Sunday, January 11, 2009

Madden NFL Fantasy Draft

We ran a Madden NFL Fantasy draft to see where things would wind up with the best players in the league. In the Fantasy draft the Colts got the first pick, and they
selected (drum roll for this crazy stuff) Bob Sanders!
the rest was far more realistic,
#2 LT
#3 Brady
#4 Peyton
#5 Randy Moss
One person we should have thought of went 9ish and that was Albert Haynesworth. No TEs or G in the 1st round and Champ Bailey was the only CB taken and that was 29th.
I thought that Bailey and Corners in general would be a relatively hot commodity.

A: I like it. If healthy, Brady goes #1 in my book but that's a big if. Glad you are an LT homer like me. I know it sounds crazy but I actually think he's been underrated his entire career, minus the MVP season of course. Yeah, my boy Haynesworth is a monster. He's top 10 no question.

T: The only thing about LT is that before this year he was pretty much invincible, now that the curtain has been pulled back a little he may start to decline with these little injuries. I still think he is top 5 all time without a doubt in my mind, maybe even the best IMHO

Friday, January 9, 2009

National Championship Game

I'm going to write this before i read any messages that are in my box.

Oklahoma's defense played far better than I think anyone expected them to. They did a great job of confusing Tebow (and the rest of the offense) and shutting down any kind of running threat in the first half. I think Tebow had a subpar game except for the last two TD drives. Other than those two drives he looked scared IMO and was inaccurate on any resemblance of a deep throw. They also had Florida's line jumping
all over the place. UF could never get any kind of rhythm going at all and needed Tebow to strap them on his back and run them down the field for that second TD, and it wasn't until the final TD drive that the Gator offense looked comfortable in the game. I know you guys probably don't remember this, but oklahoma did the same thing Auburn did the last two times they beat Meyer's gators. Bring your safeties up, daring them to throw downfield, and run your defense straight up the field at them.

Oklahoma may have the best offensive line in the history of college football. I told my brother the Florida fan yesterday that they should look at what Ohio State did to Texas for their game plan: Blitz the hell out of the QB. And they did, it just wasn't as effective. Other than a hold here and there the OL from OU handled a man for a man. The exceptions being in crucial situations like 4th and goal at the 1. If you can't get that 1 yard you don't deserve to win. I still think maybe
the Heisman should go to OU's OL.

Do you think the play by Oklahoma's Nic(sp?) Harris on Harvin was dirty? You tackle a guy who has had an injured ankle, then when you get up you drag him half a yard by that ankle. The announcers touched on it, but i haven't listened or read anything to see if anyone else is talking about it.

All in all this was a honey of a game. Take out all the penalties
(lots and lots of penalties) and you have yourself a classic. Of the
BCS title games over the years, it has to be in the top 3 with USC vs.
Texas, and anOSU vs. Miami (more of a testament to crappy title games). But now i think there is some pressure off of Jim Tressel because now everyone will be pointing at Stoops as being "overrated" or "underachieving". It's not true, and hey, maybe Oklahoma will play anOSU in a title game and we will all want to shoot ourselves

How did the predictions go?

If you will remember, I didn't officially make as many predictions as
as usual. However, I did have some unofficial predictions like
Marshawn Lynch having a phenomenal fantasy football season and Michael
Turner flopping fantasy wise that obviously didn't turn out so hot. I
also thought the Falcons and Ravens were morons for starting their
rookie quarterbacks. Here is another prediction that was not so good for me.

"Mike Tomlin will come under heavy fire from the fans"

You will remember this was actually more about the Steelers tough
schedule than poor coaching by Tomlin. Regardless, the prediction
flopped. I think my other four predictions turned out pretty well.
You guys can make the call.

"The Tennessee Titans will lead the NFL in rushing yards"

"New Orleans Saints 2008 offense = New England Patriots 2007"

"A defensive lineman will win the defensive player of the year award"

"At least two second-year safeties will make the Pro Bowl"

Vince Young factored into my rushing yards equation but he was benched
in favor of Kerry Collins. So that prediction was okay. I also
didn't predict the Titans offensive line would pull a San Diego and
suddenly turn into a much better pass blocking than run blocking unit.
Had the Saints offense not suffered so many injuries I feel extremely
confident that prediction would have come true. Ed Reed, DeMarcus
Ware, or James Harrison may win the defensive player of the year award
but I think it's pretty safe to say this has been a very good year for
star defensive linemen. And while my second-year safeties prediction
fell short, no one questions Michael Griffin turned in a Pro Bowl
caliber season. Brandon Merriweather played well too and who could
have guessed that LaRon Landry, Reggie Nelson, and Eric Weddle would
badly regress as a group this season. That was very odd.

I was also right to predict the Titans and Panthers making the
playoffs, both of which were quite controversial picks at the time. I
was also right to pick Minnesota to win their division and the Eagles
to claim a wild card spot. Not placing Dallas as the #1 seed in the
NFC and predicting they wouldn't win a playoff game was good, even if
my #1 seed was the Saints. I was way way off about the Giants and
Browns. I actually pride myself in putting the Jaguars as the #5 seed
in the AFC playoffs considering the level of hype surrounding this
team in the preseason.

My list of obscure NFL players that will make or break the 2008 season
fell flat for the most part but I did get a couple players right in
LaMarr Woodley, Jason Jones, and Ryan Kalil. Many of the players who
flopped were playing for teams that turned out to be horrendous

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Book Review: “The Secret”

Ari Brouillette's review of "The Secret" in it's original form can be found here, but is pasted below since I am sure it will be taken down by Amazon very very soon.


Please allow me to share with you how "The Secret" changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of "The Secret" is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don't want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.
At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.
My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be anally raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.
Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I've never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of "The Secret". Normally I wouldn't have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn't have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.
The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the "Law of Attraction" in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn't exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 "The Secret to Relationships" that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.
The next day in the exercise yard I carried "The Secret" with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness actually made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I'm not sure that everybody's life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I'm very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New sayings

When life gives you Lemons, go around the corner and get yourself some fucking oranges…

SEC 2004 vs. SEC 2008

The argument this year has been that the SEC is down and that is the reason that Alabama and Ole Miss had such great success this year. The response to which by the Alabama fans is that the SEC was down in 2004 when Auburn went undefeated (it's always about Auburn isn't it with you people?) Here is the statistical breakdown of the SEC in those years:

Looking at win differentials
SEC from 03 to 04
Alabama improved by 3 wins
Auburn improved by 6 wins
Miss St. declined by 2 wins
LSU and Arkie declined by 3 wins
Ole Miss declined by 5 wins (eli leaving)

2 teams in the west improved and 4 declined

Georgia and Florida stayed the same
UT and UK improved by 1 win
South Carolina improved by 2 wins
Vandy is the only East team to decline (by 1 win)

3 teams in the East were up (AU had 3 wins against them)
2 Teams stayed the same (1 AU win)
1 team declined

All in all 5 teams were improved (4 AU wins), 2 stayed the same (1 AU win), and 5 declined (4 AU wins)

2007 to 2008
Ole Miss improved by 6 wins
Alabama improved by 5 wins
Arkansas declined by 3 wins
LSU, Auburn, and Miss St. declined by 4 wins

So 2 teams in the West improved and 4 teams declined

UF improved by 3 wins
Vandy improved by 2 wins
South Carolina improved by 1 win
UGA and UK declined by 1 win
Tennessee declined by 5 wins

So 3 teams improved (0 bama wins) and 3 teams declined (3 bama wins)

So you had 5 teams that improved (1 bama win) and 7 teams that declined (7 bama wins)

The total differential is in 04 the SEC was down 1 win, and in 08 the SEC was down 5 wins

In 2004 of Auburn's 9 SEC wins only 4 came against teams that declined from the year before

In 2008 of Alabama's 8 SEC wins 7 came against teams that declined from the year before and only 1 against an improved team (ole Miss)

In 2008 of Ole Miss' 5 SEC wins, 4 were against teams that declined from the year before and only 1 against an improved team (Florida, woohoo Rebels)

The SEC was indeed down this year and Alabama and Ole Miss reaped the benefits, both were improved teams no doubt, but they feasted on a weakened SEC and 5 of the 6 most disappointing teams in the nation were on Alabama's schedule (#1 Clemson, #2 Michigan, #3 Tennessee, #4 Auburn, #5 LSU, #6 Georgia (preseason #1 and all))

*Ed. note - 03 was a 12 game season and 04 was an 11 game season so i dropped one win each from 03 since every team put a nobody on their schedule for that extra game.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Defending Tony Dungy

Sorry guys, this is my new obsession. I just want to lay that out.
Also, I promise to avoid talking about Peyton Manning. This isn't
about #18. This is about defending one of the hands down best coaches
of our time.

Dungy is getting blasted in the media and I am really taking issue
with it. First of all, Dungy's team is setting records for regular
season proficiency. Why doesn't he get more credit for that? You
know, what Dungy should do is set expectations lower during the
regular season. They constantly have personnel turnover on the
defensive side of the ball. Recently the Colts have battled severe
injuries. Perhaps Dungy should just not play so hard and so well
during the season. No one in their right mind would criticize him if
Indy didn't destroy the league every single season. That would buy
him some good grace in the media.

Let me compare Tony Dungy to the coach every one of his critics
basically feels he is the equivalent to: Marty Schottenheimer.
Martyball always exceeds regular season expectations then flames out
in the playoffs. But a closer look reveals these two men are not the
same. For one, Schottenheimer gets criticized immediately following
playoff losses for stupid coaching decisions or for his players being
sloppy and boneheaded. That hasn't happened with Dungy. Is he a tad
conservative sometimes? Sure but welcome to the club. The playoffs
feature a ton of conservative game management. I can promise you
Dungy's conservative coaching moves are a drop in the Indy bucket of
problems. Furthermore, Schottenheimer's pension for playoff meltdowns
may have to do with the fact that his teams recently have not been all
that veteran and there is a psychological buildup because of his
reputation, for or not. Maybe any coach in Schottenheimer's situation
would struggle given that perfect storm.

Finally, no one says exactly what Dungy has done wrong. Unlike
Schottenheimer and other coaches who supposedly aren't made for the
playoffs, everyone criticizes Dungy for the overall result but not for
anything specific. Apparently, coaching is just magic. His teams
always play very hard and all things considered, play smart too. The
defense, Dungy's specialty, seems to always play above their
experience and talent level in big games. Look at all of the Colts
playoff games the last 6 years or so. The offense game after game
after game does not score as many points as people would have
predicted beforehand, win or lose. So I guess Dungy could be
criticized for not firing his offensive coordinator Tom Moore. But
Moore is well-respected and I have not heard anyone point out why
Moore is at fault. Darn those specifics. Seeing how Dungy is being
treated, I can see why "fall guys" are so common in business and
politics. No one asks any questions when you can focus enough ire
toward one particular scape goat. It's like extreme Bush bashing.
Once you have decided the man is pure evil, you can criticize him for
everything from World War II to AIDS in Africa.

As for the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl once Dungy left, how many
coaches help their teams improve in their first season? This happens
constantly, to the point that I am now refusing to cast my support for
the Coach of the Year Award behind a first year coach again. So the
fact that an offensive guru brought a new energy to Tampa Bay and
spruced up the side of the ball that wasn't Dungy's expertise for one
year is no surprise. What has the great Gruden done since that first
year? Not much. I'm not saying Gruden isn't a good coach because he
is but it would seem apparent to me that instead of criticizing Dungy
we should realize that what happened in Tampa Bay is what does happen
on several teams every single NFL season.

What do you guys say?
Why does he deserve to get criticized in the media?