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Saturday's List of 13: Random thoughts with weekend here......
13) Chip Kelly is first NFL head coach with no NFL experience at all since Mike Riley coached the Chargers, but Riley had been a HC in both the WLAF and CFL, and played college ball at Alabama.
Ironic that Riley is now the coach at Oregon State.
Up until being hired by Oregon six years ago, Kelly's entire football career had been spent at New Hampshire, Columbia and Johns Hopkins, and he wasn't a head coach at any of those places. Now he's an NFL head coach.
12) Eldrick Woods, Rory McIlroy both missed the cut over in Abu Dhabi; Woods because of a rules snafu which cost him two strokes.
11) Took one round for McIlroy to ditch his Nike putter in favor of his old Scotty Cameron Titleist flatstick; he is off for three weeks now, curious to see what he putts with when we next see him.
10) Jacoby Ellsbury makes more money than Buster Posey? Posey got $8M for one year, Ellsbury $9M, as both guys avoided arbitration; Ellsbury gets a $1M raise despite playing in only 74 games LY-- what would he have gotten if he had a good season?
9) Middle Tennessee/Florida Atlantic are both jumping from Sun Belt to C-USA next year, another football-related move. In basketball, Sun Belt is 20th-ranked league this year, C-USA 11th.
8) Brewers' OF/1B Corey Hart is out 3-4 months after having knee surgery, the same knee he had scoped last winter.
7) From 2004-12, Phoenix Suns went 405-237 under Mike D'Antoni, then Alvin Gentry; they let Steve Nash walk last summer, are now 13-28, so they canned Gentry Friday. How about firing the guy who assembled the team?
6) Odd game of the day Saturday: Harvard at Memphis.
5) Actor Craig T. Nelson's dad was the drummer in Bing Crosby's band.
4) I am confused why the Bears fired Lovie Smith, and I'm equally baffled by his not getting another job this winter, but he wasn't exactly in demand in 2003, when Chicago hired him away from the Rams (he was DC).
Rams were hosting Carolina in a playoff game; Bears made it clear that if St Louis won that week, they were going to hire someone other than Smith, since back then, assistants couldn't interview if their teams were still playing.
So the Ram-Panther game is in OT, and Smith's chance to be a head coach in the NFL may rest on his team losing the game!!!! So go figure, a washed-up Jason Sehorn is suddenly covering Steve Smith (in his prime) 1-on-1, Steve Smith scores an easy TD, Rams lose and Lovie Smith gets his dream job.
15 head coach/GM openings this winter, no minorities were hired; no idea if race is a factor, but I have to believe there are other factors involved in Smith not getting another head coaching job.
3) Cardinals' DC Ray Horton was none too happy with being passed over as Redbirds' new head coach; as a result, he is gone from Arizona, good move by Bruce Arians-- you don't want a locker room with divided loyalties.
Horton shouldn't be too mad; he's getting $8M for four years to be the Browns' new DC. Big money for a coordinator.
2) Pretty cool that former major league catcher Paul LoDuca has a job at TVG, analyzing horse racing; don't know if he's any good at handicapping, but he comes across well on TV. He worked some Nationals' games on TV when he was still an active player but on the DL.
1) Our thoughts/prayers go out to jockey Ramon Dominguez, who was injured in a spill at Santa Anita Friday and fractured his skull. Jockeys have a really dangerous job; this spill was scary to watch.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday........
13) Excellent move by ESPN putting Gonzaga-Butler as a Saturday night featured game in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse; game didn't disappoint, either.
12) Kid on ESPN's College Gameday at Butler won tuition for a semester by draining a halfcourt shot; think State Farm pays the $18,000 tab.
11) St Bonaventure had been 0-30 lifetime at Temple, but Bonnies ended all that with an 81-78 win in Philly- they made 11-18 behind the arc.
10) Very quietly, Oregon is 16-2, 5-0 in Pac-12 after beating UCLA and sweeping the LA schools. Dana Altman wasn't Phil Knight's first choice to be Oregon's coach, but he may have been the best choice.
9) Cincinnati led Marquette 29-13 at half, but needed OT to hold off the gritty Golden Eagles, 71-69. Sean Kilpatrick had 36 points for Cincinnati, in one of several TV games where neither team wore white uniforms. Whats the point of that? Marketing? Looks like an AAU tournament.
Wichita wore black at home, and Creighton wore white in that game; maybe its a marketing thing. Home team almost always wears white uniforms.
8) Syracuse won at Louisville, in what would've been the game of the day except for the Gonzaga-Butler thriller. Brandon Triche made 5-7 behind the arc, scored 23 points to fuel the upset.
7) Belmont stayed unbeaten in the OVC, but North Dakota State lost at Western Illinois, creating a tie atop the Summit League, in some of better mid-major action Saturday.
6) Texas Longhorns hadn't been 0-3 in Big X play since '98; now they're 0-4 after losing 64-59 at home to Kansas, a game Texas led by 11 with 14:50 left to play. Longhorns get PG Myck Kabongo eligible February 12, but in meantime, they need some quality wins, or else Kabongo will wind up as MVP of the NIT in March.
5) A record 73 football players left college early to apply for the '13 NFL Draft; not all of these people are going to be drafted. You just hope they got sound advice. Greedy hangers-on can screw up a kid's career.
4) Understatement of the Day: "We live in an impatient society." Charles Barkley, during his appearance on ESPNU during Kentucky-Auburn game. He also called sports agents "scumbags" on air. Outstanding.
3) Halftime score in Laramie: Wyoming 20, San Diego State 9, and Aztecs were a top 25 team when the week began. Game ended 58-45; MWC is one tough league. Fresno State might be worst team, and they ain't terrible.
2) There were three terrific games on TV at 4:00; Syracuse-Louisville, Oregon-UCLA and Creighton-Wichita State; hard to keep track of end of all three games, but was fun trying.
1) In his great major league career, Stan Musial had 3,630 hits; 1,815 on the road, 1.815 at home. Tremendously consistent player.
Some great games on the schedule today and it leads off with the Niners. I have some futures on the Niners to win the NFC and Super Bowl so there is no way I can be subjective if I wanted. So lets see how this works out. Been quite indecisive about the Ravens and have them at plus 10 early this week. So hard to take them for anything less now. Buy up or just play the team total.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS -3 (buy)
Also played San Francisco on Moneyline last week at -135 before line jumped in addition to my NFC futures. Can you say all in.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS/BALTIMORE RAVENS OVER 50 POINTS
Not that it hasn't been for years, but the NHL will be even more of a complete bore until we get to the finals. I realize it's just a 48 game schedule but in my mind it takes out all the excitement with no East versus West matchups during the regular season. For particularly Winnipeg there's going to be plenty of travel nightmares and for those teams who visit.
I did think it was a bit too early for Atlanta to go for 2 last week given the feel of the Falcons wrath and the direction the game was heading, though it didn't have an impact on the final outcome. Given the stage of the game heading into the 4th quarter I'm not sure Smith would change his stance in a similar situation this afternoon, though I think if the Falcons are playing from behind it would make his decision a lot more manageable.
Expect Derrick Rose to lose more value if Thibodeau makes another stupid decision to leave him in an already decided outcome, let alone during the first round of the postseason. It's nice to hear that Rose is right on schedule to return, but given Chicago's offensive woes and Indiana's tenacity on defense he is going to have to make an immediate impact if the Bulls are expected to win the Central.
It was reported last week that Carmelo planned to end his fast after last week's win over New Orleans with a 48 oz porterhouse later that Sunday evening. Melo, you've earned it considering the Knicks first place standing as we near the ASB. Just make sure Woodson and company continue to watch your backs because Brooklyn continues to surge.
I believe that it could be David Robertson's time to close as early as next season in the Bronx. With Mariano coming back this season, it is yet to be determined if he will return in 2014, though with the topic of retirement following him after last season's freak injury we will need to stay tuned. Putting Robertson in some spot situations this season cannot be overlooked if the situation warrants or if the Yankees are sitting comfortably atop the AL East.
Hey Marc thanks for mentioning Valpo on Thursday night. I was a ML beneficiary to complement the over 144, and found myself doing a few of Victor Cruz's salsa moves when the bottom line flashed on the deuce!
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Great insight your the best in the industry...good luck today... unfortunately, im opposite of you. NFL is a Quarterback drivin league. Ryan and Brady are just head and shoulders better than Flacco and a Rookie.
Thanks Docter! What a game to start off our Sunday afternoon. Wow
The kid played great for Frisco and he did it with his arm and not his legs.
Cant argue on Brady though but I vasillated quite a bit on the Ravens game but played them at plus 10 and did a small middle with the Patriots -6. So lets just root on the Over. Everyone is jumping on the under with the wind but when they zig we zag.
Wednesday's Dirty Dozen: Doing some thinking out loud.............
12) I read Tuesday that the inauguration festivities cost total of $171M; good thing our country isn’t in a financial crisis, or this could be a problem. Why even have a ceremony for a second term President?
Just go on with your business, and save everyone a bunch of money. Does spending $171M make any sense at all?
11) Ray Lewis’ first career sack, in '96? A Chicago QB named Harbaugh. The first 46 Super Bowls were won by 28 different coaches; we know the 29th winner will be a Harbaugh, just don’t know which one.
10) Baseball’s 2015 All-Star Game will be in Cincinnati; its in Citi Field this year, where the hideous Wilpons get to play host- next year’s game is in the new ballpark in Minnesota. Home Run Derby will be awesome in the small Cincinnati ballpark.
9) Good Lord, the Joe Theismann/prostate medicine commercial is on every ten minutes late at night. I know I watch too much TV, but the damn thing makes me want more Peyton Manning commercials.
If you’re going to run a commercial spot 1,000 times a day, why not make up more than one spot and vary them a little?
8) Greedy bastard update: "I have a dream that gas prices won’t be such a ripoff anymore.” Somehow I doubt it was to honor Dr King, but gas prices went down six cents a gallon over the holiday weekend.
Still a long way to go, at $3.69 a gallon
7) Phil Mickelson is whining because he is now in the 62% tax bracket, so he may have to move out of California; guy makes an estimated $40M a year, not sure how he and the family scrape by. If you have to move then move, just don’t complain. There are homeless people in the northeast living in cars in the frozen winter trying to survive.
Mickelson’s biggest problem is whether his new pitching wedge has the right loft to it, or whether his private plane has enough fuel in it. Please be quiet.
6) Ryan Howard looks slim and trim in those Subway commercials, good news for those nervous people who have him on their fantasy team. Need more contact from the big fella this year.
5) Will the Patriots shell out $11.4M for Wes Welker next year? I kind of doubt it, which may set Mrs Welker off yet again; she already said how she hates Ray Lewis- this summer, she might go after the Patriot organization when they let her husband walk.
4) Nice politics by NFL, reinstating Saints coach Sean Payton right before public enemy #1, Roger Goodell, heads to Bourbon Street. Still think Mr Goodell isn’t going to have much fun in New Orleans the next 12 days.
3) Super Bowl QBs played in college at Nevada and Delaware (via Pitt); Flacco transferred from Pitt because he didn’t beat Tyler Palko out for the starting job. Nice decision there. Life is funny sometimes.
2) Saw a quote from Stan Van Gundy yesterday saying he thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest center ever, which I agree with; received an e-mail today with an excellent rebuttal as to why Bill Russell should be considered the greatest ever.
His team, whether it be the Celtics or in college at USF, won the national championship 13 times in a 15-year stretch. Pretty amazing, and hard to argue with.
1) Anyone who thinks former Oakland Raider coach Bill Callahan sabotaged his own team in the Super Bowl is a freakin' moron, I don't care if its Tim Brown, Jerry Rice or the ghost of Al Davis. Why would a guy trash his own career because he doesn't like his boss? Although it was mighty stupid to change the game plan on Friday before the game.
Oakland's problem in that Super Bowl was that they were going up against the guy (Jon Gruden) who had coached them the previous few years. He knew the Raiders better than anyone else.