moves in with 3 guys after a bad breakup.  Critics seem to love it, and it opened with huge ratings.  But I thought it was just "eh."  Admittedly, I'm not a big standard sit-com guy.  But I'll give it another episode or two.

Pan Am:  Debuts Sunday at 10pm on ABC.  Period drama about the pilots and flight attendants who once made Pan Am the most glamorous way to fly.  I'll give it an episode or two - lots of buzz surrounding it.  But I fear it'll be Grey's Anatomy in the sky.

Homeland:  Debuts October 2nd on Showtime.  Centers on Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody, who returns home eight years after going missing in Iraq, and Carrie Anderson, a driven (and possibly unstable) CIA officer who suspects he might be plotting a terrorist attack on America.  I saw the pilot episode of this show, and it was pretty awesome.  Definitely the show I'm most pumped for this year. 

There are others I'll be watching, and if I think they are good enough to put into the rotation, I'll probably blog about them.  For now, make sure you are watching (or start watching) the following returning (or currently airing) shows:  Breaking Bad on AMC (best show on TV), Boardwalk Empire (HBO - 2nd season premiere this Sunday), Community/Parks and Recreation/The Office (all return to NBC Thursday).  For my money, Breaking Bad is the best TV drama currently on TV and Parks and Recreation is the best network comedy.  Yes, better than Modern Family.  And definitely better than a post-Steve Carell "The Office."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shots of Jame-O: August 31, 2011

"Relaxing" weekend:

All last week I told myself I was going to have a relaxing weekend.  I had nothing really planned, other than a concert on Sunday night.  But, as always, I ended up going non-stop from the time I got off work Friday until I went to bed at 1:15am Sunday night/Monday morning.  Friday night I left work, ran to my parents to pick up Trivial Pursuit, stopped at the beer distributor for a case of beer and then went to my cousin Mary's house with Colin and Kait for dinner, drinks and to play Trivial Pursuit.  Colin thinks he won even though we didn't finish the game and he cheated - multiple times.  Of course the drinks led to us going downtown, which meant we were out until 2:30am and didn't get to sleep until after 3.  Saturday I told my buddy Bobby I would play golf with him at I was up at 7:30.  Luckily I have the ability to drink until 3am and then jump right out of bed when my alarm goes off without suffering from a hangover.  I showered, changed and ran out the door only to realize that my car was still at Mary's house (I wisely picked cab fare over a DUI - my mom is smiling right now).  I got a ride to my car and made it to golf on time.  Played 18 holes without getting rained on surprisingly and was back in my car by 1:45pm.  I drove home, changed and had to make it to the 4th of my 4 fantasy football money league drafts by 3pm.  I drafted the winning team and was back in my car heading home by 5:45pm.  I changed quickly again and drove to Aroogas to meet up with Colin, Dan, Mike and his girlfriend Candace.  We ate wings, drank beers, watched preseason NFL games and received multiple high fives, fist-bumps and kisses on the head from Walsh until about midnight.  Then me, Kait, Mike and Candace hit up another bar for an hour or so and made it back to my house around 1:30-2am.  Sunday was even more go-go-go.  We got up, went to brunch and then Kait and I drove up to Jim Thorpe, PA for the Trace Adkins concert.  Kait's dad grew up with a guy in Trace's band, so we had VIP tickets, got to meet the band and sit literally next to the stage.  Pretty cool show, even though I'm not a big country music fan.  The concert ended around 10:30pm, we were in the car by 11 and I didn't crawl into bed until about 1:00am.  Whew...I am exhausted just typing that.  So much for the relaxing weekend. 


To elaborate on my golf round, I think Saturday was the worst round I've played in 5 years.  Sure, I could blame it on being hungover or tired (or both), but I have played some of my best golf hungover and tired.  I have no clue what was wrong with me Saturday.  I honestly did not hit a single drive that stayed right of center.  Not one.  Every drive I hit started out the same way:  right down the middle with a little draw...then more draw, and more draw and before I knew it, the ball was either in the trees or OB left.  It was unreal.  Now I'm not a good golfer by any means, but I am definitely average if not a little above-average.  If you've ever played a round with me, you can tell within a hole or two that I'm a decent golfer.  However, after 3 holes, you know I'm wildly inconsistent.  I shot a 76 earlier this summer, which was my best round ever.  But followed that round up with a 90 a week or so later.  If there is one thing I do well , it's hit my driver.  That certainly was not the case Saturday.  I think I stopped keeping score somewhere around the 6th hole.  In case you didn't know, I don't take losing (or playing poor golf) very well.   

Detroit Sports:

With basketball and hockey on the shelf for now, the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers are the two teams I am following closely.  Lucky for me, both are looking solid right now.  The Lions have been pretty awesome this preseason, capped off by a 34-10 rout of Tom Brady and the Patriots on Saturday.  I know it's the preseason, and a bunch of Patriots players sat the game out.  But so did a bunch of Lions' starters.  Matt Stafford was 12-14 for 200 yards and 2 TDs and is poised for a big year if he can stay healthy.  I'm still not going to get sucked into the Lions-hype train, but my prediction of them making the playoffs is looking less like a homer pick each week.  As for the Tigers, they are currently 6 games up in the AL Central.  Miguel Cabrera is always a force and in the MVP discussion.  And Justin Verlander has been flat out sick!  Dude is 20-5 with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.  Those numbers are crazy good.  This could be the first year since 1986 that a starting pitcher wins the MVP award.  Verlander is already a lock for the Cy Young.  (Yes, I realize I just jinxed both the Lions and the Tigers.  Stafford will break his collarbone week 2 and Verlander will be mentioned in the same sentence as Dr. James Andrews by the end of September)

MLB Playoffs:

Speaking of baseball, here are my predictions for the playoffs, MVP and Cy Young award races:

AL East Champ:  New York Yankees
AL Central Champ:  Detroit Tigers
AL West Champ:  Texas Rangers
AL Wildcard:  Boston Red Sox


Tigers @ Yankees - as badly as I would love to pick the Tigers here, I just don't think they are on par with the Yanks.  This series will likely go 5 games, simply because Verlander will win 2 for the Tigers.  But the rest of the Tigers' pitching staff will get roughed up by the Yankees potent offense and I'm sure Granderson will lead the charge, making it hurt that much more for Tigers' fans.  Man, I hope I'm wrong.  Yankees in 5.

Red Sox @ Rangers - I hate the Red Sox and think they are overrated.  After Beckett and Lester, their starting pitching is awful.  The Rangers are very tough at home and have a solid rotation and some recent playoff success to build on.  Rangers in 5.


Rangers @ Yankees - a healthy Yankees lineup is too much for any pitching staff in a 7 game series.  Yankees in 6.

NL East Champ:  Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central Champ:  Milwaukee Brewers
NL West Champ:  Arizona Diamondbacks
NL Wildcard:  Atlanta Braves


Diamondbacks @ Phillies - even though I hate the Phillies more so than the Red Sox, I cannot argue with their unreal starting pitching.  There is a reason they were pre-season favorites once they locked up Cliff Lee to go along with Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt.  I like Justin Upton and think he's a future MVP for the Diamondbacks (possibly as early as this year), but he can't win this series alone.  Phillies in 4.

Braves @ Brewers - the Brewers have the 2 best bats in the NL - Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.  And their rotation isn't too bad either - with Greinke leading the way.  The Braves are no slouches, but they are a bit banged up and that will make the difference here.  Brewers in 4. 


Brewers @ Phillies - ok, here is where I'll let my bias set in.  I do think the Phillies are the best team in the NL.  However, I think their bats go cold too often.  Again, Braun and Fielder are the best 2 position players in this series and I think they do damage...even if that damage comes in the 8th and 9th after the Phab Phour take a seat.  Sorry Phillies fans - Brewers in 7.

World Series:

Brewers @ Yankees - should be a great slugfest.  I predict this one comes down to Greinke pitching in a huge game 6 or game 7 at Yankee Stadium.  And he'll collapse just like he used to for the Royals.  Banner #28 on its way....Yankees in 6. (Sorry Dad - but happy birthday!)

AL Regular Season MVP:  Jose Bautista (should be Granderson or Verlander, but they won't give it to a guy batting .275 or a pitcher)
AL Cy Young:  Justin Verlander

NL Regular Season MVP:  Prince Fielder (should be Matt Kemp - the NL's best hitter - but they won't give it to a guy on a losing team)
NL Cy Young:  Roy Halladay

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 NFL Predictions

Unless you have been locked in a closet, or trapped in a hole with a long-haired freak-o telling you to put lotion on your skin, you know that an earthquake hit the east coast earlier today.  If you have Facebook, you heard about this 1,568 different times because apparently people think they get extra Farmville points for being the first to mention "earthquake" in their status.  Well, since the world is clearly coming to an end soon, I thought I'd put my 2011 NFL Predictions in print before "East United States" becomes it's own country floating in the Atlantic ocean. 


As much as I would LOVE to predict the Eagles to go 6-10 and miss the playoffs, with Michael Vick getting eaten by Walsh's dog Reggie in week 2 and Vince Young completing 48.2% of his passes with 27 INTs the rest of the season, I have to pick Da Birds to win the East.  The Giants are too banged up (and they have Eli - the "special" Manning brother - as their QB), the Cowboys are too hot and cold and the Redskins are just flat out awful.  They might not win 3 games. 

Final Standings:  Eagles 12-4, Giants 9-7, Cowboys 8-8, Redskins 3-13.


The Packers are still the clear favorites here.  I do think the NFC North might be the most loaded division in the NFC...if not the entire NFL.  But no one is ready to unseat the Pack at the top.  The Vikings brought in McNabb which should help the passing game and open up more holes for Peterson in the run game.  But McNabb is old...and the only half-decent wide receiver on the team is Percy "Migraines" Harvin.  The Bears still have Jay Cutler, who has a "laser-rocket arm" but has no one to throw it to other than opposing defensive backs.  And the Lions are definitely up-and-coming, but not quite ready to take "the leap" just yet.  Though, to make sure I add some homerism to this post, I'm picking them as a wild card team.  (FYI - "homerism" will net you approximately 47 points in Words With Friends)

Final Standings:  Packers 13-3, Lions 10-6, Vikings 8-8, Bears 7-9


Another loaded division, with three teams that could all make the playoffs - the Saints, Falcons and Bucs.  I think the Falcons win the division and the Bucs surprise by beating out the Saints for a wild card.  Nothing too exciting here, except for the weekly debate over whether Cam Newton will develop into a solid NFL QB, or just another awesome athlete.  I'll go out on a limb and say he develops into a top 10-15 QB a few years down the road.  Plus, that will make it more fun when the NCAA takes his Heisman Trophy in 2 years after finding out that Newton spent his entire senior year living on a remote island with 4 supermodels and being choppered in and out of Jordan Hare Stadium on game day.

Final Standings:  Falcons 12-4, Bucs 11-5, Saints 9-7, Panthers 2-14


I know this is cliche by now, but I'm skipping the NFC West and just jumping straight to final standings.  The division has maybe 2 exciting players and no exciting teams.  Apologies to Colin.  Follow him on twitter @c_donlevy.

Final Standings:  Rams 9-7, Seahawks 7-9, 49ers 6-10, Cardinals 5-11


Lions @ Falcons and Bucs @ Rams.  The Lions fairytale ends here, but the Bucs march on.


Bucs @ Packers and Falcons @ Eagles.  The home teams dominate to setup a rematch of last year's wildcard upset. 


Eagles @ Packers.  KUUUUUUUUUUHN.

The Patriots still rule this division.  Sorry Jets fans, but you aren't beating Tom Brady again as long as Mark Sanchez is still your QB.  Yeah, I know you beat them in the playoffs last year.  This isn't last year.  As for the Dolphins and the Bills....blech.  Nothing to see here. 

Final Standings:  Patriots 14-2, Jets 11-5, Dolphins 5-11, Bills 3-13


This division boasts the best inter-division rivalry (Steelers/Ravens) and maybe the worst/least exciting teams in the NFL (Browns/Bengals).  As much as it pains me to say, I think the Steelers still have the upper hand.  Mostly because Roethlisberger is significantly better than Joe Flacco.  I hope I'm wrong.

Final Standings:  Steelers 11-5, Ravens 10-6, Browns 6-10, Bengals 1-15


Another boring division here.  It seems every year is "the year" the Colts fall...but Peyton Manning won't let that happen.  And oh yeah, for those of you in fantasy football leagues that have not drafted yet, Peyton Manning is going WAY too late.  He will play week 1, and will finish as a top 4 QB.  He was the 9th QB taken in my draft last Sunday, after guys like Matt Ryan, Tony Romo and Matt Schaub.  Unacceptable.  As for the rest of the division, I like the Texans for fantasy purposes; just not in real life.  And the Titans and Jags are who we thought they were - mediocre.

Final Standings:  Colts 12-4, Texans 9-7, Titans 7-9, Jags 7-9


Raiders - Terrell Pryor - Match Made in Heaven!  Pryor isn't going to play, and the Raiders aren't going to win.  The Chargers on the other hand, I think this might be the year they finally win a playoff game.  Phillip Rivers is turning into a top 5 QB in the league and he has a lot of weapons - led by Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates.  The Chiefs were a nice story last year, but I just don't see them improving much.  And the Broncos will likely sabotage their season by letting Tim Tebow take over as QB1 after a few shaky Kyle Orton weeks.  Big mistake.

Final Standings:  Chargers 11-5, Chiefs 8-8, Raiders 6-10, Broncos 4-12


Ravens @ Chargers and Jets @ Steelers.  Rivers is too much for Ray Lewis and Co.  And the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets pull off an upset and knock the Steelers out early with Bart Scott stomping on terrible towels.


Jets @ Patriots and Chargers @ Colts.  The Hoodie isn't losing to Foot-Fetish again.  And this might be the week Manning passes the torch to Rivers (you know, 2nd best QB in the AFC torch). 


Chargers @ Patriots.  Bring on a matchup of the NFL's two best QBs!


Packers @ Patriots.  Rarely do teams repeat in the Super Bowl.  I think the Packers definitely have the skills and mental makeup to return to the game and possibly win it again.  But, I think Brady will have his boys focused in the playoffs this year.  Patriots 31 Packers 21.  Hanging low like a boss, Howitzer. 

P.S.  I did not look at a single schedule when making these predictions.  Chances are I will get .00034% of them right.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shots of Jame-O: August 18, 2011

Summer TV is Awful:

As everyone knows, I'm a huge fan of serialized TV shows.  I don't watch garbage on MTV, I don't watch reality TV and even though I'm a sports nut, I don't really watch random sporting events or the NFL Network just to find out how the Lions look in the preseason.  So for someone like me, the summer is just AWFUL when it comes to TV.  Mid-season baseball games are meaningless (unless you are a Phillies fan and update your Facebook status every week night from April through October), the NFL doesn't start until August, and the NBA and NHL end in June.  The only good summer sport is golf - US Open in June, British Open in July and PGA in August - but we all know how I feel about golf right now (did I mention Tiger Woods sucks?).  As for TV, most serialized TV shows end in May and don't start back up till September.  So yeah, the summer TV schedule is terrible.  Despite that, there are a few shows that are airing new episodes right now that I watch religiously - Breaking Bad (awesome!), Curb Your Enthusiasm (hilarious!), and Entourage (is it over yet?).  But guess what?  They ALL air on Sundays!  And all between 10-11pm!  WTF?  Obviously I'm not making it up until 11pm while suffering through Sunday Depression Mode.  I don't want to wish away the summer...but damn, I cannot WAIT until September when we get college football Saturdays, NFL Sundays and regular weekday TV shows.  Not to mention jeans and hoodie weather.  The best time of the year.

College Football is Right Around the Corner:

Speaking of college football, less than one month until week 1 of the season.  Now, I'll go ahead and say this right up front:  I'm not a huge college football fan.  I root for Penn State, consider myself a fan and I've been to at least one Penn State game in Happy Valley for the past 5 or 6 years straight.  But mostly just because I love a good tailgate.  I'm heading up again this year for the Penn State-Alabama game which should be awesome.  Penn State will likely get murdered (like last year) but the atmosphere will be great (and of course, the tailgating).  I went down to Tuscaloosa last year for the Penn State/Bama game with Jesse and Colin, and we had a blast.  Maybe blur is a better word to describe it?  Anyway, the one thing I'll remember most:  southerners really are ridiculously, overly, almost obnoxiously nice.  Penn State fans were dominating the Bama bars and walking up and down the streets chanting "WE ARE - PENN STATE."  Yet every time I struck up a conversation with a Bama fan, he would wish me good luck, say that PSU fans are great, etc.  I can guarantee you they won't be saying the same thing about us when they head back home September 11th.

University of Miami Scandal:

I know it is probably overkill at this point, but I had to say a few words about this University of Miami scandal.  For those who don't know anything about it, even if you are non-college football or non-sports fans, check out this article.  It's long, so I know Walsh and Colin won't read it, but it's great.  Quick summary:  Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported that a booster named Nevin Shapiro gave illicit benefits to University of Miami football players for almost a decade.  He gave them everything from cars, cash, parties and yes, even prostitutes.  Of all the allegations and unbelievable stories in the article, one thing stood out to me:  dude is a 5'5 white guy!  All the talking heads are discussing whether Miami knew about these allegations and to what degree they knew.  Let's see, you have a 5'5 white guy parading around Miami, bouncing in and out of clubs and strip joints, with 10-20 HUGE black guys!  Umm...this is normal, how?  Of course they knew!  The other thing that made me laugh - Shapiro said that he decided to blow the whistle on this whole ordeal because his "friends" didn't have his back when he went to prison.  What friends, dude?  You don't think the players were using you for free gifts, parties and girls?  Clearly this guy was throwing around his millions trying to make friends just like any other guy with little man's syndrome.  Really pathetic...but I gotta give him credit, he had one hell of a 10 year run.

Blogging Expectations

I started this blog because I like writing and I feel that I'm a fairly decent writer.  Obviously I was a little nervous when I posted the first blog on Twitter and then on Facebook, wondering how people would react.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Most people seemed to like it, even if they were just being nice, which I appreciate anyway.  But hey, starting a blog carries with it some expectations.  "Hey I read the blog.  Pretty solid writing...but I thought it would be funny."  (I thought it was?)  "Nice blog Dan.  Can't you write about X though?"  (Sure, wanna pick up my salary when I get fired?).  I actually enjoy the constructive criticism and all in all, it's been a solid first week.  The best part:  having someone I don't even know find my blog while googling "sports blogs", retweet it on Twitter and tell me that he picked mine after looking through 50 "crappy" blogs.  Pretty cool. 

Special Shout Outs:

Finally, just wanted to give a few special shout outs.  First, to my cousin Andy and his wife Stacie who just had a baby boy Tuesday night (their first kid) - Nolan Michael.  Congrats!  Also, congrats to Kait who just accepted her first "big girl" job and can no longer go to the beach for 10 days at a time or say things like "I think I'm going to lay out today!" as I'm walking out the door for work.  And last, I'm pumped for this weekend when I get to see my niece Sophia again.  Think I'll be able to pry her from my mom's grasp long enough to hold her this time? either.   

Update:  I'm a terrible son.  Congrats to my parents on being married for 32 years today!  I have no idea how my mom has put up with Lars for 32 years!  Wow.  Only kidding dad.  Kinda. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

How To Avoid "Sunday Depression Mode"

My friends and I often talk about what we refer to as "Sunday Depression mode."  Sunday Depression mode is the feeling you get on a Sunday after a fun, usually alcohol-filled weekend when the excitement wears off and all you can think about is how the following morning you have to start a 5-day work week.  It's a little like "a case of the Mondays" except worse.  It's worse because it is still Sunday, a day where you aren't at work and have the entire day to do whatever you want.  But instead, you spend all day being depressed (and, perhaps hung over) and dreading Monday morning.

Now, it's easy to avoid Sunday Depression mode by having a Sunday-funday instead.  Basically, just pretend like Sunday is just another Saturday, drink some beers, hang out with friends and put off the depressed feeling until you wake up Monday morning when you would already be feeling depressed anyway.  That is pretty much what I did this past weekend. 

I had my first (of four) fantasy football drafts on Sunday.  The draft was for my longest running league, now appropriately named "Daddy Day Care."  My friend Colin came up with that name last year when, prior to the draft, three of the guys in our league all had pregnant wives.  Probably a funnier name last year...but still applicable today.

One of the rules in our league is that every team must have a unique name each season.  Even though this is a "keeper" league and we are starting our 7th season, having unique team names is fun and usually leads to some laughs.  I'll give a quick rundown of the guys in the league and the team names.  The names are not always appropriate for a family-friendly blog, but I'll do my best to censor them and explain their meanings:

Kevin's team:  "Shots of Jame-O" - Kevin as a person may be the most unique guy in the league...but he certainly is NOT the most original.  Last year, his team name was "JES"....because he was wearing a t-shirt with "JES" on it at the draft.  Kevin drinks a lot of Coors Lights on draft weekend, leaves spitters all over my house and is a Libra. 

Brad's team:  "Start Talkin DYNASTY" - Brad has won the league 2 times.  He is very proud of this.  Brad was 5'8 in 6th grade and is still 5'8 today.  His son, Kal, is about 9 months old and already going through puberty (I admittedly stole this joke from someone at the draft - I can't remember who).

Walsh's team:  "Ze Pipes Ze Pipes" - In the song Danny Boy....ok, never mind.  Explaining the origin of this team name would take too long and would not be funny.  Walsh loves his team and DEFINITELY drafted the best team in the league this year.  Also, the Eagles are DEFINITELY going to win the Super Bowl this year.  Boom.

Novak's team:  "*********" - Novak's team name cannot be printed on the blog due to inappropriate content, but McCarthy definitely had one on Sunday.  Novak is a unique individual who likes to say the F word in front of grandparents at family parties.  He also has twin boys - "but one with a girl's name!"  His team is by far, without a doubt, the worst drafted fantasy football team in the history of fantasy football.  I think even he would agree.

Colin's team:  "Pierre Jennings" - for now.  Colin changes his team name every week.  In fact, Colin started the draft with the team name "SeattleSydneyNovaks" and changed it before the draft ended.  He drafted Pierre Garcon and Pierre Thomas, and also Greg Jennings and Rashad Jennings.  Hence, "Pierre Jennings."  By the time I post this blog, his team's name will probably be "Jameson'sblogisn'tfunny." 

McCarthy's team:  "MIKE!!!DYKE!!!" - inside joke, I think.  Honestly I forget why this is his team name.  But I'll tell you what - it was fun to yell out every time his team was on the clock.  Mike hates his team every year after about his 4th or 5th pick in the draft.  Last year, prior to the draft, he named his team "Last Place" and then finished the last place.  Not sure what he's trying to tell us this year by naming his team Mike Dyke....

Jesse's team:  "Bo's Jackson" - he said something about how he's re-reading Bo Jackson's book right now whenever he told us his team's name.  I still don't quite understand the meaning or the point of the name.  But it definitely is a copy off of my team name last year, Calvin's Johnson.  Apparently Jesse isn't original either.  He's also too nice of a guy for me to make fun of in this blog.

My team:  "Touch Me N I'll Suh" - named after Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit Lions' defensive tackle.  He's a BEAST.  Like Walsh's dog Reggie.  Also, the name is a play on words from a line in the movie "Rocky V."  Only in America - George Washington Duke.

Ott's team:  "REX-N-EFFECT" - named after his favorite human being on Earth, Rex Ryan.  Ott drafted Andre Johnson in the first round for the 15th straight season.  He has 1 championship in this league.  1 more than I have. 

Willie's team:  "300lb Club" - the name would have been more appropriate if it was the 40+ club, as he's the only guy in our league over 40.  He isn't 300lb, but even if he was, he certainly wouldn't be the only one pushing 3-bills.  Not as long as McCarthy alive. 

All in all it was a fun draft, even though we had it on August 14th, approximately a million weeks before the season starts.  McCarthy is the one to blame for that.  He was invited to 34 weddings this summer, all of them in late August.  Hard to believe, right?  Dude is the most popular man on the eastern seaboard. 

We finished up the draft nice and early, around 3pm.  Plenty of time for the guys who live out of town to get back home at a reasonable time.  I spent the rest of the evening hanging with my girlfriend Kait - we ordered Thai food and watched a movie.  Well, she watched the movie.  I fell asleep about halfway through, successfully avoiding Sunday Depression Mode.

Now if only I could say that about the Mondays....

P.S.  Past champions:  Brad twice, Colin, Ott, Walsh and Novak.  Championships for me:  0. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Correction: I hate Tiger Woods and he sucks

For those of you who read my first post, I mentioned how I love Tiger Woods, he's my favorite athlete, going to pass Jack Nichlaus' majors record tomorrow (not even possible), blah blah blah.  Well I take all that back.

For about an hour this morning, I was feeling like a prophet.  Dude was killing it - birdies on 3 of his first 5 holes and tied for the lead.  Sure, it was early and he was bound to struggle a bit.  But things were looking up and the old Tiger was back.  On I think his 4th hole (#13) he hit a 366 yard drive where he had to hit it 330 yards just to clear the bunker.  That was vintage 2000 Tiger right there.  Not only try the impossible, but pull it off easily. 

Fast forward to now...and we see he's still 2009-2011 Tiger.  The guy who shows a brief flash of awesome only to come CRASHING back to earth with more mental mistakes than porn stars he's slept with.  Try this:  immediately after the 366 yard drive, he stuck his approach to 3 feet, made the birdie and was -3 thru 5 holes.  He then went double-bogey, bogey, par, bogey, bogey, bogey and was +4 thru 11 holes.  +4!!  He continued to struggle from there and shot a first round 7-over par 77. 

Moral of the story - Tiger is not back.  Though of course I'll continue to follow him and say things in my head like "if he just birdies the next 5 holes and makes the cut, he could win this thing!"

P.S.  The only person more irrational when it comes to Tiger Woods is my brother.  I was as furious as anyone when Tiger started falling apart today.  But I didn't go this far:

12:45pm today - @TJameson23:  "@TigerWoods your a complete mental freak on the course now.  Wake the F up and start playing golf."

I wonder if Tiger responded... 

Shots of Jame-O: August, 11, 2011

I have been talking about starting a blog for a while now and finally decided to do it. Most of the posts will be about two things I love - sports and TV.  This first post will be a regular feature, "Shots of Jame-O," where I write a couple quick thoughts (shots) about what's on my (Jame-O) mind. Here goes...

Are the Detroit Lions getting too much hype?

As most people who know me are aware, I'm a Detroit Lions fan. Yes, the same Detroit Lions that went 0-16 in 2008 and haven't made the playoffs since 1999. For the better part of a decade - and to borrow a line from my favorite movie - I have gotten used to disappointment. Sure I get excited during the summer every year thinking that maybe this is the year the Lions get back to .500. But deep down, I know it won't happen. This way, when the calendar flips to December and the Lions are 2-8, I'm already checking NBA and NHL box scores to see how the Pistons and Red Wings are doing and I'm fine with that - it's become routine. Fast-forward to the summer of 2011 and something strange is happening; the Lions are all of the sudden the "sleeper" team. Guys like Sports Illustrated's Peter King and ESPN's Chris Mortensen are tweeting that the Lions may just be a wild card team this year. They seem to forget that every summer some young team with exciting "name" players becomes the sleeper team. And every year, that team disappoints once the games start. So with all due respect to these great NFL minds, please leave the Lions alone. Talk about the Eagles hoarding players or how this might finally be the year the Texans overtake the Colts in the AFC South.  Just stop hyping the Lions because when they go 8-8 or 9-7 and barely miss the playoffs, I don't want to be disappointed.  I've already gotten used to that result.

"The Shield" is the most underrated TV drama:

Last night I finished up a full series (7 seasons) re-watch of FX's "The Shield" - created by Shawn Ryan. Since it was on FX, "The Shield" didn't get as much hype as other noteworthy TV dramas, like "The Sopranos." And you know what, that's ok because it might be even better. Sure it's easier for me to say that now, having just finished the series finale - the greatest TV drama series finale I have ever seen. But I'm saying it. "The Shield" easily makes my top 10 TV dramas of the past 15 years (my tv watching prime). If you haven't seen it and like cop dramas with unbelievable performances headlined by a charmingly corrupt, shockingly effective leading man, let me know and I'll happily lend you season 1.

Rounding out the rest of my top 10, in no particular order: "The Wire", "The Sopranos", "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men", "24", "The West Wing", "Dexter", "Lost", "Friday Night Lights" and "Deadwood". Ok - that's 11.

I love Tiger Woods:

Tiger Woods is my favorite athlete.  I like watching him play golf as much if not more than I like watching any of my favorite professional sports teams (all from Detroit - so maybe that is why). He is playing in the PGA championship this weekend, his first major since The Masters. I don't think he will win (though that may be a reverse jinx), but I do think he finishes in the top 10 and wins 1-2 of the FedEx Cup playoff events. Get ready for "He's Baaaaack" headlines. 2 majors next year and he passes Jack by his 40th birthday (he turns 36 in December).

What's Alan Watching? and Grantland:

Since most of what I will blog about are TV shows and sports, I thought I'd link to my favorite sites/blogs in both genres. "What's Alan Watching?" is a blog written by Alan Sepinwall of (@sepinwall). Alan is primarily known (at least by me) for his episode-by-episode reviews of TV shows. His reviews are in depth and thoughtful, and much more than just a recap of the episode. He watches a wide variety of shows and his tastes are in line with mine. So if you like the shows I mentioned above, and comedies like "Parks and Recreation", "Community", "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm", then check him out - is a site created by ESPN's Bill Simmons ("The Sports Guy", @sportsguy33) and others. Simmons is famous so I don't need to hype him here. But his other writers and contributors are great. The site is dedicated to sports and pop culture and covers a very wide range of topics. Highly recommended if you like Simmons or just like variety when it comes to sports -

Twitter is where it's at:

If you like sports news, have a smart phone and don't have twitter yet, you are missing out. Instant news and analysis before you can get it anywhere else. Facebook is great for pictures and keeping in touch with friends (aka stalking). But twitter is a must for information junkies. Find me at @djameson87.