Saturday, January 10, 2009
It has been a couple days now since Adam "Pacman" Jones was released by the Dallas Cowboys. More than a little shocked he's not an Oakland Raider or Toronto Argo yet...as throwback unis go, the Cleveland Cavs versions - both - are top shelf...Charles Barkley blew a .149 a couple weeks back when he was pulled over for driving under the influence. Not good, Chuck. He's on a leave of absence from TNT as a result and one of sports best crews just got a lot weaker...interesting that Andrea Bargnani is looking far better since Jose Caleron went out, isn't it? The Raptors are surging minus Caleron and Jermaine O'Neal, and pounded the Memphis Grizzlies, as predicted in yesterdays Prime Time Picks, now 6-3 (+284) on the year. Today, you've got to move fast - we're playing Arsenal (-1.5 +115) in the English Premier League as they host Bolton...what do the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Black Hawks and Pittsburgh Penguins have in common? Every starter in the NHL All-Star Game plays for those teams...Jason Spezza is -13 in the last month, and Dany Heatley hasn't scored in seven games. Strange days in the nation's capital...hockey coach Wayne Fleming, who has worked with the Canadian Olympic team in 2002 and 2006, was fired by his KHL team - that's the circling-the-drain Russian super league - between periods!...more on Cristiano Ronaldo wrecking his Ferrari: he had the car for all of two days. Wonder if speed was a factor? Word is teammate and Manchester United's goalie Edwin Van Der Sar was trailing him in his Bentley so there could well have been some racing going on...why look at the 50 hottest Victoria's Secret models? Because 49 just wouldn't be enough...best nickname for an athlete this week goes to San Diego punter Mike "Lou" Scifres...two of the divisional playoff games go in the NFL today with Baltimore at Tennessee and Arizona at Carolina. Have a feeling the Baltimore Ravens get it done though Jeff Fisher and the Titans tend to break out some surprises come playoff time, which they'll need when the Ravens defence is practically impenetrable. Cannot see Arizona even giving Carolina a game in the late affair as the Cards are terrible on the road and the Panthers are rolling...the Columbus Blue Jackets rookie goalie Steve Mason is having one hell of a year, he picked up his sixth shutout of the year last night with 45 saves against the Washington Capitals, who can score a couple goals here and there...have a great Saturday.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Check out the tattoo some Detroit Lions fan had done this week. Somewhere, Andy Warhol just ticked off another on the "everybody gets 15 minutes of fame" list...Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo wrecked his $450,000 Ferrari on the way to practice yesterday. No word if the car was touched before crashing. Ronaldo was unhurt in the accident, but hopefully this knocked his 2008/9 rust out. Manchester United will need it ahead of Sunday's huge game against Chelsea. Tune in to The Score at 11am Eastern - Hi Def if you've got it - for what should be a great one...basking in the glory of last night's Florida cover to move to 5-3 (+187) on the year. Tonight, gonna make a play on the Toronto Raptors (-5 -113) as they hose the Memphis Grizzlies...the Seattle Sounders FC are running a reality type show on a local news station that culminates on Super Bowl Sunday with the winner getting a roster spot on the team. Lame...the Toronto Maple Leafs Mikhael Grabovski picked up a three game suspension for his shove of the referee last night. So if you're keeping score at home: two for biting, three for shoving a ref, six for "sloppy seconds" blasts...Brett Favre says he's going to take his time making a decision whether to play or retire. Memo to Favre: the only fan picketing you'll see this time will be to keep you at home, not to return...I've figured out the real reason that the Boston Celtics are reeling: the mere mention of Stephon Marbury heading there...Max Kellerman mentioned on his radio show out of New York that he's been told by a very credible source in the New York Knicks organization that the Knicks are making their moves with an eye towards signing Lebron James and Chris Bosh...have a great Friday, back in the morning.
RandoMango returns this afternoon.
Posted by TB at 8:55 AM
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Well that didn't take long. The Dallas Cowboys have released Adam "Pacman" Jones for something that happened a few years back. Seems odd to release a guy for something the NFL was aware of and that he wasn't going to be punished for, particularly when he showed he can play a bit this year. After all, they're keeping a head coach who showed far less...if the NHL is front page news at ESPN, odds are somebody did something wrong. Ottawa Senator Jarko Ruutu went Mike Tyson and bit Andrew Peters of the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night, through the glove. Ruutu was suspended for two games...yesterday's Prime Time Pick of Manchester United seemed doomed from the start with that plank Tomasz Kuszczak in goal. Still, United brought on Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half, but all for naught as Derby held on for the upset. This brings the PTP to 4-3 (+$87) on the year. Today, we are on Florida (-4.5 -108, though I wisely got in at -3 a week ago) to crush Oklahoma and take the NCAA National Title, complete with the requisite asterisk...7 of the 8 NFC playoff teams this year weren't in the playoffs last year. The New York Giants, of course, are the exception there...speaking of the Giants, does that 4.5 points they're favored by over Philadelphia this weekend seem exceedingly low? Has suckers bet written all over it, and I will likely bite regardless...are the Anaheim Ducks about to become to Brian Burke what the Oakland A's are to J.P. Ricciardi? Burke dealt a 6th round pick for Brad May. With the Ducks having most of their team unsigned next year, expect to see a bunch of Ducks heading to Leafland...for each game he misses, Toronto Raptor Jermaine O'Neal is paid more than $250,000. Funny that with him and Jose Calderon out, the Toronto Raptors are in arguably their best run of the year. With Calderon no longer freezing him out of the offence, Andrea Bargnani is seeing his point totals increase significantly...at least one Ottawa Senator is scoring this year: Mike Fisher is dating Carrie Underwood. Somehow, I don't suspect a certain player in Dallas is preparing a "sloppy seconds" blast...not sure how many of you have seen Manswers on Spike TV, but here's a look at the Top 10 "You've got questions? We've got Manswers" of last year. I'm a little shocked that the "what's the fastest way to get drunk?" didn't make the list. Curious to see if anybody has any guesses as to what that is/was. Answer coming after a few guesses...love that the New York Yankees got Mark Teixera amped up to go to the Yankees with a video montage set to his favorite tune: Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock". No word on if a separate video was sent to Teixera by his agent Scott Boras to the tune of "The Price"...this NFL season, 9 of the 15 overtime games have ended after one possession. Overall, 33% of games in regular season history have been won on the first possession...John Smoltz to the Boston Red Sox? Seems odd, no?...have a great Thursday, despite no new "The Office" tonight.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
In a move that should surprise nobody after the Tom Brady setback stories surfaced last week, the talk is the New England Patriots will place the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Cassel, giving him a nice raise to $14 million giving the Pats $29 million in two quarterbacks. Seems crazy on the surface, but when your backup can bang off eleven wins in a season, you're crazy not to when Brady is a question mark...if the story I heard is true and that the Toronto Maple Leafs may ship Tomas Kaberle and Vesa Toskala to the Ottawa Senators for a draft pick and Jason Spezza, that is a trade Leafs GM Brian Burke needs to make now...after last night's New York Knicks loss and non-cover, Prime Time Picks sit at 4-2 for the year. Up today, taking Manchester United in Carling Cup play to top Derby at -1 -107. Yes, the Carling Cup is an annoyance in many ways, but United has enough depth to knock off a team from a division lower who set a Premier League record when they were up last year for fewest points in a season. And hey, all world defender Nemanja Vidic insists United are very much interested in winning this one. Mix in Derby is lacking a manager at the moment and United takes this one with ease. This game kicks off at 2:45 Eastern so get over to Pinnacle now. Coverage on Setanta Sports...here's one take on the 20 Hottest TV Sports Personalities "of all da times". Clearly, whoever put this together must not consider UFC a sport - wrong! - because there's no other way to explain how Rachelle Leah isn't top, well, two...wonder where the NHL ranks in the pecking order in the U.S.? In the new set-up at ESPN.com, it is printed furthest to the right of the page, behind soccer and the rest of the sports you'd expect. Now, I'm sure some will brush this off and look for things like alphabetical order and the like but let me assure you, there's no other reason than where it stands in the minds of "the worldwide leader" who know that people read left to right in most places...reading lists of athletes with illegitimate kids never ceases to amuse me. Here's an update...the Boston Celtics lost for the fifth time in seven games, this time to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats...have a great Wednesday.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
The NHLPA should be filing a grievance over the Atlanta Thrashers third jersey. Clearly, the Thrashers are not trying to grow revenues with that abomination. Yes, I used "Thrashers" and "revenues" in the same sentence. A first!...over 150 Major League Baseball players remain free agents. Expect the action to get hot and heavy soon as we're barely a month ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting, and the logjam started to break yesterday with Pat Burrell landing in Tampa Bay and Milton Bradley joining the Chicago Cubs. Expect a lot of bargains out there as teams are paring back on giving average players huge deals. Translation: you'll be lucky to get half the four years and $40 million you're after, Jason Varitek...with each Ottawa Senators loss, and Pat Quinn looking cozy with Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, you have to start thinking Quinn might want to start house hunting in Ottawa as he could be a great fit to coach and or manage that team. Frankly, it is a shock Quinn has been out of the league this long with his resume...I don't know who should be the highest paid left back in the soccer world, but I know it shouldn't be Wayne Bridge, who just moved to Manchester City. He's not even the best left back in Manchester. That title belongs to Patrice Evra...here are the records of the NBA teams since replacing their coaches during this season: Minnesota is 2-10 under Kevin McHale. Sacramento is 2-7 under Kenny Natt, Washington is 5-14 under Ed Tapscott; Oklahoma City is 3-17 under Scott Brooks and Toronto is 5-12 under Jay Triano. Only Philadelphia has gone at least .500 since changing coaches, with Tony DiLeo at 4-4 since taking over...LaDanian Tomlinson looks like he'll be out for the Bolts game at Pittsburgh this weekend. The way Darren Sproles went off on Saturday, this is likely a good thing for the Chargers...Canada played fantastic against Sweden in the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships and were well worth the 5-1 score. Canuck goalie Dustin Tokarski was far more stable than the past couple games and made a big difference, though Sweden preferring to shoot with their asses against the wall tended to help. Two things. One, don't tell me that fighting is part of the game. There were no fights at this tourney despite it being "part of the game" and the hockey blew away anything the NHL produced of late. Two, hate to break it to the puckheads reading here, but diving is very much a "part of the game" right now. The Swedish goalie led the parade, but he was by no means alone...as an added bonus, Canada covered the -1 and that's now 4-1 on the year for Prime Time Picks. This pace keeps up and I may be asking that you chip off 10%. Tonight, we're playing our first NBA pick of the year and taking the New York Knicks - no, that isn't a typo - to cover the 2 (-105) at Oklahoma City...had I seen HBO's "Hard Knocks" on the Dallas Cowboys training camp earlier this year instead of yesterday, I might've been spared a lot of heartache. Said coach Wade Phillips: "if last year was a cupcake camp, this year is a marshmallow" on how he focuses on keeping players healthy but not allowing too much contact in camp. You reap what you sow, Wade. That's why your team was so mentally soft and shunned tackling as often as not...have a great Tuesday.
Monday, January 5, 2009
The Utah Utes have quite the "we deserve to be National Champions" argument. Six of their 13 wins in this undefeated season came against bowl teams. Of course, it won't matter a lick in the end. And are you like me, where you can't think of "Utes" without thinking of Joe Pesci and "My Cousin Vinny"?...so far, my New Year's Resolution of not watching the Toronto Raptors until they win three straight is intact, but with Jose Calderon out, that could be done next game. Yeah, I said it...after throwing 7INT's all season, the Miami Dolphins Chad Pennington went and tossed four Favre's, err, interceptions. The Baltimore Ravens won easy 27-9. The Ravens move on to Tennessee for what should be a hard hitting game and frankly, I think the Ravens can win it. That said, once they dispose of San Diego, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain my AFC pick to play in the Super Bowl against...the New York Giants, who host the Philadelphia Eagles while the Arizona Cardinals travel to face the Carolina Panthers...in case you missed it the 865 times it aired this weekend, Bruce Springsteen is playing the Super Bowl...one of the great baseball sites out there is Fangraphs, which has a formula to calculate a players value relative to his actual salary. Check out Los Angeles Angel Gary Matthews Jr., who has been paid $15 million the last two years with a value of -$600,000. Yes, NEGATIVE...funny that Keyshawn Johnson's fellow analysts hammered him for trashing Brett Favre yesterday, and Thomas Jones earlier for doing so, but I don't exactly hear any New York Jets saying Jones was wrong. Part of their argument was that Jones has been on four teams in nine years. Well, there's two teams in six months now that haven't wanted Favre. ESPN Radio in New York's Max Kellerman calls Favre the "white T.O." and railed on last week that Favre's act is actually far worse than anything T.O. has done in recent memory in how he has held teams hostage, and nowhere near the talent that T.O. is and never has been...3-1 now in Prime Time Picks and ahead $200 after the Philadelphia Eagles nicely covered the field goal spread over Minnesota. Up today, who else could we play but Canada to take the Gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships? Got in a nice price of -1 -106 as well. Get on that fast before it shoots up, as it no doubt will, at Pinnacle...have a great Monday.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
If Ulf Samuellson is looking for his shoulder pads, they can be found on the person of Kurt Warner...the Pittsburgh Penguins are continuing the recent trend of Stanley Cup finalists who suffer a hangover the following year. Not sure how a team with that talent can struggle like they have this year, and lately as they've lost five of six. Hopefully nobody thinks it is the result of losing the eternally overrated Gary Roberts like was often thought by knucklehead Toronto Maple Leafs fans...wagering advice: bet against the Arizona Cardinals next week. They don't travel well at all, and only managed to beat a horribly performing Atlanta Falcons squad by six...at the World Junior Hockey Championships, Canada had everything lined up: a reputedly soft Russian team playing its second game in two days, home ice, four leads, five power plays in a row at one point and it was almost all for naught as they needed to go to the shootout to win their semi-final game and are off to face Sweden in the gold medal game Monday night while Russia is left to play Slovakia for the bronze medal. Too often, the Pat Quinn coached team resembled the Leafs defence from his days coaching there: undisciplined, sloppy in their zone, and too many risky passes and bad penalties. They deserved to lose, to be fair, especially with goalie Dustin Tokarski looking awful...now that they've lost, wonder if Peyton Manning still thinks his comments from Thursday when he was named MVP hold true and that this is the most satisfying season he's had. Tell you one thing: in a big game, Eli is the better QB...2-1 on Prime Time Picks - thanks, Peyton. Sticking with the NFL here and playing the Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Minnesota. Yes, the Vikes are a strong home side and the Eagles aren't nearly as strong on the road, but the Eagles D will terrorize Vikes QB Tarvaris Jackson and the Eagles have a more dynamic offence too, plus a hot Donovan McNabb. I like this pick so much I'm afraid...isn't it a little odd to see all these companies - banks, notably - who are receiving bailout funds from the U.S. federal government still maintaining their sponsorships of college bowl games? There’s the Capital One Bowl. Or the GMAC Bowl. The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl brought to you by Bank of America. The EagleBank Bowl. You'd think these companies might want to stay under the radar, no? No way this would fly in Canada, at least not without people marching in the streets...word is the meltdown in Liverpool that ended with Steven Gerrard arrested started when the DJ blew off Gerrard's request that he play some Phil Collins, something the DJ flat out refused to do. My respect for Gerrard just disappeared but this is the world we live in, where such a man of steel and man of power, loses control by the hour...Philadelphia, Denver, New York and Boston are all in the hunt to host the Winter Classic next year. Where are the Canadian entries?...further evidence fan voting is a joke for All-Star games: four Montreal Canadiens are in the starting lineup. Nothing against the Habs players in particular, but if your team has four guys starting, you best be miles ahead of everyone else. That not being the case, the result is ridiculous...have a great Sunday.