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Thursday's List of 13: Random stuff on a beautiful day here in Florida........
13) Lot of mystery surrounding RGIII’s knee operation Wednesday; people who criticized the Redskins for drafting two QBs last spring are looking like dopes right about now.
Speaking of operations, when was last time a doctor came out after an operation and declared it a failure? They're all great successes.
12) Dallas-Detroit-Washington have all hired six HCs since 1997, most in the NFL; none of the three have played in an NFC title game since then, the only three teams not to.
11) Cowboys are 22-26 the last three years; they’ve made the playoffs once in last five years and have one playoff win since 1996. Don’t think its all Rob Ryan’s fault. Or the former running backs' coach.
10) Seahawks signed Ryan Longwell to kick the rest of the playoffs, and put Steven Hauschka on IR. They’re in a dome this week, so no big deal.
9) How has Bengals’ DC Mike Zimmer not gotten a head coaching job? Seriously, what does he have to do?
Now, for our top 8 NFL teams........
8) Texans—Got bamboozled on a Monday night in Foxboro, which wound up costing them a bye and home field in this game. They’ll need a big effort to beat Brady, but could get a break with unusually warm January weather.
7) Falcons— Lot of pressure on a coach who has zero playoff wins; you only get so many chances to be the #1 seed in the playoffs.
6) Ravens—Huge QB mismatch in Denver this weekend; still wary of Raven squad that fired its OC in December.
5) Packers—Playing on road this week because they lost at Minnesota in Week 17. With their passing offense, will warmer weather help them?
4) Seahawks—Can a network please find Tom O’Brien and do a sitdown interview where he explains why he fired Russell Wilson at NC State? If Oprah can land an interview with Lance Armstrong, how hard can this be?
3) 49ers—Colin Kaepernick’s first playoff game, against Aaron Rodgers. Live underdog, I’m thinking.
2) Patriots—Can you imagine the ratings Manning vs Brady in an AFC title game would get?
1) Broncos—Much like the Falcons, now is the hour for John Fox and the Broncos; they were gifted with the #1 seed with Houston’s late stumbles. They need to take advantage of it.
Friday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud.....
13) Sacramento Kings are being sold and moved to Seattle? Too bad for the fine people of Sacramento, who have zero chance of ever getting another team, since the NBA now extorts teams to build ridiculously priced new arenas in order to get a team, and new arenas aren’t going to be built with public money in California anytime soon (unless you’re the 49ers).
Good news for Seattle, which had Sonics stolen from five years ago for no good reason, one of the dark moments of David Stern’s tenure as Commissioner.
12) So here’s the history of the Royals/Kings franchise: Rochester-Cincinnati-Kansas City-Omaha-Sacramento, now Seattle; they should have Rand McNally as a corporate sponsor.
11) Here is a great job: Wendy’s is testing out a new Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger; I could easily do this for a living, just taste-test new food, to see if its any good. Where do I get my application?
10) Missouri lost Laurence Bowers (sprained knee) for at least two games, big blow for Mizzou.
9) Georgetown’s 73-45 home loss to Pitt Monday night was their worst home loss since 1971, in other words, pre-John Thompson.
8) CAA is slipping in conference power ratings; they’re #xx so far this year, after being.
7) The World Championship of Cornhole (throwing a beanbag thru a hole in a board, if you’ve never seen it, google it) is being held this week at Harrah’s in Tunica, MS. Good times.
6) Dodger Stadium is undergoing $100M in upgrades this winter, both for fans/players. After Fenway/Wrigley, Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest stadium in the major leagues.
5) Sounds like Stanley Cup playoffs will begin in early May, with June 25 longest playoffs could go; full schedule is expected to be released this weekend, which is nice, since the season starts next Saturday.
4) If NHL wanted to win back fans/viewers immediately, they would’ve made the process of doing the new schedule transparent, with cameras/mikes in on the meetings where all these changes were made. Must be fascinating to see how they get around the obstacles of arena availability and getting the national TV matchups they want.
3) Toronto Maple Leafs fired Brian Burke this week; not sure what he did during the lockout to get fired, or why they waited this long to do it. Timing is weird; apparently most everything the Leafs do is quirky, at best.
2) This is the first time since 1996 that no one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Hall itself, other than the economy of Cooperstown depends on people going there, and its not a place you get to easily.
This situation needs to be resolved, because its unfair to throw a blanket over every player (Piazza, Biggio come to mind) and say they can’t get in Hall of Fame because of steroids, since they were not implicated as users. Its not the most important thing in the world, but to the people of Otsego County in central New York, their economy pretty much depends on it.
1) By the way, one last thing about the Hall of Fame. Put Pete Rose in next year. Put on his plaque that he is banned from baseball, but for the love of God, he deserves to be inducted and to have his speech and then he can go away. No one ever accused him of cheating.
-- Knicks are 13-5 at home, but 0-2 vs Chicago, and they never led in either game. Bulls are good at stifling the Knicks' shooters.
-- Oklahoma City beat the Lakers 116-101 in Staples Center, dropping LA to 15-21. Lakers are no lock to even make the playoffs.
-- Doug McDermott scored 39 points in Creighton's win at Indiana State; he outscored the Sycamores by himself in second half.
-- Jim Mora Jr got a 1-year extension at UCLA, ending speculation that he's headed to the NFL.
-- Siena snapped its 11-game losing skid by upsetting Canisius, 57-54.
-- Lot of same people who rip the Redskins for playing RGIII are the same humans who ripped the Nationals for taking Stephen Strasburg out of the pitching rotation when he hit his innings limit last summer.
Saturday's List of 13: Random thoughts with weekend here......
13) #1 seeds in AFC are 3-4 in their first playoff game last seven years, 2-7 vs spread the last nine years. #1 seeds in NFC are 1-4 SU last five years, 1-5 vs spread the last six.
Lot of pressure on those #1 seeds to take advantage of their position.
12) Monte Kiffin goes from being fired by his son at USC, to becoming DC of the Dallas Cowboys. Wonder what Mrs Kiffin (Monte’s wife/Lane’s mother) thinks of all this?
11) Jay Cutler gets himself an offensive head coach as Chicago Bears are said to be hiring Marc Trestman, a QB guru who has NFL experience, but most recently was HC of Montreal Alouettes in CFL. Bud Grant-Marv Levy-Mike Riley are all former CFL head coaches who also coached in NFL.
10) Whomever Carolina Panthers replace OC Rob Chudzinski with has to be a QB guru, to maximize the substantial abilities of Cam Newton.
9) Latest blind line I saw on Super Bowl was AFC -3, with total of 51.
8) Our nation’s trade gap widened by 15.8% in November, which can’t be good. Stock market is basically unchanged today as I type this, so either that was old news or expected news.
7) If you wager on Big West basketball, you should know that all league’s games are streamed for free on Bigwest.org. Good stuff.
6) New Mexico State has a 7-5, 360-pound freshman from Toronto named Sim Bhullar; saw him at Seattle Thursday. He is massive; appears to have good hands, went 16-17 from floor in Aggies’ last two home games. He is still young/raw, but Marvin Menzies may have struck gold with this kid, who is only 30-64 on foul line but is scoring 9.5 ppg in 18 mpg.
5) NC State/Oregon State are the only two D-I teams in America with six players averaging double figure scoring. Only eight other teams have five such scorers.
4) Big East home favorites of 5 or less points are already 0-7 vs spread in conference play.
3) My lone thought on the NFL/concussion lawsuit: How are plaintiffs going to prove that it was NFL football that caused these concussions and subsequent physical damage, as opposed to high school or college or sandlot football?
2) NHL schedule can’t be released until the players ratify the new labor agreement, but it would be nice if that happened soon, since games are supposedly starting next Saturday.
1) Jack Taylor, the D-III player from Grinnell who scored 138 points in a game in November, broke his wrist and is out for the year. Grinnell is 9-3 and sophomore Taylor was scoring 36 ppg (27 ppg if you take out the 138-point game).
Should be a fun weekend of football. Lot of great games that I am looking forward to. Lets keep our massive run going. Have a few opinions along with some stronger picks. Right now here are my picks that I am going with although I may qualify the best bets later on. Will add some totals closer to the games.
DENVER BRONCOS -7 (buying down to 7 for only -145)
GREEN BAY PACKERS +4
Already have some futures on San Francisco so a 1 point win by Frisco would be perfect.
Sacramento deal to Seattle is still unofficial, and there is talk that Joe and Gavin Maloof, who need the money to get out of debt and have run the Kings into the ground over the last 10 years, will still want to have a say in how the team is run. Arco Arena/Power Balance Pavilion or whatever they call it looks like a giant library and is the smallest NBA venue at just over 17,000 in capacity. Maybe it's a bluff to call at the Palms casino, where once ownership of the Maloofs prohibited wagering on or against the Sacramento Kings.
If Spooky does in fact get the opportunity to taste new foods he would need to test every new sandwich at Harold's deli before exploring other options since he is still under contract with the Lyndhurst gold mine through 2020.
With the NHL finally ending its lockout, the asterisk at season's end is becoming most popular.
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