Monthly Archives: January 2010

Championship Round NFL Picks

Championship Sunday always has that special vibe about it, and this time is no different. Maybe not in San Diego, Dallas, and Baltimore, but certainly in Indianapolis, New York, Minneapolis, and New Orleans. It all comes down to this to see who will get the right to rest their Pro Bowlers as they get ready for the big game. So who will it be? Peyton, Favre, Brees, or the rookies Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan? Home teams in CAPS.

COLTS (-8.5) over Jets

How many Colts, do you think, had in their mind that they may end up playing the Jets that they laid down in front of in Week 16? I can tell you that its probably less then one. So wouldn’t that make for poetic justice if the Jets won this game because the Colts opted not to go for history? Sure, but that’s not going to happen.

The Jets were incredibly lucky to make the playoffs, but the more they won, the more respect they are getting. They have the best running game, the best defense, and a true shut-down corner. They have a swagger about them stemming from Rex Ryan who doesn’t think they are going to win, he tells you he knows they will win. They are aggressive and make the opposing quarterback make quick, rash decisions. If you look even further, Sanchez has been minimizing his errors, and his receivers, although they drop way to many passes (cough cough Braylon Edwards), have some serious talent. You win in the playoffs with running and defense, so why won’t this team win?

The Answer is the team they are playing the Colts. Let’s not forget that the Colts have not lost a game they have tried to win this year. Furthermore, Peyton Manning owns a 4-1 career record in games with nine touchdowns, two interceptions, and three sacks versus Rex Ryan’s defenses, and his only loss coming in a game where Curtis Painter finished it out, and we can safely assume that won’t be the case in the AFC Championship game. If you look at their regular season matchup, the Jets didn’t score but three points in the third quarter with Robert Mathis only playing on passing situations. The Jets’ defense in centered around many different blitzes, but Peyton has the quickest trigger in the league. If the Jets don’t get pressure on the Colts, this game will be over fast.

They key for the Jets will be getting off to an early lead. If the Colts score quickly, the Jets will have to leave their game plan and pass. As long as they can keep feeding Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene the ball and mostly eliminate Mark Sanchez’s mistakes, they will be able to stay in the game. The only problem is I don’t see that happening. The Colts have the best pass rush left in the league with Dwight Freeney and Mathis along with the bets receiver duo left in Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. The Colts are too good to lose to the Jets, and the game will get out of hand by the fourth quarter.

Vikings (+3.5) over SAINTS

The NFC has been full of shootouts, high-scoring games, and blowouts. This game won’t be too different. The Vikings and Saints have an inordinate amount of quick striking weapons from Reggie Bush to Percy Harvin. The winner will definately have a great story going to the Super Bowl whether it is Brett Favre going back to the big game or how much this would mean to the city of New Orleans. This is a must watch game for every single sports fan.

I don't expect another huge game from Reggie Bush, but I expect a very servicable one

I don't expect another huge game from Reggie Bush, but I expect a very servicable one

The Saints have the best offense of the year and they had one guy come out from under his rock that was a huge help last week. That man would be Reggie Bush, former number two overall pick. While you can’t bank on another game of 144 total yards and two touchdowns, but we can expect the running trio of Bush, Pierre Thomas, and Mike Bell or Lionell Hamilton will show up and provide some relief to the top pass attack in the league. Their biggest problem is their defense, which hasn’t been great, except their pass defense which features Darren Sharper and Jabari Greer.

The Vikings’ offense is centered around Brett Favre and their sudden pass-happy offense. The main recepient of Favre’s fastballs is Sidney Rice, who has suddenly likined himself to a young Randy Moss. They also have the aformentioned Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and Visanthe Shiancoe provide even more options for Favre. The biggest X-Factor for this game is Adrian Peterson. If he can be 2008 Adrian, this game won’t be close. If he is 2009 two yards per carry Adrian, Minnesota will have to depend of the Ol’ Gunslinger, which as we know, doesn’t always lead to success. The one other key will be the linebackers because between the Williams Wall, Jared Allen, and Ray Edwards, the Vikings have the best D-Line in the league. If Jasper Brinkley can fill in to be three quarters of E.J. Henderson, the Vikings will have great success.

In the end, these teams are just about completely evenly matched. The linesmakers even know that because the home team generally gets a three point advantage, so they don’t really like either team more than the other. I believe that this game will come down to a field goal or less, so I’ll take Favre and the Vikings, but the Saints in a very, very close game.

Playoffs: 2-6

Last Week: 1-3

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Division Round NFL Playoff Picks

On to the second round of the playoffs, and we finally get to see how much of a mistake, if a mistake at all, it was for New Orleans and Indianapolis to slow down at the end of the season. We will also see if Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl hopes will continue, or be dashed in sunny San Diego. We have Brees/Warner, Peyton/Flacco, Romo/Favre and Rivers/Sanchize. Let the football begin. Home teams in CAPS.

NEW ORLEANS (-7) over Cardinals

I’ll give the Cardinals this: they put up a great fight versus the Packers last Sunday, but they will have to play a much better New Orleans team less then six days later. New Orleans has been resting their starters and hasn’t played a meaningful game in three weeks. Drew Brees has been studying Cards and licking his lips just thinking about how he will take advantage of their 23rd ranked pass defense. Arizona will just be hoping that Kurt Warner will have all of his weapons available, including Anquan Boldin, who may miss a second straight game.

If you like defensive football games where a couple field goals will make the difference, this is not the game for you. It won’t be as high scoring of a game as the Packers/Cardinals 96 point blowout, but there will be next to no defense. In the end, the Saints have more big play ability and more weapons. Their ground game is much better then Arizona, and the Cardianls’ defense leaves much to be desired. The Superdome crowd won’t disappoint, and the Saints will come away with a solid victory. But to be clear, I won’t like them next week versus either Dallas or Minnesota.

Ravens (+6.5) over COLTS

Last weeks’ game between the Ravens and Patriots was pretty telling. The Ravens showed that if a couple of big plays and penalties went their way, they could have gone 15-1. If you don’t believe me, look at the schedule. They have a fantastic running back duo in Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and although he didn’t show up in Foxboro, Joe Flacco has proven he can carry his team if they need him to. Their defense is definately missing Bart Scott and competent cornerbacks, but they can blitz like crazy, and that’s what teams need to do to beat Peyton Manning. Their return game is second in the league, thanks for the most part to Chris Carr. The Ravens are an underhyped team that is very dangerous, especially if underestimated.

The Colts, like the Saints, were incredible for most of the season until they completely stepped off the gas, except to keep Peyton Manning’s consecutive start streak alive and let Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark catch their 100th pass. Some say that resting players early has no correlation to losing early, but the last two times the Colts rested their players early, they were given early exits. Like I’ve said earlier, if you step of the gas, you are going to slow down, and if you take your foot of their throat, they will get back up. The Ravens picked off Tom Brady four times, so who’s to say they can’t do the same or something similar to Peyton Manning? We all know the football cliché, if you win two of the three parts of the game, you win the game. They have a better special teams and defense, but will be hard pressed to beat the Colts. I don’t think the Ravens will beat Indy, but the will definitely keep it within a touchdown.

The most important player for the Cowboys is the one not on the field

The most important player for the Cowboys is the one not on the field

Cowboys (+2.5) over VIKINGS

The Cowboys are the hottest team in the league not named the Chargers. Tony Romo has shed his late season shell and all of the receivers are showing up and not complaining (cough cough Terrell Owens). They are a new team, a team who is much more willing to run, and a team who has faith in the quarterback and head coach for the first time in a long time. Their defense is now the best in the NFC and their isn’t really any chinks in their armor. Dallas is just a fanantstic, well rounded.

As for Minnesota, they aren’t to bad either. They are probably being overlooked as teams like the Cowboys are getting more and more hyped. The Vikings forte is running the ball, except against good run defenses, which Dallas is. With the exception of the Baltimore game, Adrian Peterson has been a feast or famine running back that has beat up on the Browns and Lions, while struggling against the Cardinals and Packers. I would rather have the Cowboy’s three running backs (Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice) the Peterson and Chester Taylor. The Vikings have suddenly become under Favre’s control, which is not what you need when to win in the playoffs, you run the ball and don’t turn it over. Favre is also 2-6 career versus the Cowboys. The Metrodome crowd is always loud, but they don’t always fill up their seats with Vikings fans, so expect a ton of Dallas (bandwagon) fans to show up. All signs are pointing Dallas, and they are my pick to represent the NFC in Miami.

CHARGERS (-7) over Jets

This is by far the easiest game to pick, since it features the best and worst teams in the playoffs (yes, I said that Colts and Saints fans). The Chargers have an incredible pass attack, but the Jets have the top pass attack. Nearly all of the credit for their NFL-best pass defense can be attributed to Darrelle Revis, who has shut down nearly all the top receivers in the league. The bad new for him is that he can’t guard Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and Malcom Floyd at the same time. Philip Rivers has been as clutch as anyone from December on, as he owns a 23-4 record during that time. LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles are going to be the X-Factors, if they can beat out the blitzing Jets and take advantage of their hole at nose tackle, the game won’t even be close.

The Jets don’t have much to be proud of. Their “star” quarterback throws balls to the opposing team at just under the rate that he does to his own, and his top receiver can’t catch a ball that hits him in the hands. Literally. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene do form a great tandem at running back, but when the San Diego defense brings the blitz, they won’t be able to get that far. Taking rookie QBs on the road is never a smart thing to do, and Mark Sanchez, you’re not in Cincinnati anymore.

Super Bowl Pick: I am sticking with the Chargers in the AFC, as they have done nothing to change my mind, and the Ravens and Jets don’t pose much of a threat to stop their hot streak. I did pick the Eagles in the NFC, but I said if they lose, I’ll take the Cowboys. I’ll gladly take Dallas, as they have been dominant to close the year and their team with Roy Williams is better then it was last year with TO. The Cardinals are too inconsistent, the Saints and Colts are too cold, the Jets are just bad, and I can’t pick the Ravens to win it all.

Playoff Record: 1-3

Last Week: 1-3

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Decade in Rewind: NFL Player of the '00s

Brady and Manning. Manning and Brady. These two superstar quarterbacks are at the top of everyone’s list of top quarterbacks playing and top players of the decade. As for the Player of the Decade, the choice is simple, and I am here to finally settle the debate.

Point 1: Winning

When it comes to the best player, you can go several ways with that. You can look at who racks up the most yards or points, or you can look at who makes your team the best. A prime example of this is a similar discussion to Brady/Manning, Wilt Chamberlain versus Bill Russell. Chamberlain racked up the monster stats while Russell put up very good numbers. Wilt also never fouled out. But in the end, those two ended up hurting Wilt because he was more concerned about stats then points and let up on defense so he would continue his streak of not fouling out. Russell won only eleven titles in thirteen years and held a  career record against Wilt. So who do you want on your team, the prima donna who is obsessed with statistics, or the great teammate obsessed with winning at all costs, even if it means cutting into his own playing time? If you need more convincing, buy The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons.

While neither Brady nor Manning falls into the Wilt Chamberlain category, one of the two does follow more into the win-at-all-costs category. In the 2000s, Brady has a  97-29 record while Manning is 131-60. Brady’s winning percentage is a full 8.2 percentage points higher then Manning. Even in head-to-head, Brady has come on top more often then not, with a 7-5 record versus Peyton. Brady led his team to an undefeated regular season and finished the season 18-1 while Peyton laid down after starting the season 14-0, finishing out 14-2. You need a Super Bowl winning drive, Brady has two of those while Peyton only has one, which I will address next.

Tom Brady is a winner, especially in the playoffs

Tom Brady is a winner, especially in the playoffs

Point 2: Playoffs

If you want to measure a winner, the best way to measure one is by the number of trophies and rings they have. Brady has the edge again, with three rings to Manning’s one. Brady did his part to win a fourth ring until Asante Samuel dropped an interception before Eli Manning escaped pressure while his linemen were blatantly holding several Patriots, leading to the catch by David Tyree that every Patriot and Giant fan has engraved in their head. Tom Brady’s playoff dominance and Peyton’s playoff deficiencies goes beyond rings. Let’s take a look at the stats.

To start off, we need to look at their records to see who is the better winner. Brady is 14-4, winning his first 10, while Peyton is a shockingly poor 7-8. That is inexcusable for a Player of the Decade if you lose more then you win in the playoffs. In fact, if you take out Peyton’s 2006 Super Bowl run, he is 3-8 career in the playoffs. During that run to the title, Manning was threw seven interceptions to only three touch downs, which included a Super Bowl victory against Rex Grossman’s Bears. As for Brady in the playoffs, he has thrown six more touch downs and two less interceptions and, again, has a  postseason record of 14-4 this past decade.

I’m not trying to say that Peyton Manning is a terrible quarterback. In fact, I don’t think you can have a better postseason quarterback then Peyton Manning. If I want to win one regular season game, there is a great chance I’m going to call on number 18. But when it really counts, and the game is on the line, I want Tom Brady. So what puts these two Pro-Bowlers apart? The simple answer is Brady is playoff clutch and Peyton is just regular season clutch.

Point 3: Talent of their Teams

Tom Brady has been getting a ton of heat as of late for having a better team then Peyton, but is that really true? Brady won all of his rings with a not-so-stellar core of Deion Branch, David Givens, Troy Brown, and David Patten. Even his runningbacks have been below average with Antowain Smith, Kevin Faulk, Laurence Maroney, and Corey Dillon. Only recently, he was given the true weapons that he has now. 

Peyton Manning has always been blessed with a plethora of talent at the skill positions. When he entered the league in 2001, he already had Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, and Dominic Rhodes. He added Dallas Clark in 2003 and Joseph Addai in 2006. The level of talent for the two QBs to work with on offense incredibly favors Peyton.

The Patriots have had a better defense historically then the Colts, but both teams have plenty of All-Pro defenders. The Pats had Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, and Rodney Harrison, but let’s not forget about Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Gary Brackett for Indy.

So in the end, what do you want in a quarterback? A funny guy who is great in commercials or a guy who continually comes through in the clutch. Brady has done more with less over the first decade of this millennium. You can’t name the best player of the decade someone who has a losing record in the playoffs with seven picks in his Super Bowl run; Tom Brady has shown me more then Peyton Manning in the 2000s.

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Wild Card Round NFL Playoff Picks

We’ve finally arrived at the first weekend of the playoffs (why they gave such a great thing in the NFL Playoffs such bad names like Wild Card Round and Division Round I’ll never know) and the NFL couldn’t have found a worse way to start it off. Three of the four games are rematches from last week. Roger Goodell should have just said there was a mistake with the seeding and the matchups will be switched. Anyways, here are my picks. Home teams in CAPS.

BENGALS (-2.5) over Jets
This matchup features two of the most two inconsistent teams in the NFL. After losing to the Falcons, Rex Ryan said his team had no shot at the playoffs, and a few weeks later with thanks to the Colts and Bengals laying down, look where he is. Now he says they should be the favorites to win the Super Bowl. That coming from a coach who’s team has Mark Sanchez as their quarterback. So maybe the Jets did beat the Bengals last week 37-0, but I’m fairly certain the Bengals didn’t bring their A, B, or C game. And I don’t think I’m taking a rookie quarterback on the road.

The Jets are still missing Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington, and if I may remind you again, have Mark Sanchez. The Sanchize is the second least competent quarterback in the league (better then JaMarcus Russell, but worse then Jake Delhomme) and the Jets are extremely lucky to even be in the playoffs, the Texans really deserved it more. The Bengals are getting no respect, and they will use that, like they have all year to motivate them to get the victory. One last note is that the Vegas sharks usually lean to the team the average fan is betting against, and the Jets are getting a lot of movement now.

Eagles (+3.5) over COWBOYS
I’ll give you another football cliche here, but it’s nearly impossible to beat a quality team three times in one year. It’s also nearly impossible for Donovan McNabb, who has been an absolutely clutch playoff quarterback up until the NFC Championship Game, to have another game as bad as he had last week when he had two fumbles and just wasn’t on target. It’s a shame that these two teams are playing now because they are my two favorite teams to go to the Super Bowl. The Vikings and Saints are down and no other team wants to be that team, so the NFC will be a crapshoot. The Eagles can guard the pass and have so many weapon to kill you with on offense.

As for the Cowboys, fans and the media kept saying that Dallas would fold again in December and the team is the same. Whatever it is, maybe Tony Romo growing up or Terrell Owens leaving, this team is different. They have three quality rushers and a ton of talent on defense. At the moment, all the sign are pointing to the Cowboys (especially with the game being in Jerry World), but I can’t pick the Cowboys to win three times this year versus the Eagles. Remember the 2007 Giants and Cowboys?

Get to know Julian Edelman, who has been dubbed Wes Welker's Mini-Me

Get to know Julian Edelman, who has been dubbed Wes Welker's Mini-Me

PATRIOTS (-3.5) over Ravens
Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell was much maligned for benching Peyton Manning and his other starters early in Weeks 16 and 17, but his point may have been proven correct when Bill Belichick played his starters in a meaningless game and Wes Welker blew out his knee. But I can defend The Hoodie. At least he always goes for the kill. If you take you foot off the gas, you’ll slow down, and if you take your foot off their throat, they’ll get back up. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the playoffs and Tom Brady is the best playoff quarterback. The Patriots don’t lose at home, and Brady doesn’t lose in the first round.

As for the Ravens, they have the upside of a team who could go all the way. They have a ferocious, albeit aging defense and a fantastic running game with Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. They have great leadership from Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Joe Flacco, and Derrick Mason. Their only problem is that they are playing the Patriots in the first round. As for replacing Welker, the Pats will put Julian Edelman is the slot/security blanket role. He is bigger then Welker, and has filled in fantastic with 18 catches and 201 yards combined in his two starts filling in for Welker. I’m taking the Pats big here.

CARDINALS (+1) over Packers
Like the Bengals/Jets game, the Packers and Cardinals will rematch and the home team is coming off a huge loss to the team they just played. The Cardinals lost 33-7, and similar to Cincy, didn’t bring their bets game, at all. The Cardinals are also another one of those strange teams, similar to, again, the Bengals. They have a much higher upside, but a much lower down-side, too. Assuming the Cards will have Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and Anquan Boldin, we should be in for a great game because we have no idea which Arizona team we will see.

Since their ten point loss to the Bucs, the Packers have been the second hottest team in the league, second to the Chargers. They have won seven of eight games and Aaron Rogers is becoming a top-tier NFL QB. They have been great on defense, but they are missing two key players: Aaron Kampman and Al Harris. They are tops in the league in pass defense, but much of that came with Harris in the lineup. I think both players will be sorely missed, especially with the Cardinals’ depth at receiver.

Super Bow Pick

I am going with the Chargers over the Eagles in the Super Bowl. The Chargers have been the best team in the league since Week 7 and there is no team ready to stop them. The Colts and Saints will regret stepping off the gas at the end of the season and the Vikings have to many problems between Favre and Childress and missing E.J. Henderson. The Cowboys are a dark horse in the playoffs, and they will be my new NFC favorite if they beat Philly.

Season: 131-111

Last Week: 9-7

Lock of the Week: 8-8

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Into the Woods

I am not the type of person who is into gossip about famous people; I feel dirty talking about other people’s problems and troubles, but this is different. This is a topic that cannot go unspoken. What he did has and will have an enormous impact on his image and the PGA altogether. Tiger has gone into the Woods.

Early on the morning of November 27, 2009, Tiger Woods was involved in a traffic incident that’s cause has tarnished his image and lost him many fans. The story goes that at approximately 2:25 AM on Black Friday, Woods was found in his Cadillac Escalade unconscious after he had hit a fire hydrant and his neighbor’s tree. His wife had knocked out the back window with a golf club and taken him out of the SUV. He was not wearing any shoes nor a seat belt and his air bags did not deploy, meaning he was driving less than 20 mph. The Florida Highway Patrol concluded that the crash was not alcohol related. Tiger then released an explanation on his website saying, “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.” He has yet to admit to having affair, although his text messages sent to cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, and his voice message sent to her phone, are pretty damning evidence. So does this mean that Tiger owes us an explanation and a gigantic, gushing apology?

When the news first broke that Tiger was involved in an early morning accident, everyone was hoping the best for him and worried about what had happened. Several theories came out why Tiger was out that early in the morning. Originally, I had my own little theory on what happened that fateful morning. Allow me to speculate…

Tiger Woods was at his Orlando home and he lives a good distance from stores who had their Black Friday sales starting a few hours into the day. Tiger set his alarm clock for 2 in the morning, but it did not work so he woke up at 2:30. He needed to drive to HH Gregg to get his 84′ LCD Flat Screen TV, so he was in a rush to make it to the front of the line. He was in such a rush to get out of the door that he did not have time to put on shoes or his seat belt. Still partially asleep, he ran into the fire hydrant and then the tree when backing up. Without his seat belt or air bags deploying, he was knocked out. His wife, Elin, ran outside to see what all the commotion was about, and the only thing around the garage to break in a window was one of Tiger’s many golf clubs. No affair. No fight. No nothing.

Now, of course, there is essentially no chance that that actually happened, but we certainly would like that to be true. We don’t like our heroes to let us down, especially when they have seemed more than human, a deity placed on this Earth. We found out that he has been involved in nearly a dozen affairs between several cocktail waitresses, pornstars, and such. He has shattered the image that most people have of a perfect, almost super-human person who can do no wrong. Tiger was placed on the highest pedestal possible, and he has let down many of them.

But if you take a look at Tiger’s history, we already knew that he is not the greatest guy. He has been known to throw clubs, curse excessively, and yell at people who take pictures of him during his back swing. So how do you think he will handle things when someone in the crowd yells, “You’re a cheetah” which will work even better when he is up in New England? Will he go back to throwing clubs and cursing or will he reflect on what he has done and what has happened and change? It should be interesting to see if he can stand up to the pressure Either way, he will still be the greatest golfer ever and get to that sacred 19th major.

What Tiger did is between him and his wife, or soon-to-be-ex. He did not kill anyone and he is not going to jail. He merely hit a fire hydrant and word came out about many affairs. Not only does he not have to go onto Oprah or Letterman’s show and give out a tell all story, but he should not. There is no way that he can look better in the eyes of the public more so than he already is or is not. Many people will never forgive him no matter how much he begs for acceptance or how much charitable work he does. Similarly, many people have already forgiven him because they have been in a similar situation, or they do not think it is that big of a deal. If he goes on Oprah, he will not appease the mostly women audience, and if he goes onto Letterman, some will think he is making a mockery of what he did. Either way, he should just keep the details to himself.

While the public, myself included, would love to know ever last detail of the events that have taken place, they will not help anyone’s cause. The women who have admitted to having an affair will not get any more attention, his wife is already filing the divorce paperwork, and he is going to have to move on with his life. His wife leaving him is probably the best thing possible for Mr. Woods because he will be free and will not have to see her every day and think about what he did. He can stay on his yacht, which is aptly named ‘Privacy’ and attempt to move on in his life.

There have also been steroid allegations that have came out in the last week. Even though the best doctors and hospitals in the world are in the United States, Tiger had a Canadian doctor who also worked with Olympian Dara Torres. Dr. Anthony Galea has since been found with human growth hormones and Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf’s blood, at the US-Canada border. But golf is one of the few sports where steroids would not make a huge impact. Phil Mickelson and John Daly are far from the best fit people in the world. Golf is most about precision, accuracy and making the right play then just brute strength. Tiger is already a very fit man, so steroids would not give him that much of a boost. Tiger cheating in golf by use of performance enhancing drugs is about as crazy as cheating on a Swedish supermodel wife. But in the event that he did use steroids, the most likely situation was for recovery, which would not put a mark on his legacy; at least it would not to me.

As for Tiger’s legacy, I agree with Nike Chairman Phil Knight who said, “I think (Tiger)’s been really great. When his career is over, you will look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now.” At the end of Tiger’s career, we will remember him as the greatest golfer to ever live, not an unfaithful husband. In the same way, we remember Michael Jordan as the best basketball player ever, not as a cheater. Most people have forgotten about his “indiscretions” by now. We should not remember Tiger as “that guy who cheated on his wife over a dozen times.” We should always remember people in general for what they did right, not problems they had to the side of their profession. What players do off the field should not affect how we think of them as athletes. Nobody is perfect.

Tiger is the best golfer in the World, not the best husband

Tiger is the best golfer in the World, not the best husband

Woods’s off the course actions should not impact his legacy nor many of his sponsor’s thoughts on him. I can understand if some “family oriented” companies take a a moral stand against what he did, but I would not understand it if companies such as Gatorade and Nike back out of a deal with him. Gatorade already has already stopped the manufacturing of Gatorade Tiger, so that has come as a shock to me. Tiger has never sold family or the average person, like Brett Favre does with Wrangler Jeans. Rather, he says, “I am the best. Try to be as good as me.” Nike sponsor’s him as the best golfer in the world, not the best husband. And we should se him in the same way.

For now, Tiger Woods will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the sport of golf to “focus his attention on being a better husband, father, and person” It could be a month, three months or a year. I do not think this is the greatest idea, though. The best way to get your mind off something bad is to be occupied with something and playing golf is certainly that. Sitting around your house is not. Could he be building up anticipation for his return, likely around the Masters? Sure. Could he be further recovering from his injured knee? Perhaps. Could he be setting up his own tour to rival the PGA? Likely not. Either way, he will be appeasing his haters, but not really helping himself out.

I would like to congratulate the Associated Press for selecting Tiger Woods as the Athlete of the Decade, even though around half of the ballots were turned in after his unfortunate series of events. What many people have said is the greatest fall from grace, which I vehemently disagree, has not impacted the image of Tiger’s tremendous accomplishments in the eyes of the top of the sports writing world. Whether be it a month, year, or decade, this series of digressions will blow over, and we will remember Mr. Eldrick Woods as the greatest golfer who ever lived.

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Week 17 NFL Picks

We are finally at the last week of the NFL Season. On Monday, there will be no more Lions and Rams losing, and the debates will start up over who will win which games in the first round of the playoffs. But that is Monday, and each team will get to say that they got to play in December so lets finish the season strong. Home teams in CAPS.

Colts (-2.5) over BILLS
The Colts will likely be resting most of their starters, but no matter how bad of players you have, it’s still really hard to lose to the Bills.

Jaguars (+1.5) over BROWNS
Okay, so the Browns may have won three straight games, Jerome Harrison is running like a young Jamal Lewis, and Eric Mangini is fighting to save his job, but what does that really mean if you beat a reeling Steelers team, the Chiefs, and Raiders? Not much. Add on to that the fact that the Jags need to win to make the playoffs and potentially not move to LA (against Mo-Jo Drew’s hopes), I’ll take the Jags here. You know that Vegas is giving you points against the Browns, right?

Bears (-3.5) over LIONS
Did the linesmakers not watch the Bears show up the Vikings last Monday night? Do they not know that Lovie Smith needs a win here to save his job? Do they know that Jay Cutler needs to finish the year strong to appease the ferocious Bears fans? With those motivations, I’ll take the Bears over the Lions.

49ers (-7.5) over RAMS
In big games, teams need to come up clutch. This is the most important game of the year for the Rams…lose and they clinch the right to draft Ndamukong Suh. Win and the Lions will likely draft the behemoth Defensive Tackle. I think the Rams will come through in this clutch situation.

Steelers (-2.5) over DOLPHINS
Both teams need to win to get in to the playoffs. Both teams are in an off year. But one team is the defending champs. I’ll take them and Big Ben, who is becoming as clutch as any quarterback in the NFL.

VIKINGS (-8.5) over Giants
If there is one thing a playoff-bound team cannot do, it is go into the playoffs on a prolonged cold streak. The Vikings have lost 3 of the last 4 and have a Head Coach who has lost his power to hit quarterback. Not the recipe for success. How do they fix it? Win big at home to keep alive a chance to get a first-round bye. The Vikings need this game big time, and the Giants are in no position to stop them.

Falcons (-2.5) over BUCCANEERS
The Falcons have the biggest game of the week for any team who doesn’t have a chance to go to the playoffs. They are currently 8-7 and have never had back-to-back winning seasons in their 43 years of existence. With a chance to break that terrible streak, there is no way I see them letting this chance slip away, especially against the Bucs.

PANTHERS (-2.5) over Saints
The Saints are going to rest Drew Brees, Darren Sharper, and Pierre Thomas, so it’s pretty obvious that they are not going all in to finish the year. The Panthers are yet another team with a disappointing year hoping to save face and save their head coach’s job. I’ll take the Panthers at home.

Patriots (+7.5) over TEXANS
How often this decade, or rather last decade, do you have the chance to pick the Patriots and get more then a touchdown, too? Not too often, and I’m going to jump at that opportunity no matter how short (or long) Brady, Moss, and Welker stay in.

Eagles (+2.5) over COWBOYS

Brian Westbrook is the key to the Eagles/Cowboys game
Brian Westbrook is the key to the Philly/Dallas game

With the Saints’ and Vikings’ recent struggles, these two NFC East rivals have a great shot for a deep run in the playoffs, possibly to the Super Bowl. and both teams have a shot at the 2 Seed and a first round bye. With the return of Brian Westbrook, the Eagles look like the team that many picked to win it all to start the year. Last year the Eagles embarrassed the Cowboys 44-6, and I don’t expect that big of a margin of victory, but an Eagles victory no less.

CARDINALS (-3.5) over Packers
The entire nation seems to be sweeped up in the Packers’ great record, but I still think they are a fraud. They feast off bad teams and can’t beat the good ones. The Cardinals are a fairly good team, and a great team at home.

CHARGERS (-4.5) over Redskins
The Chargers are far and away better then the Redskins, but they have nothing to play for. But in the end they are playing the ‘Skins, so this shouldn’t be to hard of a game to win. This is the Lock of the Week.

SEAHAWKS (+4.5) over Titans
Last week, the Seahawks were demolished by the Packers last week, and couldn’t do anything to prove they could put up a fight. I started off wanting to pick them since I was getting that many points, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Seattle is really just a bad, bad team. The Titans are just okay, and we all know that okay trumps bad.

Ravens (-10.5) over RAIDERS
The Raiders have been a fantastic giant killer this year, but that has been because teams just don’t take them seriously. The Ravens won’t be taking any team lightly when they can clinch a Wild Card spot with a win. Joe Flacco needs to prove he won’t fall back into (or stay in) his Sophomore Slump, and the defense need to prove they still have their same speed and power.

Chiefs (+12.5) over BRONCOS
The Broncos have been one of the Top-5 strangest teams of the year. They started off the year 6-0 and everyone doubted them. Then people joined their bandwagon and they lost four straight. Then they won two. Now, they’ve lost three. What does this mean? This means that Josh McDaniels need to prove he knows what he’s doing by benching Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler with everything on the line and win the game, which they will, just by less then two touchdowns.

BENGALS (+9.5) over Jets
If the Jets win, they’re in the playoffs. The ironic part is that they will likely be playing the Bengals in Cincinnati, again. The Jets are a far easier team to beat then the Steelers and even the Dolphins and Texans, so why not lose this game and beat them when all your stars are trying their hardest and you have more tape? The only reason I’m going with the Bengals is because Chad Ochocinco said that he will not be shut down Darrelle Revis, who has shut down star wideouts Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Terrell Owens, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White, Steve Smith, and Marques Colston, just to name seven.

Season: 122-104

Last Week: 11-5

Lock of the Week: 8-7

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