Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Raider Stuff

The lack of a home computer is hampering my efforts to break down game tape, its hard enough to blog at work, without a stack of notes in front of me grading lineman. That said I do have some thoughts on whats happening in Raiderland this week.

- Rhodes not getting carries

Based on what we saw of him in preseason I worried that this was a bad signing for the Raiders. He did not seem to adapt well to the zone/cut scheme that was being implemented by Cable. He looked to bounce things outside when there was a hole backside.

Its hard to judge how far he has come along in adjusting to the scheme since returning from suspension due to his lack of carries. But I have to assume that the coaching staff just isn't seeing it in practice. Which sucks, since he should be the Raiders best receiving option coming out of the backfield. This team could really use another option in the passing game due to the receivers inability to consistently get separation.

Unless Rhodes finds a way to adapt to the system soon, he is 1 and done in Oakland. A shame that he is taking up a roster spot that could have better been used to retain a RB that fit the system (like Joe E. who is currently in Houston).

- The Titans are a great example of where the Raiders will be next year if they don't address their WR core.

Watching the Titans offense struggle in the passing game Sunday gave me visions of what the Raiders can expect next year with JRuss at the helm unless the Raiders overhaul the WR core.

Porter seems to lack the explosion to get open constantly, and most likely will opt out of his contract this off season and be someone Else's problem next year.

Currey is an outstanding rout runner, but is a #2 option due to his injuries. He also lacks explosion. If the Raiders had a true #1 lined up across from him I think he would be able to get more looks.

BMW, gone already, bad routes, no explosion. It was worth a try, but on a team with as many holes as the Raiders you can't afford to carry a 1 trick pony.

Compare that to the Titans top WR and you see the same thing. A group of possession guys who cannot get open consistently against good CB's. This allowed the Raiders to keep the LB's closer to the line and with the exception of right after Kelly went down, to shut down the Titans run attack for most of the game.

The Raiders are already going to see plenty of 8 man fronts once Russle is in the lineup as teams count on him to go through a learning period. Without an upgrade to the WR core, the Raiders offense will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future.

- The Oline regresses

You had to think the game plan called for Sims to get plenty of help Sunday with Vanden Bosh. But with McQuistan forced into service due to injury the Raiders were forced to slide protections to the right, leaving Sims on an Island and Gallery 1 on 1 with Haynesworth.

The Raiders Oline was already over matched coming into the game. But loosing a starter early showed just how much the oline counts on playing as a unit for success.

I preached since the hiring of Cable that it was going to take awhile for this unit to come together. Early success against Denver, Cleveland and Miami raised expectations for the rest of the year. But the injury to Green coupled with facing better front 7's is giving the Nation a dose of reality mid season.

Sims is just a stopgap at LT at this point of his career, Gallery is still adjusting to yet another position, the center spot is far from solid, Cooper is a good fit for the system but far from spectacular and the RT spot needs a fix.

Take sollice in this Raider fan, there have been flashes this year, and the zone/cut system does not require high priced FA or 1st day draft picks. The line can easily be fixed for the future with the development of the youngsters and 1 or 2 additions this off season. The Raiders are closer to being a good oline than they have appeared the last two weeks, its just going to take a little more patience.

- The D improves?

The defense looked better the last two weeks. They have held the opposition to 12 and 13 points receptively. But I'm still seeing the same problems overall. The linebackers continue to over pursue the ball and there is little to no pass rush from the front 4.

I put much of the improvement on the fact that they have not played against cutback style runners and have played against lower tier passing attacks.

LJ's big run came on the 1 play that he found a cutback lane exploiting the Over pursuit of the Raiders LB's. Chris Henry's TD run came on a counter, once again exploiting the same over pursuit. The run D is not fixed and took another shot with the loss of Kelly who was doing a decent job when lined up as a base end.

The continued lack of consistent pass rush will still open up the Raiders to the opposition when they play teams with better passers and WR's. Neither KC or Tenn. present any sort of match up problem in the passing game with the exception of Gonzo, and he is well past his prime.

The D should look good against the pass this week as Houston is injured in all facets of the passing game, but I'm worried about the run D as the Raiders face another team that loves the cutback.

- Silver (and black) linings

Tough to find positive at this point. The Raiders moved up the draft board with another loss (currently drafting 7th, up from 9th last week)... nope that's not positive.

McCown should be back from injury soon. Its a matter of opinion if this is a good thing.

Fargas to get more carries, hey I like this.

Richardson to get more playing time... when the team is this bad, getting the youngsters in is good IMO.

The Texans are coming to town. The Raiders should be able to get another win this week...if they don't beat themselves again.

Heisman Horseshit

Its been a long time since I put any stock into the Heisman balloting. When Orlando Pace didn't win the award for most outstanding college player (which the Heisman claims to be) I knew, at a young age, what many had know for years. The Heisman is worthless as an award.

Since then I have only gotten excited once for a Heisman trophy ceremony. That was the Year that Charles Woodson won over Payton Manning. Being a Michigan fan I was rooting for CWood to win, feeling that Manning was over hyped due to the bloodlines I was rooting against him, and finally I hoped by giving the award to a primarily defensive player, that it would open up the competition to all players, and not just QB's, RB's and WR's.

Well I was wrong. Looking back Woodson may have been the most exiting player to watch that year, but he was not the best. Manning was by far the best overall player in College football that year. We are still waiting for another QB with Payton's mastery of the game to come through the college ranks. Thats right college, not pro, we all know what these guys have done as Pro's and we need to through out the potential as Pros from the Heisman equation.

So if I don't give a rats ass about the award, and feel that it does not adequately represent the best player in college, than why am I writing about it? Because it's my blog and I want to.

Ok the real reason is that I have heard and read in multiple places over the past week that BC quarterback Matt Ryan should be a Heisman front runner based on his performance against VT. Now if you read my column on the 1 game to watch last week, you knew that the VT game would be the first real test under fire for young Matt this year. I pointed out how he needed to show that he could handle the pressure of VT's rush and the crowd noise to prove himself.

For 3 and a half quarters Matt failed miserably. He threw two picks and should have had at least 2 more had the VT defenders shown some hands. He looked lost and confused against a match-up zone. It was not until VT went into prevent mode that he moved the ball at all. I will give him credit for his moving around in the pocket to buy time... when VT was only rushing 3. So if you rush 3 defenders and give him 7+ seconds to find an open reciever in a soft zone coverage, Matt Ryan is a hell of a quarterback.

Those pundits who are now falling all overthemselves to anoint Ryan as Heisman canidate are obviously showing 1 of 3 things.

1 - They only watch the highlights on Sportscenter (which may be as the game was up against some baseball contest).

2 - They know jack shit about football, and can't recognise what is actually happening on the field, they just watch the QB.

3 - They have the mythical "East Coast Bias" and want nothing more than to further stroke the Boston ego by convincing them that they have the best Baseball team, Football team and college player.

All that said, the overhyping of a college QB based on 1 game is to be expected. And due to the Heisman being awarded on the basis on hype, its no surprise that Ryan is now a front runner. So instead of complaining about it. I want to fix it. Here is how I would start.

1 - You have to win another major college award to be elligible. What awards am I talking about, easy
1st, I through out the Walter Camp and the Doak Maxwell. Both fine awards, but they are really just Heisman light and do nothing for getting the Heisman to truely be for "most outstanding player" (plus you have to go to New Haven, CT to accept your Walter Camp award, New Haven is a shithole and no one should ever go there).

Now we are left with the following "Major" awards:

For QB either the O'Brien or the Unitas. Since the O'Brien is reserved for senior QB's and nobody knows who O'Brien was, it's out.

For RB we will take the Doak Walker award winner. (As a sidenote, how badass a name is Doak, I'm thinking my firstborn son should have this as his name. Or maybe my next dog, since the wife may let me name a dog, but never a child and for that any child of mine should be greatful).

For WR, its the Biletnikoff, its named after Freddy B., nuff said.

For the Oline we will go with the Outland Trophy winner. (This award will now be limited to offensive lineman, they deserve their own award).

For the D I'm going to have to get a little creative since the awards seem to overlap. I'm going to take the Lombardi, the Butkus and the Thorpe winners. The Butkus and the Thorpe are for LB's and DB's respectively so that helps, the Lombardi is for both LB's and DL's but their is no pure DL award... the media loves pretty boys. So to even things out I'm also going to through in the Nagurski.

So how would our potential Heisman field look this year (based on my opinion)?

Unitas - ANDRE’ WOODSON, KENTUCKY (the fact that Dennis Dixon isn't a finalist is bull)

Of these players I would argue that the two Longs have been the best two players in college football this year, but under the old system neither of them is likely to get invited to the Downtown Athletic Club. Under my new system for selecting the finalist, they would at least get a 30 second ESPN montage (and who doesn't love a Montage narated by Stu).

2 - Move the ceremony to after the National championship game. The dinner tour that the Heisman finalist go on before and after the ceremony is stupid. At least wait until the season is over. Now I know this would result in the Media hyping whomever had the best bowl game to the trophy, but I'm less concerned with the actual winner than opening up the pool of finalists.

There you go, the Heisman is fixed in 2 easy steps. I know that either a QB, RB or WR is still going to win every year, but at least this will force the media machine to recognise some of the other positions.

Monday, October 29, 2007

7 Things

I'm sure that all two people who visit this blog have been wonder why there hasn't been a post in almost a week. Well I'd tell you here but then I would have to come up with something else I've learned this week, so lets make it #1.

#1 - You shouldn't drop your laptop

Yep, I bought a new laptop when I moved to Pittsburgh. A pretty little macbook. Works great, until you accidental drop it all of 3'. Then the screen cracks and you can view all of 4 square inches of the screen. At least I could get it to shut down... yippee.

So now that I have a problem I finally read the fine print in the extended warranty that I bought and find that I'm not covered for damages from dropping the computer... fuckers.

I will give the guy at the Apple store some credit. When my wife, who knows nothing about computer hardware, took the laptop to the store to find out how much it cost. He pulled her aside and let her know that while it would cost ~$600 to repair there, he knew a website that would repair the laptop much cheaper. So the computer is taking a trip this week to a service place in California. If they repair it as quickly as they promise, I'll plug them here later. (There you go repair website, extra incentive to repair my computer quickly, get a free plug at an unread blog).

#2 - The whiteout is overrated.

Penn State's whiteout looks cool on TV. But it was no match for an actual team when Ohio St. came into town. I was looking forward to an actual good Big Ten match up and instead got another helping of the Ohio St. domination that has plagued me since Tressle came to The OSU.

So the question that now haunts me is "Do I participate in the White Out this weekend?" That's right, this weekend I'll be making the trip to Happy Valley to see the Penn St. Purdue match up. Should I wear white? Should I deck my wife out in white? Will she even listen to me when I suggest she wear white?

Chances are I'll buy myself an XXXXL white T shirt that will fit over my jacket so that I'll fit in and look cool on TV. Since the TV always seeks out celebrities like bloggers. But there is no way that I'll be sporting any Penn St. gear. I refuse to jump on local team bandwagons. Even when they have plenty of room, I don't think Penn State's bandwagon is in any danger of overflowing as they trudge through another season of mediocrity.

#3 - Naps rule

So I took another trip to the WV hunting grounds this weekend. In order to get there before sunrise the wife and I left the house at 3:30 am. So while she slept in the car there and back, I was wiped out by the time we got back home at 4 in the afternoon.

Now usually I would be glued to college football at 4 on a Saturday. And with Michigan trailing 10-0 when I turned on the TV, I thought that the nap was going to have to wait.

But the nap overruled all and I was blissfully sleeping on the couch by 5, despite the dogs best efforts to keep me awake by piling all of his toys on me. So two hours later I awoke refreshed and ready to watch the evening games.

If Michigan had lost I'd be pissed at the nap for causing me to be miss another disappointment. But in this case the Nap knew what it was doing by allowing me to watch Cocks vs. Tenn and the Cal game later that night.

Naps, you rule.

#4 - The people of Pittsburgh love Pumpkins

I'm a little kid when it comes to carving pumpkins. The wife thought it was a 1 time cute thing to do together when I showed up to her place when we were dating with two pumpkins to carve for Halloween. She was wrong (anyone who is married knows how reassuring it is to be able to say that about their wives at anytime).

But the people of Pitt burgh put me to shame when it comes to a love of pumpkins. We went to the Farmers market yesterday when it became apparent that nobody on the Redskins had the balls to blow out Brady's knee. When we got there I was amazed at the level of pumpkin worship on display. There were huge piles of pumpkins for kids to climb on as they looked for the best. There were hourly tours of the pumpkin patches. That's right, guided tours of pumpkin patches, tours you had to sign up for and would loose you spot on if you weren't in the proper spot when they started.

We got there late in the day, and there were announcements every five minutes updating everyone on how much time they had left to select their pumpkin (we will be closing in 1 hour, you have 55 minutes remaining to select you pumpkin and proceed to the cashier). As we were leaving car loads of Pittsburgh pumpkinites were being turned away as they wouldn't have time to properly pick their pumpkin prior to closing.

Pumpkins are like crack for Pittsburghers.

#5 - Rocky you let me down

I had high hopes for you Rock. I thought I'd be sending you a crisp 20 dollar bill. But you have let Joe Gibbs influence your play and make you classy. If anchorman has taught us anything, classy equals a whale's vagina.

Mr. McIntosh, you are a whale's vagina.

That leads me to turn my gaze to the proud Indianapolis D (there are two words I never thought I'd put together, proud and Indianapolis). Who on your team has the balls to break Tom. My problem here is that no team has played the Pats as often as the Colts in recent years. They play at least 5 times every year due to some quirk in the NFL schedule. I think ESPN is actually tired of covering this match up. I would wager to guess that ESPN only spends 55 minutes of each 1 hour sportscenter this week obsessing on the game of the century. That's a full 3 minutes less than the playoff game of the century last year.

That said, Tom hasn't gotten injured in any of the previous 67 match ups over the last 3 years. The Colts D just doesn't have what it takes to put the QB down for the count. So my weekly quest to find the best bet to take down Brady turns to Tony Dungy.

That's right the head coach of the Colts is a better bet to injure Tom Terrific than any of his players. Tony is a good christian, and since I've never read the bible (old or new testament) I'm going to have to go off what I've learned from TV. That God can be either vengeful or in the case of John Kitna can heal.

Since Tom Brady is not John Kitna, and Tony is a god fearing man, I'm calling on Tony to act as the hand of god and strike down the blight on society that is Tom Brady. Please don't misconstrue this as me claiming to know the will of God. But since Greg Easterbrook has opined that this is a battle of Good vs. Evil, of God fearing vs. Godless, I feel safe in assuming that God would be pleased to have Brady struck down before inseminating another actress.

Tony Dungy, its time to do Gods work.

#6 - The Pats aren't content to run up the score

We should have known that their was something sinister in New England when the Coors light train chose to start its run of chilling football fans in NE three years ago. (Those were definitely Patriot fans getting refreshed in that add that ran 20 times a game, they were all very very gay).

But the Pats have taken their love for the silver bullet to the next level. Witness exhibit "A"

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a picture of Mike Vrable anally raping the Redskins QB. Look at the shock on Jason Campbell's face. That doesn't come from fumbling, he does that all the time. That is from being violated by Vrable.

Lets delve deeper here. Boston is notorious for being racist. There is a reason they signed Wes Welker this offseason. Their receiving core was too black after loosing Tim Dwight. What other team has more than 1 white LB on the roster? Now when they get the chance to play a black QB who isn't named Lemon (he's a dolphin so he would have liked it) they proceed to not only penetrate the pocket, but penetrate the posterior.

That's right, not only are the Patriots classless, they are racist anal rapists. No wonder Stu Scott and ESPN love giving them verbal BJ's.

(On a side note, dear fleaflicker, why can't I pick up Vrable to play TE, he scores more TD's than the Raiders as a team)

#7 - Obligatory Raider stuff

The run D is improving... at a glacial pace. The Titans were able to rip off a number of runs yesterday. Including 3 in a row on an impressive Tenn/ disgusting Oakland drive for the Titan's loan TD. However the Raiders for most of the game were able to minimise the bleeding and not let the Titans get the run game fully on track. That's better than is has been, but not much.

The Offense is not improving, While the Oline will get much of the blame, somewhat deservedly, the play of Culpepper and the WR's doesn't help things. One of the changes I was looking forward to this year was that the QB's would be getting the ball out of their hands quickly. This was not the case yesterday. The WR's were not getting open on the quick drops, Culpepper was taking 3 seconds to set his feet on deeper drops, let alone pass the ball. That's no way to help a suspect line on the road against a damn fine D-line.

Barry Sims has nightmares about Tennessee. Barry has never been great against speed rushers. But something about playing in Tennessee causes him to loose all composure. His total false starts in the last two games the Raiders have played in Tennessee may equal his number of false starts the last 3 years.

Cut back OR counter to run against the Raiders. I've pointed out how susceptible the Raiders are to the cut-back run. But when you don't have a cut back runner (like Tenn) call the counter. The Raiders made Chris Henry look like a future probowler on the counter that gave up the lone TD of the game.

That's all I have the stomach to say about the Raiders this week. Once again they gave away a completely winnable game as Culpepper choked with a late INT and Williams bailed him out of choking again by dropping a ball on 4th down.

Well Look at that, I've learned 7 things again. Now to figure out a way to take a nap here at work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If you only Watch 1 Game this week (college)

I love football. There I've said it, does that make me a bad person? Unless your my wife (who thinks I watch way to much football in general) I'm guessing that you like football too if you are reading this.

First and foremost I am a Raiders fan. The ineptitude of the team the last 4+ years has had me looking more and more to the college game. I have gone from just watching Michigan and VT to watching as much as I can, with an eye toward the talent who can make it at the next level.

Yep, I'm also a draft nick. The lead up to the draft, watching players rise and fall based on what they can do in shorts and t-shirts is fascinating to me. Watching the media hype up some bowl game winner who did nothing prior to the bowl game, to the point that he gets drafted #1, is incredible. The pressure place on a loosing organisation by the media and the fans to take the media anointed "Next Superstar" while ignoring the college player who is actually the better prospect is enormous.

There are multiple examples of players who I pegged right, and players I was way off on. I thought that Leaf would handle the pressures of the NFL better than Manning due to Manning's collapses vs. top competition. I thought Vick was vastly overrated due to his inaccuracy as a passer. I thought Gallery was the surest thing in the draft and that the QB's went Big Ben, River, Manning. I thought the Raiders made the right choice in Huff over Leinart, but not Cutler. I thought the Texans made the right choice at #1 with Williams. And finally I think the Raiders made the wrong choice in Russel at #1, but were right in picking him over Quinn.

So I'm definitely hit or miss in my evaluations. But no more so than the Kipers of the world.

What this weekly item will be is a look at the college game that features the most NFL draft talent to watch so that you, the NFL fan can get a leg up on the draft and get a chance to judge these players for yourself, before combines and Kipers cloud your and the NFL's judgement.

There are three rules I will try to abide to when picking my game of the week.

1 - Potential talent discussed will be seniors. I'm sure that I'll break this rule on multiple occasions, but other than the guys who have 1st round talent, juniors coming out are too hit and miss.

2 - The game must be on national television. FSN and VS. don't count, unless I can't find anything else.

3 - Each week will have at least 1 team that I haven't told you to watch before. I could easily just tell you to watch USC every week. But that would be boring.

Without further ado, if you watch only 1 game this week in college football, make it

Boston College vs. Virginia Tech

This is already the biggest game on this weeks schedule. At one of the best places to watch a football game, Blacksburg, at night. So Tivo "My name is Earl" and "The Office" and tune into the one thing that ESPN still does right, Thursday Night Football.

Boston College

BC has been an after thought in college football since Flutie was tossing up Hail Mary's. But they have rounded up a talented roster this year and somehow have managed to avoid the pitfalls to remain undefeated and have reached #2 in the rankings.

Matt Ryan (QB, 6-5, 224) has steadily climbed the ranks as a prospect and is now being looked at as a mid 1st round prospect. Be sure to keep an eye on how he handles the pressure of the VT defense and the noise problem that Lane Stadium present.

Gosder Cherilus (OT, 6-7, 318) is the latest in a long line of solid BC lineman. These guys never seem to get the national recognition of the Big 10 lineman, but continually perform better than their draft slot in the NFL. Once again the attacking VT defense and the crowd will provide an excellent chance to get a good handle on him.

DeJuan Tribble (CB, 5-9, 188) DeJuan does not have the prototypical size that NFL teams look for, and the VT passing game may not be the best to evaluate him against. He is excellent in run support for his size. If VT is able to pass on him, his stock will take a hit. Teams that play allot of zones with the corners in run support will take a hard look at him.

Others to keep an eye on:

BJ Raji (DT, 6-1, 322) and JoLonn Dunbar (OLB, 6-1, 228) both have mid round grades at this time, but both should have a chance to shine against a questionable VT offense.

Virginia Tech

After getting trounced at LSU early in the year, the Hokies have ridden their excellent D and special teams to get back in the BCS hunt. A win against BC will do wonders for their big bowl hopes. All of the VT players have already shown their stuff in big games. BC is another good test for all on National TV.

Xavier Adibi (OLB, 6-2, 225)Adibi is a play making Will LB and his name is fun to say. He can get caught up on blockers, and is a bit small so he won't translate to the Sam or Mike backer in the pros. But teams are always looking for play makers and this guy fits the bill.

Vince Hall (ILB, 6-0, 238) If you are going to let your play maker range all over the field, you have to have someone solid to cover for him when he gets out of position. Hall is that guy. He recently broke his wrist and may miss the game. He would be a key loss for the Hokies. Will be seen a little undersized for the mike in the 4-3 at the next level, may be best suited as the WILB in a 3-4.

Chris Ellis (DE, 6-5, 258) Was suppose to be near the leaders in sack numbers coming into this year, and while 5 ain't bad, its not going to get you drafted too high when you only weigh 258. Projects as a rush end/LB in the NFL.

Eddie Royal (WR, 5-10, 184) Royal is a burner with a reported 40 time of 4.3 seconds. He has never fully developed as a WR, but is scary good as a kick & punt returner and that is where he will find his niche at the next level until can figure out route running.

Others to watch Duane Brown (OT, 6-5, 283) lacks ideal size, but an excellent athlete (has played some TE) who projects to a zone blocking system and Carlton Powell (DT, 6-2, 295) high motor guy, solid player who could work into a DL rotational slot.

So there you go, If you watch 1 game this weekend (and why would you only watch 1 when you can TiVo and watch 10) watch BC and VT battle Thursday night, then impress your fellow football fans come draft time when you tell them about a 4th round pick and how he projects. Without resorting to reading Kiper.

Monday, October 22, 2007

7 Things you already knew

Yep, the list of observations from the weekend is back. Once again I'll post things that are painfully obvious and act like I've accomplished something groundbreaking.

1. Rocky McIntosh is my favorite non-Raider player of the coming week.

Why, thats easy, 2 reasons.

He is named Rocky, Coors light may have taken away great men's names like Lance, Stuart and Adolf, but Sly Stallone has cemented Rocky as the manliest of names there is.

More importantly I have pegged him as the most likely player to end Tom Brady's season this week by blowing out Tom's knee. The good folks at kissingsuzykolber have established a fund to be awarded to the player whom blows out Brady's knee, and I would happily add my $20 to the fund payable to one Rocky McIntosh. To be honest though, I may blow my load from seeing Brady carted off the field holding his knee. Which brings up an interesting question.

If I pay a man for a service which indirectly causes me to climax, does that make me gay?

I think I can deal with with the consequences that paying for this service would entail, so long as I don't put "for sexual favors" in the note on the check.

2. Florida St. has the most anoying fight song in college football.

Yet again, we have know this for years. But since the majority of the times that I have watched Florida St. have involved alchohal, I have been numbed to the affect of the tomahawk chop.

But this weekend, trapped in a car with my parents for 3 1/2 hours we tuned the Radio to the FSU MIA game, and it became mind numbingly clear that they played the same damn thing after every play, be it 1 yard loss or tackle for no gain (two offensive juggernauts banging heads like these two is even worse on the radio).

Switch it up once in awhile band geeks. You're on scholarship to FSU for playing the fuckin tuba. Sure you're frustrated because your at FSU and not getting laid, but don't punish the rest of us because you suck.

3. Its spelled "Chokepepper"

Viking fans have been warning me since Daunte signed not to get excited about seeing him on the field. They needent have worried, since I had been laughing at them for years due to the guy they had at QB. Two straight weeks Daunte has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by brain farting at key times.

Be it 1st and goal with 20 seconds left and taking a sack and fumbling on consecutive plays, or throwing an interception at the end of the game. I have a feeling unless the Raiders can rush for 200+ yards, Daunte isn't going to lead the Raiders to victory. Simple math Moss & Carter > Porter & Curry. Bring on that top 5 pick.

4. Red Sox fans are annoying

No Mom, this isn't about you. I enjoyed watching the Sox embarrass the Indians Saturday night with you instead of Mich v. Ill. It was fun switching the channel to the Michigan game every time you fell asleep and telling you that Gagne had come into the game so I figured that it was over and I could change the channel and the resulting look of abject terror on your face.

This is about my Boss, who came into my office this morning, interrupting my web surfing to recreate Papplebon's celebration on the mound from Sunday night for me. This guy has known me for years and is well aware that I could give a flying fuck about baseball. But for some reason feels that I would enjoy knowing how the Red Sox closer celebrates. Unless the celebration somehow involves a dead hooker on the field, leave me out. (and if it does involve a dead hooker I was in another state that night)

5. Fucking with a cripple is fun

My brother is currently on crutches. He claims it occurred when he took a walk in softball and stepped on something protruding from the field. If that is the story he is willing to share, I'm willing to bet the truth has something to do with beer, the walrus at the D.C. zoo and a king james bible, but that's just a guess.

So as if it wasn't fun enough watching him try to hike through the dense underbrush of the Forest in WV Saturday, later that day I took it upon myself to adjust his crutches so they were at different lengths. Add that to your fun things to do when in Winchester, VA. Your list should now be 1 item long.

6. The Raiders still are clueless as to how to stop the run

If I had a dollar for every time I've read on Raider boards that the Raiders showed great improvement stopping the run this week if you take the 1 50+ yard run that LJ had out of the equation, I'd have at least 10 dollars.

The Raiders looked better against the run for 2 reasons. 1 - The Chiefs line is in shambles and 2- LJ is not a cut back runner. The 1 time that LJ did cut back the way that everyone else has against the Raiders this year he was 1 on 1 with Stu Schwag. If I'm LJ, I like my chances.

The Raiders still over pursue against the run on almost every play. I haven't watched LenWhale White play this year, but if he can cut back I'm starting him on my Fantasy team this week.

(I will crow abit here, I have told Chief fans for years that by the time their D is decent their Oline will have disintegrated. At least I have something, seeing as the Raiders continue to rack up AFC West losses.)

7. I'm still glad that I don't live in New England anymore

When I was in NE, I would get some Boston Band wagoner commenting on my Raiders gear every time I went out. One time a 40+ year old bagging my groceries looked at my hat and asked why I didn't root for a better team. While I wanted to point out that unlike the bandwagon boys in NE, I will not switch allegiances every time my team has some off years, I was content to let him know that I didn't feel the urge to take advise on my life from a man bagging my groceries.

Here in Pittsburgh, I have yet to have anyone so much as comment on my Raider gear. I haven't been informed that the Steelers have more rings than the Raiders or that the Steelers have a better record. I have noticed that every friken person is a huge Steelers fan. I think that having a Steeler logo plastered on your ride is a prerequisite for a drivers licence. But the fans are actually knowledgeable and enjoyable to talk football to.

The closest that I've come to having someone suggest that I change teams was on a flight into Pittsburgh. When the guy I was sitting next to found out I was moving to town for work he commented that I would become a Steelers fan. When I pointed out my Raiders hat, he politly said "oh, I guess you won't". Then we proceeded to talk football for an hour. If he had been a Patriots band wagoner I would have emptied the plane of alcohol.

So when my wife got out of work early yesterday, so that the employees could go home to watch the Steelers play, I wasn't surprised. I was surprised at my lack of enjoyment from watching the home team loose in devastating fashion. It may have been due to the fact that they lost to the Rat, but it may also have to do with the fact that the people are too damn nice around here.

Dear Pittsburgh, you need more assholes to keep up, sincerely Bill Belichick.

There you go, 7 things and I didn't have to even make any of them up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

To 3-4 or not to 3-4

Its time for the 3-4 to come back in Oakland

Four years ago Al Davis brought in Rob Ryan to install the 3-4 hybrid D that he had learned under Bellichick in New England. Then Davis and the front office saddled him with a roster filled with 4-3 players who were ill suited to run the 3-4. The Warren Sapp DE experiment was a complete failure. Tyler Brayton and Grant Irons at OLB, don't get me started. The experiment was jetisoned the next season to the delight of Sapp and the fans.

Last year it seemed that the Ryan and the Raiders had gotten the hang of the 4-3. The Raiders fielded a D that was ranked in the 3rd by the NFL. But observers who looked at more than the yardage numbers saw the holes. Nobody was passing on Oakland since they could just play keep away since the Raider offense was horible. The much maligned run D, was actually better than advertised as they kept the oposition to a low average per run, they just faced more runs than anyone else. But the most damning evidence, that most ignored last season, that the Raiders were not a top D was the lack of consistant pressure on the passer, despite their #1 ranking by the NFL.

Sure Burgess and Sapp each had double digit sack, but it was a complete boom or bust pass rush. Despite having two of the top sack getters, the Raiders were near the bottom of the league in hurries and knock downs and tied for 19th in the league for sacks. Burgess was tied for 39th in the league for knock downs, in start contrast to other top DE's who applied constant pressure, sack or no sack.

To further skew things, due to the fact that teams felt no need to pass against the Raiders, the run D actualy looked better than it actualy is, as the LB's were free to look run 1st on every play. Knowing that the other team felt no need to pass made their job easier.

This year Sapp is proving that last year was an aboration and that he is nothing better than a situational rusher at this point. Burgess has been reinfected by the injury bug. The lack of a pass rusher at the RE spot is glaring, and when Gerrard Warren is out of the lineup opposing offenses have all day to sit back and pick apart the Raiders secondary.

As for the run, Sands has regressed, Sapp is underweight and Warren is not disiplined. The LB's now have to support both run and pass. The Raiders aren't giving up the most yards per game...yet, but they are giving up the most yards per carry.

The result is that the Raider defense has regressed back to being a liability. The only thing saving it from being a complete joke has been the big play ability of its young linebackers. Fans have offered up various solutions ranging from firing Ryan to installing the cover 2 or running the 46 of Rob's father. I however don't agree with any of these options for the following reasons:

1 - Firing Ryan, Ryan proved his coaching skills last year by holding together 1 side of the ball while the rest of the team fell apart around them. Players have developed under Ryans tutulage, where in the past they seemed to stagnate once drafted by the Raiders. Look no further than Asomugha, Morrison, Howard and Route for players that have grown by leaps and bounds under Ryan. IMO, he has done the most he can with what he has to work with.

2 - The cover 2, The myth of the Cover 2 has been perpetrated by the media to no end. Every team in the league runs cover two schemes. The Tampa 2 which has been credited as being the biggest advancement in the game since the forward pass is actually a cover 3 with the MLB covering the deep middle.

Two things working against this. One since everyteam now has some version of this in their playbook, a good offense rips it apart. Teams know how to hit the seams in this D, and teams that are supposivly running the Tampa 2 (Indy, Tampa, Chicago) actually no longer use it as their base D, although it is still in their arsenal.

The other being that the Raiders are built for man coverage. The high draft picks spent on Asomugha, Washington and Routt would be wasted in this scheme as their coverage skills would not be used to their fullest. Through in that the Tampa 2 calls for pressure from the front 4, something the Raiders don't get, and this would require a complete personell overhaul.

3 - The 46, The Ravens were reportedly moving to the 46 last year. The Ravens, with their far suppior personell to the Raiders found that it worked as a different look only, not as a base D. Now fans want the Raiders to run it... I'll leave it at that.

The solution, in my mind anyway, is to allow Ryan to finally do what he was brought in to do. Install the Hybrid 3-4. And here is how I would do it, and why it will work. Note, I do not advocate moving to the 3-4 this year, the Raiders need to adjust the roster 1st and could not successfuly make the transition until next year.

1 - Draft DL in the 1st round

Lets face it, the Raiders have come a long way since last year, but they are still looking at a top 10 draft pick. As such they should be targeting one of the following 3 players:

Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
Chris Long, DE, Virginia
Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

Dorsey and Ellis are both College DT's who projected to either 1 gap DT's or 3-4 ends in the progame. Either 1 of them would be an outstanding option to play at end on run downs and NT on pass downs. Both bring the type of versitility to also line up at DT when the 4 man front is desired in the hybrid 3-4.

Long not only is the best DE in the draft, but is also a legacy pick. His dad was some guy named Howie who may have had a good couple of games for the Raiders. Davis loves legacy picks. He has the size and speed to become the prototypical 3-4 DE.

Long is my 1st choice here, with Dorsey a close 2nd, but if both he and Dorsey are off the board by the time the Raiders pick (a very real possibility, Ellis is quite the consolation prize.

2 - Stand Burgess up

Burgess is not going to like this one bit. The last two years he was the among the NFL sack leaders. If the Raiders do not rework his deal he will be a FA following next season, and would (if not injured) be in line for a huge payday. The Raiders need to show him the tapes of Jason Taylor from last year, when Taylor made the switch from 4-3 DE to 3-4 hybrid DE/OLB. That is what Burgess could be in this scheme and would also save his body from the play in play out pounding of having his hand down.

Also standing up will be Chris Clemons.

3 - Renegotiate the good Warren, loose the bad

Ok, that a little unfair to Sapp to call him the bad. He still has his spots, but he is not a fit in the 3-4 and is unwilling/able to change. Due to his high salary he would most likely be asked to take a pay cut next year or be cut anyway.

Gerrard Warren however has proven to be a disruptive force in the Raiders D. In the hybrid 3-4 he could play the role of Richard Seymore (the role envisioned for Sapp when he was originaly signed by Oakland) in which he would line up at DE on run downs and NT on passing downs. Warren also has the size necessary to line up at NT on run downs should Sands not be up to the job.

So renegotiate Gerrard and add a few years to the deal. He is 6 years younger than Sapp, and should have 3-4 good years left in him.

This would give the Raiders alot of versitility on the DL by adding only 1 player through the draft.

RE - Warren, Kelly
NT - Sands, Warren, FA/late pick
LE - Rookie, Richardson

The only player here with only 1 viable position is also the biggest question mark in the scheme. Sands has shown flashes at DT, but does not seem to be able to change dirrection or fight through blocks should he not pick the right dirrection off the snap. Alot of this I blame on Sands' height. Opposing guards seem to be able to get under him and move him. In the hybrid scheme he would be asked to line up over Center and shoot either A gap in order to occupie both a guard and the center. He should be able to do this. The Raiders would be well served to find their own Kelly Greg later in the draft or via FA.

Now the Raiders LB core with the position changes listed above looks like:

OLB - Burgess, Clemons
ILB - Morrison, Brown
ILB - Ekejiuba, Thomas
OLB - Howard, Williams

The Key to this working is the versitility of Howard. With his speed and coverage ability he can be really let loose in this system much the way Thomas was in Baltimore last year and in New England this year. He can line up at any of the 4 LB positions and rush or cover. The Raiders current system is holding him back (that with 4 INTs & 2 TDs... scary).

Lined up across from Burgess he would be providing the complimentary pass rush that the Raiders have lacked since Long and Townsend were feeding off each other.

Morrison, already a good LB, will be freed up to flow quicker to the play as with a 2nd IBL, the backside responsibilitys are actualy decreased for LB's in the 3-4. Eke, Brown and Thomas all can fill the 2nd ILB spot, but an upgrade here via FA would not be out of the question.

Williams provides excellent depth at OLB here. Allowing Howard to line up inside if needed, or spelling either Howard or Burgess outside. Clemons would be a project, but is a cheaper faster option than the Brayton/Irons experiement of 4 seasons ago.

So now the base is set with 1 draft pick being spent on the front 7. (Opposed to the current front 7 need of DE, DT and OLB) Sure it could be further addressed with either 2 more picks or FA aquisitions, but I will take 1 glaring need over 3 any day.

Why it works

Key word here is veritility. As of right now the oposition knows what the Raiders are doing on every play. Burgess is rushing at RE, Howard and Morrison are in coverage and Warren is the only other player that needs to be acounted for.

Next year with the hybrid scheme the Raiders can rush from any of the 4 LB positions. Howard and Morrison can line up all over the place. Burgess can move over T and put his hand down.

Further complicating things for the oposition is that with the base personell on the field the Raiders can still show a 4 man front by having Burgess put his hand down and line up over tackle.

The scheme also plays up the strenghts of both Kelly and Richardson. Neither is big enough to be an everydown tackle, or quick enough to apply constant pressure as a 4-3 end. But as 3-4 ends they are more than capable of occuping the blockers and allowing the LB's to flow and rush.

Will the Raiders imidetly vault up to a top 5 D with this change, honestly I doubt it. But it should increase the number of mistakes forced by the Raider's D, which to me is more important that the Yardage numbers that the NFL uses to rank D's. More mistakes equals more time on the field for the Raiders offense, and if they can get their act together, it could mean a return to respectibility.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What have we learned

Ah yes, a recap of the things I saw this weekend. A completely original concept to this blog. I'm sure this is the feature that will set my blog apart from the rest here on the Internet.

1. Les Miles' Michigan resume is complete

LSU went in to Kentucky to face an opponent who should have been completely over matched and came out with a loss. Well if there has ever been a team that has done less with more the last 10 years it has been Michigan. With rumors swirling that Miles is the #1 choice to replace Carr this off season he needed to prove that he could loose to an underdog as the #1 team in the nation. Saturday night he pulled this feat off perfectly. As a Michigan fan I'm looking forward to the Les Miles era, as I won't have to adjust my expectations for Michigan.

2. Oakland still hasn't figured out stopping the run

Ok, so LT runs over everyone when Norvell pulls his head out of his ass and just gives the man the ball. But the Raiders make it easy. You would think that after years of facing the cutback running of the Broncos, the Raiders would have some semblance of Gap responsibility. But time and time again the DL and LB's over pursue leaving Stu to make the tackle (8 of them Sunday).

3. Miller and Sapp are who we thought they were (will that line ever get old, what it already has, well fuck off)

Miller was heaped with praise after the Raiders running attack abused Miami. Without doing a full breakdown on the game, I noticed he had alot more trouble with the two Shawns. While against Taylor and Porter in Miami he was able to wall off the outside LB and open the run lane. He was not able to keep either SD LB out of the hole and the runs were stopped for little or no gain on at least two occasions. He was also no match for either of the 1 on 1 in pass blocking.

Sapp was run right at or cut back toward on multiple occasions. The most blatant being LT's last TD run were Sapp was blown out of the hole by the Guard and LT ran right by him.

Time permitting a full postmortem will come later in the week.

4. Culpepper is who... OK your right that line is getting lame

Fumbles, poor decisions, errant throws, all the talent in the world, but my dog may be smarter (he is a border collie, and they are damn smart, yeah it is a stretch).

5. Purple Jesus is the Rookie of the year...

The Bears run D that shut down LT early in the year was helpless against AD. Sure the Bears are banged up, but that was just awe inspiring. But much like last year with the Texan bashers and Bush, its a little early to start clamoring about how all the teams that passed on Peterson made a huge mistake. As always, give the draft at least 3 years to sort out.

6. The Pats are good, and classless

So we knew both of these things before the game. But going against the best D they have faced to date the Pats proved to be too much in the long run as the Dallas D just ran out of answers in the 2nd half. Classless because once again the Pats score a garbage time TD when kneeling the ball would have been just fine. This will come back to haunt them eventually. Either by a key injury as they drive for another garbage time TD, and/or once the Pats aren't dominating every team will delight in rubbing their noses in it. Personaly, I enjoy watching football played to that level, I just have to turn off the sound to avoid the hyperbolie being spewed by the anouncers.

7. Pats fans are just classless

OK, so this is more Bill Simmons than Pats fans in general. The delight he has taken in chronicling the Pats garbage time success is sickening. If this were any other team he would be whining about how classless the team was. (but once again we already knew this, I just felt like venting). Fortunately the Indians may be giving him what he deserves, not that I watch baseball, but I get daily updates from my manager, who thinks I give a shit.

8. There is no 8. Because you can't end with 8, you have to then add 9 and 10 to properly end the things you learned. Peter King ends with 10 and he has a skunk stripe. I don't want a skunk stripe so I'll be ending with 7. Sevens are cool.

Finally, leave a comment fucko. My cool counter at the bottom of the page is about to turn triple digits and the only comment is from my brother. Since I figure 80 of the hits are from me refreshing the page to see the counter move, there are at least 5 people who have visited this site. This is the Internet which means that you have an opinion, so share it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Long lost friend?

When checking my yahoo email account this weekend I found 1 non-spam email in the inbox. The 1st non-spam email in that account in quite a while. There is a reason I almost never check that account and really only use it for things like fantasy sports and for blog sites that require a valid email to set up an account.

Seeing as the name in the from slot only read Matt, and the subject was "catching up" I gave it a 50-50 chance of being for penis enlargement, and since that a subject I'm always interested in, I checked it out.

What followed was a seemingly innocent shout out from a long lost high school friend looking to catch up with yours truly. And who wouldn't want to catch up with a guy like me who spends hours re watching Raiders games and writing about it on his blog instead of working.

Now here is the thing, I had a bunch of friends named Matt in high school. Hell every other guy was either named Matt or Mike. And most of them I'd be happy to drop a reply on and find out what was going on in their life. But there was one Matt in high school who I just could not stand, and in no way or form would he have been considered a friend. And as fate would have it, this was that Matt.

My first memory of meeting this kid was giving him a wedgie in gym class on my first day in a new school. Worked out great for me as he was an incredible tool and I gained a measure of acceptance from my peers. Somehow I lucked out and didn't get called into the principles office for this indiscretion. That right, Email Matt was the guy who had his Mom call the office every time somebody looked at him cross eyed. Sorry but by the time you are in high school you schouldn't be going home crying to mommy, you should be penting up your rage and heading down to Ed Hart's gun supply with a gleam in your eye.

As I contemplated a reply, I thought about this Matt for the 1st time since graduating high school 12+ years ago. What could the guy who almost caused the senior play, it was a small town so it was a big deal,to be canceled because someone, who himself later was in hair club for men commercials, questioned his sexuality want from me? I could come up with only 2 options:

1 - After 12 years this clown had finally gotten to the point in his life that he felt secure enough to contact old high school classmates and regale them with tales of his success. He was ready to release his pent up rage after years of crying himself to sleep repeating his mantra of "I'll show them, I'm gonna have a good job with a hot wife and a pony when I grow up".

I decided that if that was the case I didn't want to reply, since I still don't have a pony, and I would feel like less of a man if he had a pony and I didn't.

2 - He was coming out of the closet.

And if this was the case, I could give a fuck, I'd been pretty sure about this for years. No reason to catch up with a Coors light guy.

After contemplating this for all of 10 seconds, I clicked the back button on the browser and clicked on the next email that promised me free Viagra, not that I need it, I just think its cool how the spammers get past Yahoo's elaborate filtering system. (Seriously, I don't need drugs for a 4 hour hard on, nope, not me, Me strong like Bull).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Ying and Yang of the run

The name of this Blog comes from a infrequent series of posting I've done on various Raider forums breaking down 1 or 2 players who play in the box. The Big uglies, fat guys, you know the ones who really win the game.

As the Raiders get ready for their 1st Big game of the year... ok last 3 years. I've gone back to the Miami game tape to check out two players.

Lets start on the Offense


Zach Miller with the ball... not what we are talking about, but a nice picture

Why has KW2 (a Fuckin Soldier) been able to laugh off Joey Porter's insults this week. He has seen the film of the Raiders game. If this game was any indication of what Porter has left in the tank the only guarantee he should be making is that this is his last year in the NFL.

I've read in a couple places these last two weeks that Miller has been the key to the Raiders resurgent run game. I had laughed these reports off due to two factors:
1 - the sources
2 - Millers preseason play

I admit that I hadn't broken down a game yet this year, so I shouldn't have been so quick to dismiss these reports, but now that I have broken down 1 game, I can say that he had at least one very good game of run blocking, but the reports that he is the key are a bit of an exaggeration.

The Raiders ran the ball at will against the Dolphins, and Miller was a valuable part of the run game. Out of the 49 run plays the Raiders ran, Miller missed his block on only 5 plays (my DVR cut out at the 2 minute warning, so that stat may be slightly off) Of those plays, his man made the play on only 1. When he was left 1 on 1 backside with the DE.

So based on that Miller was dominant in the run game right... not so fast. On the majority of the run plays the Raiders ran away from Miller. He was left walling off the backside backer. While this is incredibly important in the zone/cut system that Cable has installed this year, Millers job was made easier as he was blocking Joey Porter on allot of these plays.

Early in the game this was a great match up, Miller was earning his Money as he clawed and scrapped (and held) Porter. But by the 2nd half Porter was content to watch the play and keep backside contain.

That said, Miller did have a couple key blocks against Jason Taylor, one which opened the hole on Fargas' first long run, and another that walled off the LB on Fargas' 2nd big gain.

The most impressive thing I saw while watching Miller was that he never quit on a play. When he missed a block, he immediately looked to the next level for someone else to block. There is no quit in this kid. He is the type of player the Raiders need to turn this team around. (short pause as I take a shot so that I can write my next line) He reminded me of how the NE tight ends play, they never stop on a play, they may not be the best or the biggest names, but they are always working... FuCk the patriots.

So why won't I give him a dominant grade, this was the Dolphins, I think all of their LBs are old enough to have married Anna Nicole at one time.
Anna Nicole and Jason Taylor in happier times

It will be interesting to see how Miller performs against the faster, more athletic LB's that SD has in this weeks game. But the potential is there for something special.


QB Killa don't play no run

Oh Warren Sapp, what has happened to you. Did the 52 pounds you lost this offseason contain your heart and desire? You were never great against the run. The key was always to run right at you, but you were still a pain in the ass. Now you are getting handled 1 on 1 by such luminaries as Chris Liwienski and Vernon Carey.

I gave Warren a win on only 4 plays the entire game. First a little humble pie, I incorrectly blamed Sapp for not fighting through the pressure and instead spinning his way out of the hole on Browns long run from the shadow of his endzone (that was Brayton). But I have an excuse (I know like an asshole) Brayton's non-play looked like so many of Sapps all day.

Sapp was constantly knocked off the line of scrimmage 2 or more yards. When he wasn't he took himself out of the play by not fighting through the pressure and trying to use the speed he hasn't had in years to make the play.


Sapp was the QB killa, and it looked like that had come back last year. But it was incredibly evident that if Sapp's initial move did not gain penetration he gave up on the play. The 3 (yes 3) times that his initial move worked he was a factor. Once leading to T. Kelly's sack, once getting held but applying pressure and once where he hit Green low. (The low hit earning Sapp a fine and Green some negative Karma points for his Soccer player impression).

Dida and Green, separated at Birth?picture

So I'm left with two options for my assessment of Sapp based on the Miami game. Either Miami's Oline is much better than advertised, or Sapp's performance last year was an aberration and the Terry McDanial sydrome of growing old overnight has struck.

The play of both Miller and Sapp will be key to the San Diego game tomorrow.

Can Miller repeat against much stiffer competition, I like his chances.

Did the week off allow Sapp to find his legs so that he can be a factor like last year when 8 of his 10 sacks came after the bye week (week 3). If not hope you started LT in you fantasy league.

Who does Stuart Scott have naked pictures of at ESPN?

In the short time that I've had this blog I've taken many shots at Stuart Scott and the enablers at ESPN. But this latest clip takes the cake. Sure this hit most blogs earlier this week, but I have a job, so fuck off.

The only reasonable explanation for this abortion is that Stuart Scott has some sort of blackmail that he is holding over the heads of the higher ups at ESPN.

Based on our findings in regards to Coors Light, I'm guessing that it is some gay porn staring Stu and an ESPN bigwig.

I'm calling on the ESPN official who is being blackmailed to use this past weeks "coming out day" as a chance to belatedly out himself and end the tyranny of Stu.
Brady came out, you can too

It is the only way for ESPN to stop the Stuart Scott madness and regain some respectability.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Life Changing Event

Yesterday I received some news that has impacted me deeply. So please bear with me as I try to comprehend how this may effect my life.

Miller and Coors have joined forces. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I have been a fan of Miller Products over all other American Macro-brews for as long as I can remember. Be it the smooth satisfying taste of the champagne of beers or the great taste & less filling nature of Miller Light, when I put down my Jack Daniels and am looking for a beer to drink while playing beer pong with a lipper in. I choose Miller. (If that last line doesn't get me an endorsement deal, I don't know what will.)

Budweiser was always the "cool" bear in High School and College. Springing for a case of long neck bottles was a sign of affluence in the fraternity house. But, the King of Beers has always tasted a little skunky to me. Not a problem after drinking a few jack and cokes, or jack and ices or jack and jacks (I like variety), but as the first drink of the morning, Bud and its sister Bud light were always 2nd best.

As for others, I've always liked Sam, I'll try any Micro Brew once, Guinness is a favorite with a nice steak. I'm all good with Beer, with 1 exception...

Coors Light, the most bland, watered down excuse for yeast piss that's on the market. Back in the day when I kept track of these things, I could easily drink a case without feeling a buzz. Not a good thing when your living on a budget. with that knowledge,I always looked a man who ordered a Coors light at the Bar a little differently. A man who ordered a Chick light at the bar most likely had a pocket full of GHB. I mean why else would you order such a pussy drink, if you weren't just faking getting your drunk on so that you could participate in a little date rape later in the night.

Then there was the whole "Twins" advertising campaign of a couple years back. This went so far as having the theme song to the twins commercials be included in the weekly highlight segment on Sportcenter. Its no coincidence that this coincided with the final Stuification
of ESPN as the steady decent into mediocrity that sportcenter had been experiencing turned into a death spiral of Stucrament. But what we really learned from the "Twins"

Typical Coors light drinker with Beards

commercials was that Coors light was made by gay men for gay men. The Twins served as the beard for the Coors light drinking male population. Much as Nicole Kidman served as the beard for Tom Cruise. That's right, those guys with GHB were looking for a little man-ass rape, not date rape.

My life was going just fine, knowing that I could trust any beer drinker, other than the rapists drinking Coors light. Then the news breaks yesterday that the manliest of Beers has merged with the gay rapiest of beers. Forming MillerCoors brewing.

Now I'm torn. Can I in good conscience continue to drink High Life and Miller Light, knowing that it will contribute to the coffers of a company that supports the raping of men by other men?

How can I be sure that Coors Light won't have the same effect on Miller that Stu Scott had on ESPN?

How can I get my wife to invite Jessica Alba into the bedroom for a three-way? And how do I get Jessica to accept?

These questions kept me up all last night, especially the last one. So I ask you my friends, please help me answer these questions that plague me, especially that last one, so that I may once again bring peace to my life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

16 - 0jobs

Football experts have already crowned the Patriots as the next team to go undefeated. Great football minds like Tony Kornheiser have bloviated about Bellichick's Brilliance. The League has been put on notice that the Patriots are pissed about getting caught cheating (Even if Belichick should be used to it by now). And unbiased sources such as Bill Simmons have let us know how the Patriots "have no weaknesses".

Raise you hand if you haven't swallowed Brady's seamen, not so fast Bill

Well, god damn, lets end the season now. Word is Lary Czonka has already sold all his champagne on E-Bay. The Patriots have ripped through the best the NFL has to offer for the last 5 weeks, there is no hope for any other team out there.

Week 1 Jets 38-14
Week 2 Chargers 38-14
Week 3 Bills 38-7
Week 4 Bengals 34-14
Week 5 Cleveland 34-17

Look at those teams its a who's who of the, wait a minute, all those teams either kinda suck, or really suck. So far these teams have combined to win a total of 7 games this year. That's a .291 opponent winning percentage. Well, I can't tell you how impressed I am now.

Lets take a closer look at how bad these teams suck. (I'm going to be using terms like DVOA here, so if you don't know what that is go and get edumakated).

Not 1 opponent in the top half of the league in DVOA (best is SD at 17th)

Only 2 opponent in the top half of the league of Offensive DVOA (again CIN at 4th, SD at 14)

Most Damning of all

Not 1 opponent in the top 20 for Defensive OVOA (Cin 20th, SD 21st, Buf 25th, Cle 30th and NYJ dead last 32nd)

That is some pretty pathetic competition.

So while the Pats are racking up some impressive numbers, they may as well be playing Notre Dame every week. To date they have had the 3rd easiest schedule by DVOA standards (Behind Dallas and Baltimore).

The true test for New England starts this week against Dallas. The remainder of the Pats schedule isn't the outside of division cakewalk they have had to date. They have the 5th hardest schedule from here on out. Should they get by Dallas this weekend and the Colts in early Nov, than start talking about undefeated seasons. I mean, if you want to crown there ass, go ahead and crown them, but so far they have been going against teams fishing without a hook or bait.

Other thoughts:

I'm still getting the hang of this blog thing, those of you who have read my postings at Raider sites know that I watch the guys in the box more than the glamor boys. And we'll get back to breaking those guys down soon.

That said, It came out today that injuries have ended or potentially ended the careers of two players who I have enjoyed watching and respected for years.

The 1st will come as a surprise since I am a Raider fan.

Tom Nalen has been, IMO, the best center to put on the pads in the time that I've seriously watched football. Sure there have been guys who have had a better year here and there, but year in and year out you couldn't name the top 3 centers in the league without saying Nalen.

I don't think he has gotten the credit he has deserved due to the zone/cut scheme run by Denver. But the man was a technician on the field. A true master of footwork and leverage.

Nalen has not retired yet, but tearing his Bicep at his age (14 year vet) and the writing is on the wall. And if this is the end of the line he should be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer in 5 years.

(And No, my admiration for Nalen has nothing to do with the large amount of Alcohol I drank with his younger brother on a couple of occasions in College).

The 2nd player being Mack Strong of the Seahawks.

I'll admit that since the Seahawks retreated from the AFC west a few years back, that I haven't paid as much attention to them. But one of the things to watch whenever they were on was the huge holes opened by strong. Unfortunately Strong doesn't have the rings or the name recognition that could overcome the lack of glory position to make the HOF, but this guy has been one of the best for a long time.

Now that that's done,


Monday, October 8, 2007

Karma's a F'n Bitch

Trent Green got what he deserved yesterday. He ain't dead, but his NFL career should be.

NBC talking head Keith Olberman may want to label Travis Johnson as "The worst person in the NFL", however all Johnson did was taunt the guy who tried to end his career. It wasn't Johnson out there laying a cheap shot that, had it been done to the QB and not by a QB, would have resulted in a penalty and huge fine.

So Olberman, kindly Shut the Fuck Up. Hell that goes for the rest of the Sunday night football studio crew. But I digress.

The real villain here is Trent Green. This is the same guy who spent much of last season laid out with an injury. Wondering if he would ever get the chance to play again. After going through that, I almost was rooting for the fuck since he had to deal with King Carl Peterson to get out of KC (And who wouldn't want to get out of KC). But here we are only 5 weeks into the season and Trent Green is trying to end someone Else's career.

When Warren Sapp pulled a similar stunt, blind siding Chad Clifton with a head shot, He was derided as being one of the dirtiest players in the game, and they were right.

But Trent Green pulls the same thing, but puts his helmet to the guys knee instead of taking him head on. And Travis Johnson is the asshole since he got up and yelled at the guy who tried to end his career. Fuck, Travis Johnson should be applauded for not going all Albert Haynesworth and stomping the shit out of Greens lifeless body.

So Trent, if your career is over, you'll get no tears from me, that's between you and Karma... Fuckin Bitch.

Other thoughts from the Sports weekend that was:

1 - The Raiders are in 1st place

I know, they are 2-2 and the only reason that they are in 1st place is Norv Turner, but common, let me bask a minute, after all I had to deal with Norv as the Raiders coach for 2 seasons.

2 - When the fuck did VS's start to show college football

And why are they trying to keep it a secret? You have the #1 (or #2 depending on the poll) team in the country playing on your network and you don't advertise it. So nobody knew where to tune in to see one of the Biggest upsets in a long time, well at least since week 1.

3 - The revolution will not be televised

The two biggest upsets in college football this year have been shown on the Big TEleveN network and on VS's. Good job with that. In past years both of those games would have been part of ESPN's gameplan. Fuck you Stuart Scott.

4 - I'm glad I don't live in New England anymore

The Pats are undefeated (yay, you beat Cleveland, even Oakland beats Cleveland) and the BoSux haven't choked yet. Not a fun time to be a non-bandwagoner in Boston right now.

5 - PacMan Jones thinks he has done everything that he needs to, to be reinstated

I have nothing else to add to that

Saturday, October 6, 2007

College Football Coverage

What happened to showing the best game on TV and switching from suck ass games to good games in Progress.

Right now I can choose from Penn St. vs. Iowa and Tenn. vs. Georgia. Sure these looked like the best games at the time the schedule was set this week, but right now they are both laughers.

To top it off ABC has the Oaklahoma Texas game, which is actually close, but I can't watch it because I'm in the Penn St. viewing area. WTF, sure I'm close to Penn St. now, but that shouldn't prevent me from watching a decent game when Penn St. just lost to a team that lost to a 1AA school.

I blame Stuart Scott. Ever since that lazy eyed bastard was added to the ESPN roster the whole network has steadily declined and the quality of sports broadcasting has gone down with it.

At 1st it was just Sportscenter that the BooYA infected. But his influence has creped its way into everything that ESPN sports does.

First they allowed him to join the NFL Gameday set, what was once a solid show has become unwatchable. Honestly who wants to see Emit Smith and Keyshawn Johnson blather on about anything. It almost makes me miss Michael Irvin, at least I could play spot the coke under the nose when he was on the air.

Then they added him to Monday night countdown. You want to know why Monday Night football ratings slipped, blame Stu Scott. There is no way to convince America that a game is worth watching when Stu is telling you how his cousin's baby's mama knows that Pookie once was raped by the Sex Cannon.

The ESPN ship was officially sunk in a pool of Najeh Davenport's excrement when Stu was allowed to run with the "who's next" segment.

I don't blame Keith Jackson for leaving college football fans high and dry. The way things were going the next step was to have Stu in the booth with Keith for games.

Hell, even White bread boring Dan Patric left the 4 letter network. And who did the Stu disease infected brain trust at ESPN decide to bring in as his Radio replacement. Stu V2.0 Steven A.(sshole) Smith. HOW ABOUT WE YELL FOR AN HOUR WITH A MOUTH FULL OF CHEATOES.

With this kind of thinking permeating the network, it should come as no surprise that after a hard week of work, I can't even enjoy a full day of college football.

Hey look, that Iowa/ Penn St. game has gotten almost interesting.