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.