Thursday, April 28, 2016

2016 NFL Draft 1st Round Hardcore Live Blog

Well friends, here we are again. I have to start by apologizing for denying you, the reader, of all the insight you've grown so accustomed to when I skipped the blog last year. The Bills didn't have a pick in the first round and I guess I felt it was okay to take the year off. Don't worry, the OCD part of me is mad at past me too. Let me bring you up to speed.

First, my war room remains effectively unchanged other than we added another child to it. Molly (my daughter) and Michelle (my life partner) will be joined by Ryan (my son) this year. He doesn't talk much yet, which is probably for the best. Although, since Michelle has learned I will immortalize any stupid comment she makes and Molly will probably do nothing but complain that Teen Titans is not on, a third voice may have been welcomed. Maybe next year.

Anyway, I am sharp as ever, have been doing tens of minutes of research, and the local Dairy Queen remains a beacon of positivity to keep me going through the marathon that is the draft, so I'm as pumped as ever. (See the chart from the 2013 blog to see how long that typically lasts)

Also, I'm going to attempt to spice up this year's blog by adding some hard hitting facts that might be partially or entirely made up. Enjoy blog fans, I'll see you all later.

7:55 Well football fans, the time is almost upon us. My kids and their bedtime is going to make the beginning of the draft blog a bit dicey. At least nothing good happens at the beginning of the draft. Ugh. Anyway, as they have been for the last month or so, the Los Angeles Rams are on the clock.

Fun Fact! The Rams were moved to Los Angeles because rams (the animal) do not like rain and on average it rains about three times less in Los Angeles and it just fit better thematically.

8:06 My war room is a madhouse already. My kids are jumping around and screaming. They are more into the draft than I would've expected. Is it bedtime yet? Also, why does the team that traded a mint to get the first overall pick sit around and wait until the last minute to announce their pick? Are they really expecting an offer to come to them that would be more than they gave away?

Also, since I'm posting anyway, I won't be on Twitter or any other social media tonight because it makes the viewing experience anticlimactic. I'm sure you were wondering.

8:15 Finally. Each team gets ten minutes to pick, so naturally the first pick would come in 15 minutes into the draft. QB Jared Goff goes to the Los Angeles Rams with the first pick of the 2016 draft.

Fun Fact! The Eagles sit in a "can't lose" spot in the draft and would have happily drafted whomever of Goff or Wentz was still on the board. However, my sources have told me they were quietly hoping for Goff, because he smells nicer and chose Bulbasaur when asked who he'd select as his starting Pokemon. 

8:22 The Eagles surprise no one and take QB Carson Wentz. Eagles fans are thrilled and can't wait to boo him.

The Chargers are up next.

Fun Fact! The Chargers are hoping to relocate following the 2016 season because "Whale's Vagina Chargers" is a ridiculous name.

8:29 The Chargers select DE Joey Bosa which is way more fun than picking an offensive lineman like all the experts suggested. He seems humble and genuinely touched that he was the first non-QB taken. I like it.

Teeth are being brushed and it's almost bedtime. Then I can really focus on the spectacle that is the NFL draft. And see if I can convince Michelle to get DQ. As is tradition. Next up, Dallas.

Fun Fact! I want to play Super C on the jumbo tron at AT&T stadium. I'd pick Super C over the original because I can totally beat it without cheat codes.

8:35 I'm no poker player, but it looks to me like the Cowboys room is a bit shocked over the Chargers pick. I could be reading a bit too much into nothing, but it look like their guy got taken.

8:38 Fantasy Football Alert! The Cowboys select RB Ezekiel Elliot. I imagine he'll be a top two rookie picked in all formats (unless you REALLY need a QB in dynasty). Jacksonville is up.

Fun Fact! The Jaguars were forced to fire their equipment manager after forgetting to paint the front half of their helmets last year and because of this I suspect they'll pick Myles Jack.

8:45 The Jags pick is in and the Ravens are on the clock. I need to help put these monsters to bed, so hopefully nothing awesome happens. The Jaguars choose CB Jalen Ramsey.

Fun Fact! The team is named the Ravens because Baltimore was the home of Edgar Allen Poe. I think this one is actually true.

8:53 The first fat guy is off the board. The Ravens pick Tackle Ronnie Stanley. I understand offensive line is important, I just can't get excited about them as a fan. 49ers are up.

Fun Fact! Colin Kaepernick lost a job playing football to Blaine Gabbert.

8:58 Just heard the Tunsil news. I have to believe he actually was hacked. And based on that I feel bad for the kid. Everyone makes mistakes, and I know everyone passed all their drug tests at the combine. I'm sure he never thought that pic would be public. I guess maybe that shows a bit of poor judgement, but still. I'd rather not get into the way the NFL treats weed compared to how they treat woman abuse or other problems, but there it is. I guess we'll quickly see how it affects his stock.

The 49ers select DE DeForest Buckner.

9:04 The Titans have traded with Cleveland and are on the clock. They select Tackle Jack Conklin.

Fun Fact! It's going to be difficult to come up with 32 of these.
Jay Cutler giving the sexy chins

Tampa Bay is on the clock.

9:11 Scratch that. The Bucs traded the pick with the Bears.

Fun Fact! Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jay Cutler did not eat the last doughnut.

9:15 The NFL marches kids onto the stage to convince parents that football is nice and brain damage is overrated. The Bears select LB Leonard Floyd.

The Giants are on the clock.

Fun Fact! Regardless of popular belief, there are no actual Giants on the team.

9:22 The Giants select the player with maybe the best name in the draft, CB Eli Apple. NOW the Buccaneers are on the clock.

Fun Fact! The same is true of the Buccaneers. There are also no Giants on the Buccaneers.

9:30 Tampa Bay selects CB Vernon Hargreaves. Mike Mayock is a bit more critical of the players than I remember in the past. He probably hasn't had a Peanut Buster Parfait yet either.

The Saints are on the clock.

Fun Fact! Still struggling from the effects of the hurricane, the name Katrina remains outside the top 5 girl names in Louisiana.

9:33 Everything sucks. Michelle is claiming she is too tired to get DQ. So I must leave and get my own like some sort of peasant. I leave the blog controls in her hands. This should be a disaster.

9:37 The Saints pick DT Sheldon Rankins. I had no idea what DT meant until a second ago. Thank you NFL Netowork.

Miami is on the clock.

Fun Fact! The Dolphin that played "Snowflake" in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective has unfortunately since passed away. He was watching the Simpsons episode where the Dolphins walked on land, attempted it, and was found dead outside his tank the next morning. (This was Donnie).
RIP Snowflake

9:41 I hope there isn't a line at DQ... Wait pick is in.

9:43 Miami picks T Laremy Tunsil. I know TE is tight end, what is T? I can't keep up with all this information and update this blog. I don't know how you do it Donnie.

Oakland is on the clock.

Fun Fact! The coach of the Oakland Raiders does not like the Oakland Raiders.

9:50 Oakland picks S Karl Joseph. Most boring name ever. Already forgotten. Sorry Karl.

Cleveland is on the clock. So they traded down? I don't get this. My directions from Donnie say Tennessee was next. These guys are so indecisive.

Fun Fact! Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon would rather party than play NFL football for the Cleveland Browns. Actually, this one is probably true too.

9:55 Damnit. I'm gone ten minutes and Michelle was better at this than me. Well done, babe.

9:57 The Browns take WR Corey Coleman. Lions on the clock.

Fun Fact! The Lions are excited to start the process of drafting a historically great player who will waste his entire career in Detroit.

10:01 The Lions select T Taylor Decker. He's really good at standing in the way of other big people and will make millions of dollars for it. Wee.

Falcons up next.
Walking around. Dreaming of flying like a penguin.

Fun Fact! Falcons are the worlds only flightless birds.

10:07 The Falcons select Keanu Reeves. Neal. Keanu Neal. Safety. Something about the Matrix. Or Speed. Whatever. I'm eating.

Indy on the clock.

Fun Fact! Even though he had a down year in 2015, it is still awesome that Andrew Luck is a big fan of Settlers of Catan.

10:11 The Colts select C Ryan Kelly. This is interesting for the Bills. Do they consider QB here? I wouldn't kill them for it. They pick next.

Fun Fact! Having unsuccesfully struggled for years to find a replacement for Jim Kelly, rumor has it the Bills will play with two quarterbacks on the field at the same time.
Please be good at football

10:15 I question just how "fired up" Jeff Foxworthy is for the Golden Corral. The Bills pick is in. A lot of interesting players left (Lynch, Jack), but they go with a safer pick in DE Shaq Lawson.

The stupid Jets are on the clock. It's funny how one pick could make the difference in me hating or loving a guy like Paxton Lynch.

Fun Fact! Jets fans are big stupid doody heads.

10:23 The Jets chose LB Derron Lee. He was interesting to me. Now I'll have to hate him. Ahh well.

The Redskins are on the clock.

Scratch that. The pick has been traded to the Texans.

Fun Fact! Texans GM Rick Smith signed Brock Osweiler to a contract averaging $18 million per year because some men just want to watch the world burn.

10:32 The Texans select WR Will Fuller. I feel like the draft is moving slightly faster than in years past. I dunno. Michelle was funnier than me so far tonight, so I must not be feeling it. This is what I get for taking last year off. Maybe adding the fun facts is too much to keep up with. Maybe I should stop typing everything I'm thinking.

Washington on the clock.

Fun Fact! In an attempt to be more sensitive to Native Americans, the Redskins briefly considered changing their name to the Blackskins.

10:38 The Redskins select WR Josh Doctson. We are within the last ten picks! I should be watching hockey right now. Why do I agree to do this every year? It should be, Don Live Blogs until the Bills pick and then eats ice cream and goes to bed.

Vikings on the clock. They can't be happy about all the WRs that went off the board. AD and Bridgewater sure could use some other offensive threats.

Fun Fact! If you Google "Fun Fact" (which it changes to "I'm feeling curious"), none of them are all that fun.

10:46 The Vikings select WR Laquon Treadwell. There you go.

What kind of egomaniac is Roger Goodell? I mean, Gary Bettman goes out to get boo'd at all the major events, but even he doesn't subject himself to 30+ boos per night and announce every draft pick. And does he really need to hug every player?

The Bengals are on the clock.

Fun Fact! The Bengals are the only team with tiger stripes on their helmet.

10:53 I wonder if someone trades up to get Lynch. You'd have to figure the Broncos would love to him keep falling.

The Bengals select CB William Jackson III. The Steelers are up next.

Their pick is already, which bails me out on an unfunny fun fact. The Steelers select Mr. Burns. CB Artie Burns.

The Seahawks trade their pick to the Broncos. Maybe I'm not so stupid after all. Although the experts suggest they might want Cook and not Lynch. Broncos on the clock.

Fun Fact! Broncos are horses.

The Make a Wish kid is getting the applause break usually reserved for the troops. Did I miss the troops when I was getting ice cream?

The Broncos select Paxton Lynch. I'm a sucker for the emotional guys. It makes me like them right off the bat. It doesn't mean anything though. EJ Manual was pretty emotional at the draft.

Brotherly love
Green Bay on the clock.

Fun Fact! Richard Rodgers is the only TE in NFL history to catch a touchdown pass from his brother.

11:13 The Packers select DT Kenny Clark.

Goddamn another trade. What was I saying about this going quickly? It's going to drag on past 11:30 like every year. The 49ers trade with the Chiefs to get back into the first round. Maybe they go after a QB since...


11:19 Nope, they pick a fat guy from Stanford. G Joshua Garnett. I'm sure he's a nice guy.

I'd say Arizona is on the clock, but everytime I do there is a trade.

Also this is pick 29, the pick where the Patriots would be if they weren't jerks.

11:27 Arizona doesn't get a fun fact. Sorry. There is nothing fun to say about Arizona. The Cardinals select Robert Nkemdiche DT. He doesn't fall out any windows after being picked.

Carolina is up next, and then Seattle will put me out of my misery. This is like trying to hit a word limit on an English paper.

Fun Fact! The draft doesn't need to be nearly 4 hours long. I've done fantasy drafts in about the same amount of time and we select like 200 players. I'd be curious to ask a GM if their mind has ever changed eight minutes into a selection from what it was at the five minute mark.

11:33 The Panthers select DT Vernon Butler. He might win best dressed. Goodell is still hugging guys he can't relate to in anyway. He looks so old and awkward. Just go away. This isn't about you.

Seahawks on the clock.

Fun Fact! I was going to post a fact about how a "seahawk" isn't even a real bird, but it turns out it is. So I guess you learn something every day.

11:37 While waiting for the last pick, I just thought I'd say I wouldn't mind the Bills going after Cook, Jack, or Henry (the TE) tomorrow. I like talent over need. My guess is they go with a LB.

The Seahawks select T Germain Ifedi. Whatever.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 NFL Draft 1st Round Hardcore Live Blog

No time for a big lead up today. The draft is two weeks later than usual, and to get ready for this blog, I started five minutes after 8. This is going great already.

8:10 Before the first pick is made, I am tasked with a diaper change. I can tell already, this will be a draft for the ages.

8:15 Diaper change is a complete success. Molly and Michelle head out for a bike ride. DE, Jadeveon Clowney is selected first overall by the Texans. He cries tears of joy, which is cool. No jokes there. It's cool when the guy you draft seems that happy to be there.

8:17 St. Louis is taking their time. This is a pick many believed would be dealt. As a Bills fan, I hope they go OL. I don't want the Bills to pick a fat guy first, so the more that are off the board at number nine, the happier I'll be. That might be the extent of my actual football talk.

Hey, with all the talk of the players entry music, I missed Clowney's. I'll assume he went with "We Like to Party (The Vengabus)" by The Vengaboys.

8:21 Currently my War Room is going with ESPN. I think in the past I tend to stick with NFL Network. I might change to the NFL network during this commercial. I did. NFL network has less cartoon characters and acquitted murderers.

8:25 YES! The Rams drafted a fat guy, Tackle, Greg Robinson. He seems nice too. Nice long hug for mom. Gotta like guys that love their momma. He's got a pretty sick bow tie too. I'll predict now that bow ties might be the big winner tonight. Except maybe Marshall Faulk's; his is a little ridiculous. Greg Robinson sounds a little like Shaq. Maybe that's a big guy thing. Can't speak in long sentences. Body too busy working to keep giant man upright.

8:30 This just in the Jags HAVE a War Room. I like that their owner looks kinda like Super Mario. They make the first "surprise" pick of the night selecting QB, Blake Bortles. Mike Mayock actually nailed this pick, so I'll give credit where it's due. This has to be seen as good news for the Bills, who I'm sure have no intention of going QB.

8:34 BILLS TRADE UP! If this isn't Watkins or Evans I might be pissed.

The newest Buffalo Bill
8:37 WR, Sammy Watkins it is! I gotta figure Stevie Johnson is out sooner than later. They gave Cleveland a lot to get Watkins so they must believe in him. I'm pumped. It's all on EJ Manuel now.

Now what am I going to do with my time? I imagine I get delirious earlier in this draft than normal.

8:43 Big moment for Buffalo, NY and the University at Buffalo. LB, Khalil Mack becomes the earliest draft pick in UB's history by a mile. I feel a little bad that he went to Oakland, but I'm a Bills fan so who am I to talk.

I realize Mack had "Happy" as his walk on music because I heard about that ahead of time. That said, they are really keeping the music quiet. Any thought that someone's choice of song might be a story seems out the window, since it is barely audible on TV.

8:47 My ladies are back, so hopefully I'll have some silliness to pass along soon. This draft blog has been too football related for my own good.

8:52 The Falcons select the second fat guy, Tackle, Jake Matthews. Even if the Bills hadn't traded up, I might have liked the look they have right now. The next pick, Tampa's, will be very telling as to what might have been. No regrets though. It's nice the GM shows balls and confidence. Apparently Whaley said in a presser that they expect to make the playoffs now. Good.

8:59 Well there it is. The Bills would've needed to move up to get one of the guys I really wanted, as WR, Mike Evans goes to the Bucs. That seemed like a sure thing when they traded Mike Williams to the Bills.

Cleveland trades with Minnesota to move up one pick (the pick the just got from Buffalo). I wonder if they go QB here fearing Minnesota might take their guy.

9:04 Welp...Johnny Football is officially getting the "reaction after every pick" treatment right now. Cleveland drafts the first player in the secondary, CB, Justin Gilbert.

9:10 The Vikings select LB, Anthony Barr. I have nothing insightful or funny to say about that. It's not the least sexy position ever, but if I am AD, I'd be wondering if they ever plan on letting me play with anyone.

9:13 Barry Sanders announces the Lions draft pick, TE, Eric Ebron. Not surprisingly, Twitter, is way ahead of the TV networks. I guess I should get off of there if I want to enjoy this at all.

9:22 Tennessee drafts Tackle, Taylor Lewan. I'm sure that will put them over the top. I'm so glad my team didn't pick an offensive lineman tonight. Drafting an offensive lineman is like getting socks on Christmas. Sure you need them, but you can only get so excited about socks.

This draft is starting to feel like socks to me. I want Johnny Football to keep slipping until he loses his shit and starts flipping tables or something. Where is Joe Namath? He's always good for a nice uncomfortable moment.

9:27 It's really starting to feel like Dairy Queen o'clock. It's the winning-est tradition of my draft recap career.

9:31 The Giants pick WR, Odell Beckham. I totally nailed a bed time story with Molly. It was about rabbits taking over Sesame Street. Turns out they were Big Bird's, and he is just a negligent pet owner. They marched in a pride parade or something at the end. I dunno, I was reading but only half paying attention.

9:35 The Rams select DT, Aaron Donald. They are a team that is getting good at a tough time. They could be really really solid next year and still finish 8-8 because their division is totally brutal. Who would've ever thought that about the NFC West?

9:39 DQ time. Hopefully nothing awesome happens. BRB sports-fans.

10:10 Quick recap... The Bears take CB, Kyle Fuller. The Steelers select LB, Ryan Shazier. The Cowboys take not Johnny Manziel, Tackle, Zack Martin. The Ravens pick LB, CJ Mosely and the Jets take Safety, Calvin Pryor. So I'm guessing my peanut buster parfait was the sexiest pick of that group.

10:17 Michelle is doing actual schoolwork and thus not making any draft-related comments I can make fun of. The Dolphins select Tackle, Ja'waun James. That has to be exciting to have to draft a fat guy because your other fat guy was bullying another one of your fat guys.

Steve must be excited, the Saints have traded up. Any way they go QB of the future here? My guess is no.

10:22 The Saints have selected WR, Brandin Cooks. I heard of him about two hours ago, but that doesn't mean anything negative about him. Seems like the right move for a team built to win now. They aren't exactly hurting in the size department with Colston and Graham.

10:34 A guy named Ha Ha Clinton-Dix a safety, just got drafted by the Packers. He wore a bright red suit jacket that makes him look like a movie usher. The NFL guys seem to think that he has "swag". I guess with a name like Ha Ha, you learn to live outside the box.

10:41 Browns move up, this has to be Manziel, right?

10:42 Sure enough, QB, Johnny Manziel is selected 22nd overall by the Browns, who have had a pretty awesome draft.

This blog needed more pictures. I google'd "random picture".
10:52 I'm sure DE, Dee Ford is a good player, but when he was selected by the Chiefs, I've never heard such a non-reaction from the crowd. I guess that's what you get following JFF. Does anyone care about the rest of the draft? I'm hoping the bills trade their second and third to move back into the first round to take a fat guy or giant TE. Get it all done in one day. If they hypothetically did something like that, do they still send people to radio city to sit around?

10:58 The Bengals select CB, Darqueze Denard. Weeeee.

11:03 The Chargers select CB, Jason Verrett.

11:08 Did I miss the troops during my DQ run?

11:09 The Eagles pick is not a crowd-pleaser. Fans pretend to be excited to be drafting LB Marcus Smith.

11:12 I think I might hate the draft. It's all build up with little payoff. About the most exciting thing that could happen DID, with the Bills this year, and as a whole I am still bored by the draft. I watch it like I watch something like the Oscars. I haven't seen most of the movies, but I feel like I need to watch in case something culturally significant happens. But at least at the oscars I know 90% of the people on stage. Now I am supposed to get excited about the Arizona Cardinals pick? Okay.

11:15 The Cardinals take Safety Deone Bucannon, yes!!!!

11:20 The Panthers quickly select WR, Kelvin Benjamin, as they decided playing without any WRs would probably be bad.

11:23 The Patriots select DT Dominique Easley, not surprisingly, it is seen as a BRILLIANT pick.

11:28 "They could use a 5 technique" -Mike Mayock with regards to the 49ers upcoming pick. Yeah, I was thinking exactly the same thing.

11:30 49ers select Safety, Jimmie Ward. I have resorted to twitter rather than waiting for TV because I could not care less at this point.

11:34 The Broncos select CB, Bradley Roby. Thank god this is almost over.

Whoa, some pretty crazy lightning and thunder (why don't we say it like this? It makes more sense chronologically) in the 716.

11:39 The Seahawks close out round one with...oh fuck me they traded the pick. Thanks for nothing Seahawks. Vikings get the pick. It has to be a QB. For Adrian Peterson, I hope it is a QB. Mayock suggests they'd have to admit Ponder was a mistake two years ago. Really?

11:44 QB, Teddy Bridgewater is the last pick of the first round. Good for the Vikings. Good for Teddy. I like that move.

Thank god this is over. Nothing I said was funny this year. Read this thread for people more creative than myself:

Superbowl. Goodnight.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 NFL Draft 1st Round Hardcore Live Blog

Here we are again, the most exciting day of the football off-season! The NFL draft. Every team in the league gets together to select some young studs to propel them from pretender to contender, and contender to Super Bowl champion. Yes, even the Bills and Chiefs and Browns and Raiders and Cardinals allegedly attempt to field teams that will win games. Weird, right?

Umm... I've been drinking wine already, so this might get interesting. I have yet to get DQ, so there is always that to look forward to as well.

If you haven't spent time with my blog before, let me get you up to speed. Here is a link to last year's draft coverage. If you don't feel like reading that, and why would you, here's the deal. My "War Room" consists of myself, my wife Michelle, my one year old, Molly, and my dogs. It's pretty much the worst War Room ever. That, combined with my total lack of college football knowledge all adds to the wonderment and that is my blog. Strap the F in.

There is a fun emotional roller coaster that happens every year during the draft coverage. Michelle complains from the get-go, as I try to extol the virtues of the draft. My interest fades pretty fast however, probably because my suck-ass team always picks so early. I illustrated my feelings in a super cool chart:

(click to enlarge)

Are you as ready as I am?

7:57 I am going with the NFL Network if that matters. I'm sure there won't be a wardrobe malfunction or an F-bomb or anything on either network, so what's the diff I always say. Finished my second glass of wine, and will put that to bed for the night. It's almost time to get down to business.

8:02 With all the uncertainty I'm going to predict Abe Vigoda goes #1 overall.

I actually typed "random celebrity" into Google images and ol' Abe was the first guy to come up. That must be nice for him.

8:06 It officially took Joe Namath one second to make everyone uncomfortable. Except people who like uncomfortable things, they were probably high-fiving.

Joe stops without doing anything too ridiculous and KC is officially on the clock.

8:08 Michelle arrives in the War Room after giving Molly a bath. She immediately notices the NFL Network panel again sitting "White-Black-White-Black-White". Brilliant.

8:14 Chiefs take almost all of the allotted time and find no trade partners. I'm already bored. This is the unsexiest draft class ever. I'm not saying there won't be superstars picked today and tomorrow, but I can't get too excited about franchise linemen. The newest member of Kansas City is Tackle, Eric Fisher, a guy who will now get paid very well to push other fat guys. Wee...

8:19 The Jags are taking their sweet time too. It's almost like no one wants to make picks this year. I'm sure there is another fat guy that pushes fat guys at a level that far exceeds most other fat guys that Jacksonville can pay a gajillion dollars. I can hardly contain my excitement.

The Jags owner kind of looks like Super Mario. I like that. I hope his fat guy is worth every penny.

They select Tackle, Luke Joeckel. I predict a Chiefs/Jags AFC Championship.

8:31 It's "Weekend at Bernies" at the Raiders table. I find it a little crude that they are making an Al Davis puppet field calls.

8:32 I'm being told that's actually his brother. I could've sworn that was a dead guy.

The not dead guy trades the pick to Miami. Hopefully they can get a fat guy they like too.

8:34 As a Bills fan, I'd love to hate on Miami here - they selected DE Dion Jordan - but it has to be fun to be a fan of theirs this year. The Eagles must be pissed about that pick as they (and their coach Chip Kelly) have supposedly been interested in him.

8:42 The Eagles will now make their pick and pretend that whoever they take was the guy they wanted all along. The select T Lane Johnson, another giant person. I really don't know how to comment on linemen. His family looks nice.

"Guy's guys" in Eagles jersey's intently discuss the pick and there is probably a lot of grunting. I'm sure it's painfully annoying to anyone within ear shot.

8:51 The Lions select DE Ezekiel Ansah. The NFL Network showed a dork Lions fan in the crowd that looked on the verge of tears. If I didn't love football I'd hate it.

8:55 The Browns select the guy with the coolest name in the draft, DE Barkevious Mingo. So far it's been all about protecting the QB or knocking him down. I apologize for not making any ridiculous statements regarding this pick.

9:01 The Cardinals draft the first fat guy that doesn't play at the end of the line, G Jonathan Cooper. I would suck as a GM, because I would never draft a guard. Not in the first round anyway. It's just such a boring pick. Of course the crowd shot from Arizona shows their fans going nuts, presumably because they all appreciate the subtle intricacies of pass protection.

Mike Mayock just talked about Cooper's "natural bending skills". I'm sure Jonathan's parents are proud.

The Bills trade their pick to the Rams. Good. They have a lot of needs, and none "worth" the 8 pick. Good on you Buddy Nix.

9:09 The Rams move up to select WR Tavon Austin, they must have been worried the Jets would be interested. I'm glad the Bills didn't end up with him. Just too many other needs to get a gimmick, project guy. That said, it'll be cool to see Sam Bradford with an actual weapon.

9:17 Molly is being cranky which is making my War Room a bit tense. She hates the draft more than her mother.

The Jets select CB Dee Milliner. I'm never sure how I feel about letting a superstar at a position walk just to draft their replacement really high. I mean, the hope for this guy is that he turns into Revis, right? Why not just keep Revis. Some lady fans of the Jets REALLY hate this pick for some reason.

9:21 More on the Bills trade. They move back eight spots in the first. Add a second. Move WAY up in the third and add a seventh. All by trading a pick they didn't want to make. Again, good move Buddy, don't screw up the picks!

9:24 First view of the troops. He wants to draft a fat guy too. Maybe I'm too much of a Fantasy Football fan to be objective. Waiting for the Titans pick.

9:26 The military guy gets his wish and G Chance Warmack gets picked. America.

Molly is still awake which is totally screwing my chances of getting Dairy Queen. My draft blogging moral might be at an all time low.

9:33 My draft viewing has moved online, as the Sprout network takes over the big TV. The Chargers select Thomas the Tank Engine with the 11th pick. I am now watching the online B team at while wearing ear buds. Michelle is too busy with Molly to make stupid comments, not that I'd hear them anyway. Everything sucks.

San Diego actually takes another fat guy T D.J. Fluker.

9:39 The Raiders select CB D.J. Hayden. I have nothing funny to say. Lack of Dairy Queen is pissing me off. I'm looking up foster homes for Molly.

9:41 The stupid doody-head Jets pick next. I just remembered I have to get up at 5am tomorrow. This night keeps getting better.

9:47 Why can't the online team include Scott Hansen? He's dreamy.

The Jets fans again sound disappointed in their pick of DT Sheldon Richardson. Hearing sad Jets fans always makes me a bit happy. AND I just realized DQ is open until 11 in April. This night might not be a total loss yet!

9:50 The Panthers immediately, I mean seconds later, pick after the Jets, which should make NY fans extra happy. And they draft a guy at the same position, DT Star Lotulelei. Take that stupid Jets.

I'm sorry, that's the last I will speak negatively about the Jets in this blog. Probably.

9:55 I somehow glossed over the fact that the last guy's name is Star. That's awesome. He teared up at home which made him an instant favorite of Michelle's. Hard not to like a guy that appreciates the gravity of what just happened. Good for him.

9:59 Steve's Saints select S Kenny Vaccaro. Steve must be torn. He hates Texas, and was pulling for Jarvis Jones. It'll be interesting to see if he can talk himself into liking this.

10:02 I thought with no QBs taken yet, the Bills might try to take move back again, but their pick came in pretty quick. For a draft I've already referred to as "unsexy" this is one of the most interesting Bills picks in a long time.

10:05 For the first time in team history, the Bills use their first pick on a QB. E.J. Manuel
becomes the first QB picked in the draft. I don't know much about him, I just can't wait to see him. Don't screw around with Kolb. Let the kid play. Now get him a receiver.

10:09 I can't claim to know anything about this kid, but I loved his interview. Another kid that gets it. Hopefully he can bring it to the field. It's on Doug Marrone now. Make this kid work. This city is ready for him to be a hero, I hope he is too.

10:13 The Steelers select LB Jarvis Jones. Seems about right with Harrison leaving.

The 49ers move up in a trade with Dallas, selecting S Eric Reid.

I'm still processing the Bills pick.

10:21 Giants select another big man in Tackle Justin Pugh. I'm warn out and distracted by the Monday Morning QBs on Facebook. Molly is now sleeping, but still no DQ in sight.

10:29 The only thing I am overly interested in now is where Te'o gets drafted. He is probably somewhere on the phone with a fake person breathing a disappointed sigh that the Bears passed on him and took a fat guy, G Kyle Long.

10:33 Still waiting for the Bengals pick to be announced, and behind them the Falcons have traded up. The Bengals get the first TE off the board, Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert. The Bengals offense can be pretty solid if they can get anything out of the run game. It's pretty easy to tell I'm running out of steam when I start writing actual sports opinions. Please forgive me.

10:39 I still have to get through ten of these? Brutal. DQ is officially out. I'll go get stuff from the freezer like a caveman after this Falcon pick. They select CB Desmond Trufant. And I gotta say, as much as I like to pick on Mike Mayock, he has been pretty well on tonight. Even with the Bills pick of Manuel. I dig the NFL Network.

10:45 Troops!

10:56 While I was eating my ice cream, DT Sharrif Floyd (Vikings), DE Bjoern Werner (Colts), and CB Xavier Rhodes (Vikings) were selected. I regret nothing.

Snoring from Michelle's side of the couch.

Packers pick is in but not announced, Texans on the clock.

11:02 Packers select DE Datone Jones. I'm bored with this draft and will draft days of the week:
1. Saturday
2. Friday
3. Sunday
4. Thursday
5. Monday
6. Tuesday
7. Wednesday

11:09 The Texans draft WR DeAndre Hopkins. I will now draft original 8 crayon box colors:
1. Blue
2. Green
3. Red
4. Black
5. Brown
6. Purple
7. Orange
8. Yellow

11:14 The Broncos are on the clock and I think it's safe to say they won't be drafting a WR. The Broncos select DT Sylvester Williams. What is the over/under on number of times Mike Mayock says "stout"? I will now draft board games in my closet:
1. Lords of Waterdeep
2. Libertalia
3. Small World
4. The Resistance
5. 7 Wonders
6. Settlers
7. Ticket to Ride

11:21 The Patriots are cheating again and made the Vikings trade away the rest of their draft to get NE's 29th overall pick. Damn Patriots. How do they do it?

11:30 The Vikings traded all those picks to draft WR Cordarrelle Patterson and for the ability to take naps while the other teams pick players. I will now draft fingers:
1. Thumb
2. Pointer
3. Middle
4. Pinky
5. Ring

11:34 Three stupid picks left and the NFL seems to try to be taking this thing to midnight. I'm so gassed at this point, I'm almost talking myself into wanting the Bills to pick that dummy, Te'o, in the second round.

The Rams select LB Alec Ogletree. Cowboys pick is in. Actually, so have the champs, Baltimore. Geno Smith goes undrafted.

11:41 This part is brutal. The picks are in, make them. I'm not saying rush it, but let the kids have their moment, and move along. They finally announce the Cowboys pick C Travis Frederick.

11:44 They actually take my advice and come back pretty quickly with the Ravens pick, S Matt Elam.

That's it. I will now reflect for a year on why I get excited for the draft. Three and a half hours. Three and a half hours of watching guys I know almost nothing about. For what? Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Behind the Moves

As I write, the Los Angeles Kings are about three hours from taking the ice with the chance to win the Stanley Cup with a record of 16-2 and to become one of the best playoff teams in the history of the NHL.

Way back in October I picked the Kings to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup playoffs and face off against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres failed to make the playoffs and the Kings sputtered through most of the regular season.

The Sabres made some changes at the deadline on the ice, but GM Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff kept their jobs. They Sabres looked destined to make the playoffs when they chased Capitals goalie Branden Holtby and defeated the Capitals in Washington late in the regular season. In the end, it wasn't enough and the Sabres fell just short of what would have been a historic late season march to the playoffs.

Kings general manager Dean Lombardi also made several changes during the season that helped the King qualify for the playoffs and overcome the dead-stick-syndrome that plagued them for much of the regular season.

  • Just before Christmas the Kings fired head coach Terry Murray and replaced him with Darryl Sutter
  • At the trade deadline the Kings traded Jack Johnson and their first round pick in 2012 or 2013 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jeff Carter. Since that trade, the Kings are 27-7-3
  • In February, the Kings called up Jordan Nolan and Dwight King from Manchester (AHL). Nolan and King have played key roles for the Kings in the post season solidifying their fourth line and providing the depth needed for Sutter to roll four lines and keep the team fresh
If the Kings can win one of the next four games, Jonathan Quick will likely be named the winner of the Conn Smythe trophy and Dustin Brown will go get the Cup from Garry Bettman. Anze Kopitar will be remembered for his breathtaking overtime goal in game one and Mike Richards and Carter will be discussed as the guys who were banished from Philadelphia before being reunited in L.A. and leading the Kings to the Cup. Murray is sure to be given a ton of credit for waking up the Kings sticks and leading a historic run through the NHL playoffs. 

Dean Lombardi won't mind, but he probably won't get the credit that he deserves for making the in-season adjustments needed to lead the Kings where they have never been before. Lombardi is not a finalist for the NHL General Manager of the Year award. 

One spot where Lombardi is sure to receive the proper recognition is at The website is dedicated to selling a great new book called, "Behind the Moves: NHL General Managers Tell How Winners are Built." 

The book is a gorgeous hard cover book that arrived at Sports-Caster's headquarters numbered and autographed by former Rangers GM, Neil Smith. The book was put together by Jason Farris and the forward is written by Maple Leafs GM, Brian Burke. 

The book is full of information about many of the 175 men who have served as general managers of an NHL team. The book is loaded with anecdotes, stats, charts, pictures, and quotes from the men behind the moves. 

The book was put together with an incredible attention to detail. Pictures of Stanley Cup rings grace its pages, and the stories are not only told with words but with pictures, stats and charts. Turn to the section dedicated to Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and find a detailed chart on how Gillis built last season's Stanley Cup finalists. 

I was shocked to learn how few have actually served as NHL general managers. The Buffalo Sabres have only had six general managers in their existence that dates back to 1970. The Carolina Hurricanes have only had one general manager in their brief history. Maybe the most shocking: The Boston Bruins, an original six NHL franchise, have had only EIGHT general managers. 

The book would serve as a beautiful conversation piece on any coffee table and almost seems too precious to touch. Every time I flip through the pages of the book, I wash my hands and handle it with the care of a new born baby. 

There is a section of the book that is dedicated to explaining the lingo used by an NHL GM. "UP" is used to describe a player who's contract is set to expire and "a dog" is a player that is of ordinary ability. 

The book explains the unwritten rules that govern the league's general managers. For example, general managers are expected to return the phone calls of other general managers immediately. 

The history of the National Hockey League has been told through the eyes of players, and coaches, and officials in countless pieces of literature released in the last seventy-five years. "Behind the Moves" gives us the unique opportunity to learn about the league through the eyes of the the GM. 

The book is beautiful and put together with class in a way that is synonymous with the class and dignity that NHL GM's have always conducted their business with. 

If you want a copy of the book or are looking for more information, please visit

Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Draft 1st Round Hardcore Live Blog

If you are new to my blog - and if you aren't me then you are - let me start by telling you I did a live blog of the draft last year (here). That blog contained in depth, hard hitting analysis of the prospects and how they fit into the schemes of their new teams. And if that is what you are here for, you will be sorely disappointed. In actuality, the blog contained equal parts football, Dairy Queen, and my wife's (usually unintentionally) funny comments. But I'll try to mix in actual sports content now and then.

My war room again contains myself, my dogs, and my wife, but now is also graced by the presence of my daughter, Molly. She however, is less than three months old and I expect her input to be only slightly more valuable than mine. I just hope, in a repeat from last year, I end the night with a Blizzard in my hand.

The draft last year reminded me a bit of a Mitch Hedberg joke about comedy;
As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have to end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes... all exciting at first, but then by the end you're f****n' sick of em.
Right now, I am super pumped for the draft. Maybe it's because my team (the Bills) won the offseason. Maybe it's the culmination of weeks, even months, of speculation. Maybe it's because we get to see extended coverage of Mel Kiper's Conan O'Brien-esque, gravity defying hair. Maybe because it's the day we get to see the classy Jets fans boo everyone because they are sad they have a stupid, red-headed step child of a team (I need an English major to tell me how not to use commas and parenthesis so much). Bottom line is, the glitz and excitement of the NFL has roped me in again. But I'm sure by the end of the night the draft will be pancakes.

I haven't even added my first time-stamp yet, and my wife is complaining about the draft already. She added "You aren't allowed to quote me until 8pm." I almost forgot how awesome my war room was. I'll see everyone at eight.

7:50 So apparently about a half hour ago the Browns traded up to the third spot with the Vikings. Interesting. They must've been worried another team would've moved into the spot to take (presumably) Richardson. It begins...

8:03 Draft is about to start, and I already have my DQ. I went with the Peanut Buster Parfait this year. I only fear that the draft may have peaked early. Colts are on the clock.

8:05 In a surprise move, the Colts select "Hacksaw" Jim Dugan. Oh wait, they took Andrew Luck.

8:10 RGIII is the pick for the 'Skins. NFL Network round table keeps talking about how quickly things are moving. These picks were known for months and it still took the teams over 5 minutes to get them in. Their definition of quick is odd.

8:15 Supposedly the Browns pick was in basically the second after the Redskins. That said, RGIII has just reached the stage. This makes the Oscars seem speedy. In other news, Trent Richardson looks like a superhero. Actually, he makes superheros look weak. This guy is a freak.

8:21 The Browns take Trent Richardson, who really looks like he could run through a tree. The Vikings pick is also in, which means we should know it in about ten minutes. Tampa Bay has also made their pick. Maybe I was wrong about the speed of the draft. It's just the announcing that is slow.

8:27 Scratch that, TB traded with Jacksonville who is on the clock. Minnesota's pick is finally announced and it's Matt Kalil. I apologize for criticizing the speed. This is almost too fast. I don't even have time to post dumb comments about Michelle.

8:32 Commercial break. Molly got her nails cut by Michelle. My war room is one of the greatest in all of sports. I'm glad the Bills didn't trade to get Kalil. I like a few guys they can get at 10, and they need the second rounder. Jacksonville selects Justin Blackmon. Maybe Blaine Gabbert will not be afraid to throw a ball more than eight yards now.

So far everything is going exactly as the experts predicted (other than the trades). Speaking of which, the Cowboys trade up to get the sixth overall pick. This could be bad for the Bills who are said to be very high on safety, Mark Barron. With all the trades being made to move up only one or two spots, it's pretty clear there were more teams willing to move up than people expected. St. Louis is their trading partner who gets Dallas' 1st (14 overall) and 2nd this year.

8:39 Bills management may have breathed a sigh of relief. Dallas selects Morris Claiborne. Michelle just asked me if you "have to get invited to the Columbine?" Wow.

In other news, the Senators are going to need a miracle to avoid elimination. 2-0 is a huge whole against the Rangers.

8:44 Michelle once again notes the the NFL Network sat their analysts White-Black-White-Black-White. She has a Rainman-like level of attention to detail. Mark Barron goes off the board to Tampa Bay. Bummer. I hope the Bills can still land Gilmore.

8:47 It's been pointed out that the Senators had made the game 2-1 before my post. I suck at multitasking.

8:48 Bills are on the clock. Still awaiting the announcement from the Dolphins and Carolina. Time to see if Tannehill get's picked here or has to awkwardly wait around like Aaron Rogers. What ever happened to him?

8:51 Michelle thinks she's hilarious and suggests it'd be cool if the Dolphins actually selected a dolphin. She had high hopes for Flipper. The Dolphins instead go with Ryan Tannehill, which is should prove to be a better pick since almost no football games are played underwater.

8:55 Carolina pick is in, but has yet to be announced. Same with the Bills, so they weren't able to trade back as they may have liked. I'm still thinking the pick is Stephon Gilmore. Carolina goes with Luke Kuechly and not the DT Cox that all the experts had them taking. It's really the experts' first miss tho, so I can't beat them up too much. There have to be some disappointed Bills fans as Kuechly's name was a popular one on sports talk callers' minds. The Bills supposedly are still very high on last year's pick Kelvin Sheppard, so it may not have been a direction they were going anyway.

9:00 Bills select Stephon Gilmore. Holy Crap! I got something right? How did that happen?!?! Anyway, I'm glad they didn't "settle" for Reiff or Floyd. Buddy Nix has proven to be a pretty honest guy and has always expressed how much he valued DBs.

9:07 The Chiefs take the COMBINE superstar Dontari Poe. Maybe the first surprise of the draft. Eagles are supposedly trying to trade with Seahawks to pick Cox. Michelle likes Poe's "blingy" watch, but not his hair. I'm sure the Chiefs are rethinking the pick.

9:12 The Eagles do trade their 4th and 6th to the Seahawks to move into their spot. The Eagles select Fletcher Cox, as expected. Twitter and Michelle explode with mature comments containing "Cox".

9:20 Larry Fitzgerald is a happy camper. The Cardinals select Micheal Floyd. Fitz will like having a real number two, and Floyd couldn't have a classier guy to learn from. I don't know much about Floyd, but I like anyone's chances learning from Fitz. All class.

9:30 As long as this pick the Rams make isn't a bust, you have to love what they've done with this draft. They've stockpiled picks, some that will be very early, in the RGIII trade. I don't expect them to be much better next year, but they should have tons of tools to rebuild. Watch for them in two or three years. Actually, the NFC West division, which has been a bit of a punchline could be pretty formidable as the Rams and Cards improve.

My war room is probably the only one that is currently having "naked time". Michelle and I are clothed, but apparently this is something good for babies. I'll have to take Michelle's word for it.

The Rams take DT Micheal Brocker.

As I finished typing that the Seahawks take DE Bruce Irvin.

The stupid Jets are on the clock.

9:40 The Jets take a pass rusher in DE Quinton Coples. "Naked time" is not surprisingly interrupted by urination. The dogs seem confused.

9:49 Bengals use the 1st they stole in the Carson Palmer trade to select Dre Kirkpatrick. If he stays healthy, Palmer will have a chance to throw passes to Kirkpatrick when they play each other in week 12.

9:55 The Chargers select Melvin Ingram. Molly is having so much fun she went to sleep. My DQ is starting to wear off.

The Rangers held on to win their game seven, and the Devils look like they are going to do the same. In a playoff that I predicted so poorly, I at least got these last two correct. I'll try to do better in the second round.

10:03 Something of a run on DE's as the Bears select Shea McClellin, a player who cheated in college by playing on a blue field.

The Patriots in an un-Patriots like move, have traded to move up to the Bengals second first round pick slot. The Titans pick is in and waiting to be announced.

10:07 Apparently everyone has places to go. WR Kendall Wright is selected by the Titans. The Patriots and Browns also have their picks in. Just announce them already!!!! I wonder how many viewers drop out after their team picks.

10:11 The Patriots selected Chandler Jones. The Browns then select 28 year old rookie Brandon Weeden.

10:14 TROOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USA!USA!USA! NFL Network chooses "Proud to be an American" as a good time to go to commercial.

10:22 Mr. Madden 13 announces the Lions selection of Riley Reiff. I knew the experts that thought he should go to the Bills were way off. The Bills don't "reach". He probably went about where he should based on my very limited knowledge.

The Steelers selected David Duchovny. That's awesome because I really like the X-Files.

I guess the guys name is actually David DeCastro. I think Mulder was the better pick here.

10:24 The Patriots move up again... What is this, bizarro world!?!? They select another defensive player in LB Dont'a Hightower.

10:28 The Texans select DE Whitney Mercilus. I officially don't care anymore. It'd be funny if I just stopped writing at this point, but I won't. Probably.

10:52 The Bengals take Kevin Zeitler. The Packers select Nick Perry. The Vikings draft Harrison Smith. The 49ers choose A.J. Jenkins. And the draft has sucked every ounce of my giving a shit.

10:57 The Bucs trade back into the first round to take Doug Martin. I knew a kid through soccer named Doug Martin, but he was a white kid, so I'm pretty sure it's not the same guy.

11:05 So we're down to it. The last pick of the draft. I am yawning with excitement. The Giants take RB David Wilson.

Well, I guess that was quick. That's a win for the NFL. It's a loss for my ADD, since I was still basically bored by the 12th pick. Michelle was significantly less entertaining this year, which I guess is good from her point of view.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday with The Sports-Casters

The definitive live blog for all things football on 11/13/11.

Saturday Night:

It's still about twenty hours until the first football's are kicked nine-yards into the end zone for the first of many touchbacks across the country. Yet, here I am typing, erasing, deleting, typing, striking out, and fighting for the best way to introduce you to this new weekly feature that will be the driving force for a budding partnership between The Sports-Casters and Pro Player Insiders.

Honestly, I am making it much harder on myself that it actually is. I want the partnership to be a success so here I sit trying tp force out the 200 most profound words I have ever written. It isn't even Sunday yet. Perfectionists everywhere are nodding their heads and giggling out of the side of their mouths thankful that it isn't them this time. Well, I'm done fighting and ready to explain what the rest of this currently blank screen is going to turn into.

The idea is this. I watch football every week for about twelve straight hours. I watch it at home with my dog Colston as I pace back and forth with my Super Bowl XLIV commemorative football in my hands. I have a beautiful 52 inch screen just inches away from a 40 inch screen that's just inches away from a 24 inch iMac that I use to monitor the Red Zone Channel. On the biggest of screens, I watch my beloved New Orleans Saints. I have calmed a bit since Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning and made me the fan of the Super Bowl Champions, but I still am the type of fan that wears his heart on his sleeve ready to slam my commemorative football if frustration dares to rear its ugly head on Sunday. On the smaller screen, I usually monitor whatever game I think is best. The smaller television, you could say, is reserved for the game of the week.

Tomorrow, instead of watching with just Colston, I am inviting all of you to stop by and watch the games with me. If you are a fan of the podcast, you have probably followed our blog, and maybe even have stopped by for a live blog in the past. I will update the blog every few minutes with an observation and react to the various story lines as they play out at stadiums around the country. I might give fantasy advise, complain about the Saints, debate controversial play calls and referee decisions, while being a good host and reacting to your comments to the blog or any questions you might ask on Twitter or Facebook.

Before I sign off for the night to eat dinner with the nervous Miss Caster, (she doesn't mind when I have friend over, but she does get nervous when all of the listeners and now all of the readers at Pro Player Insiders pack our house) we should set the table for tomorrow and list some of the week ten story lines that we will be following during the live blog.

Week 10 at a Glance:
  • Bills vs. Cowboys: Can the Bills get up off the matt after being punched in the mouth by the Jets last week? Can the Cowboys keep pace with the Giants in the NFC East? Will DeMarco Murray continue to run for almost 9-yards per carry? 
  • Titans vs. Panthers: After showing signs of life last week, can Chris Johnson still be Chris Johnson? Can the Titans beat an emerging Panthers team on the road? If not, Houston can just about start resting starters for the playoffs, right? What will Cam Newton do tomorrow to leave us all breathless? 
  • Texans vs. Buccaneers: With Gerald McCoy gone for the season, can the Bucs stop the run? Arian Foster and Ben Tate have both rushed for over 100-yards in consecutive weeks and the Texans will be sure to see how the middle of the Bucs D stands up without McCoy. Will Andre Johnson play? If he does, how does that hamstring look? Serious question, is it possible while we weren't looking the Texans have gotten healthy and emerged as the best team in the AFC?
  • Jaguars vs. Colts: If the Colts are to win a game this season at home against the 2-6 Jaguars might be their best chance. Can the Colts do enough on defense to slow down MJD and force Blaine Gabbert to beat them? Can Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky/Kerry Collins get the ball downfield to the talented Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon? 
  • Cardinals vs. Eagles: The Eagles loss to the Bears on Monday night has left their season on life support. Can they pick themselves up? Will the deadly Patrick Peterson score another touchdown? 
  • Saints vs. Falcons: The winner of this game will likely win the NFC South. The Saints were a missed field goal away from winning in Atlanta last year and it haunted them for the rest of the season. How will the Falcons try to stop Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles? Will Drew Brees extend his steak of games with a touchdown pass to 37 and pass Brett Favre for the second longest streak in NFL history? The Saints struggle against opposing tight ends, will they have an answer for Tony Gonzalez? 
  • Rams vs. Browns: Is Sam Bradford healthy? Can he lead the Rams to some victories down the stretch? Can the Browns do anything to make Tony Rizzo happy? If a tree falls near Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday at 1:30 will anyone be around to hear it? 
  • Redskins vs. Dolphins: Can Reggie Bush continue his hot streak? Will the Redskins ever win a game again? Can I make that tree joke for consecutive games? How does J-Lo feel about the short Kardashian nuptials poor play of the Dolphins this season?
  • Broncos vs. Chiefs: This might be the most interesting game between a 4-4 team coming off a 28-point loss at home against a previously winless team and a 3-5 team with a starting QB that has yet to complete 15 passes in a game this season. The AFC West could easily be won by a 7-9 team this year. Can the Broncos win at Arrowhead and force a three-way tie for second place at 4-5? Can the Chiefs tie the Raiders for first place at 5-4? What will Tim Tebow do this week? Will Von Miller or Jon Baldwin be the best rookie on the field? This game being so dam interesting is so unique to the NFL. 
  • Steelers vs. Bengals: Can the Steelers bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to the Ravens last week? Can the Bengals prove to everyone that they are for real? Is Andy Dalton ready for a defense as good as the Steelers? What game breaking wide receiver, Mike Wallace or AJ Green, will make more game breaking plays? Is this the best game of the week? Is Rashard Mendenhall alive? With injuries to Jermaine Gresham and Donald Lee will the Bengals have a healthy tight end? 
  • Ravens vs. Seahawks: Can the Ravens avoid the Steelers hangover and make the long flight to Seattle ready to play the Seahawks? The Ravens put so much into the Steelers game last week that a west coast trip to Seattle could be the last thing most of the players had in mind. Can they avoid the letdown? 
  • Lions vs. Bears: The Lions have lost two of their last three games and will still be without Jahvid Best. Best rushed for 163-yards the last time the Bears and Lions played. Do the Lions have a healthy back that can make a play against the Bears defense? Can anyone stop Calvin Johnson? The Bears give up a ton of yards and catches to tight ends, could this be a career day for Brandon Pettigrew? Can Matt Forte run against Suh? Is the loser of this game in danger of missing the playoffs? 
  • Giants vs. 49ers: The winner of this game will walk away as the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs and will have the inside track at the second bye week. Who will be the better former first-overall pick, Eli Manning or Alex Smith? If Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks both miss another game will the Giants be able to find enough offense against the punishing 49ers defense to win on the road? 
That is all for tonight. A few links to keep in mind for tomorrow if you are interested in following the live blog. 

  • Feel free to ask questions on twitter by following @sports_casters.
  • Don't be afraid to leave a comment or a question right on this page in the comment section. 
  • If you would like to listen to The Sports-Casters podcast Episode 50 with Dave Dameshek, Mike Tirico, and Kerry J. Byrne you can follow this link

Waiting patiently...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

3 More Things

MLB Playoffs, Stanley Cup Prediction, The Sports-Casters
1. It has been quite a while since I have blogged and since the show has been moving quickly. It seems like we just don't have enough time to cover all that is going on in the world of sports. The podcasts have been especially packed. Last week, we talked with McLovin from the Dan Patrick Show about the struggling Eagles. We talked to Tim Layden about his book, Sports Illustrated on the iPad, and his time at the track and field world championships in Daegu, Korea. Last, we started previewing the 2011 NHL season with the Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski. We will continue to preview the season with over the course of the next month.

This Tuesday is episode 46 and it might be our best show yet. Gregg Easterbrook from ESPN's Page 2 writes a weekly column called, Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Like Don and I, Mr. Easterbrook is from Buffalo, New York. Also from Buffalo is actor/comedian/producer/media everything Nick Bakay. Nick is new to twitter and was very kind in setting up his appearance on the show. We will also talk to Matt Crossman of The Sporting News. Matt worked extensively on the annual list of top sports markets in the country. The Sporting News is also undergoing some changes in distribution of the magazine and it will be interesting to see what he thinks about the magazines future. Look for EP46 of The Sports-Casters on Tuesday evening.

2. The Major League Baseball playoffs have been nothing if not dramatic. Yankees captain Derek Jeter just missed a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that would have given the Yankees the lead in game five of their Division series against the Tigers. Instead, A-Rod shit the bit in the seventh inning and then made the last out of the game and the last out of the season for the second consecutive year. Tonight, the Brewers rode a walk off single in the tenth inning to their first appearance in the NLCS (They played in the ALCS in 1982). After the dramatic game in Milwaukee, the Phillies and their 102 regular season wins were eliminated by Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals. Carpenter was brilliant pitching eight innings and allowing only three hits. Ryan Howard (like the before mentioned A-Rod) also made his team's final out for the second consecutive season. As bad as that may have hurt Howard, the injury to his achilles could be a pain that continues to ale Phillies fans for years to come.

The baseball has been great, but I can't help but dislike the short five game series in the opening round of the playoffs. It seems like a team like the Phillies isn't given enough advantage for being the best team over the course of a 162 game season. The Phillies finished 12 games better than the Cardinals who didn't even earn a playoff spot until the last day of the regular season. The best of seven series would be more fair than the current format.

I am looking forward to the upcoming ALCS and NLCS. I will take the Rangers over the Tigers in six games and the Brewers over the Cardinals in seven. One last thing about baseball, remember in July at the all-star game when Prince Fielder hit a 3-run home run to give the National League a victory and home field advantage in the World Series? Well, Fielder and the Brewers are only four wins away from the World Series starting in Milwaukee where they were an incredible 57-24 during the regular season. That all-star game home run could turn in to one of the biggest in the games history.

3. As I mentioned earlier, we started previewing the upcoming NHL season last week when the Puck Daddy joined us on the podcast. We will continue to talk about the upcoming season in the coming weeks with Jon Buccigross, Katie Baker, and some of the smartest hockey minds in the media. We will also be doing some athletes spotlight podcasts with players from NCAA Hockey, the AHL, and hopefully the NHL.

In the meantime I wanted to get some predictions for the 2011 season on paper.

Eastern Conference Playoff Teams
Buffalo Sabres (Northeast Champions)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Atlantic Champions)
Washington Capitals (Southeast Champions)
Philadelphia Flyers
Boston Bruins
Montreal Canadians
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers

Eastern Conference Champions- Buffalo Sabres

Western Conference Playoff Teams
Vancouver Canucks (Northwest Champions)
Chicago Blackhawaks (Central Champions)
Los Angelas Kings (Pacific Champions)
Detroit Red Wings
San Jose Sharks
Anaheim Ducks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Calgary Flames

Western Conference Champions- Los Angelas Kings

Stanley Cup Finals- The Buffalo Sabers over the Los Angelas Kings in five games.

Last thing, I pre-ordered an iPhone 4S today and it wouldn't have been possible without the innovation of Steve Jobs. I have mentioned many times on this blog and on the podcast how much I enjoy the products that Apple makes. Steve Jobs was an incredible innovator and he will be missed. Rest in peace, Steve.