Damn you, Cleveland State, for putting the screws to my bracket in knocking off one of my Final Four picks in Wake Forest last night...Toronto FC kickoff their MLS season tonight when they visit the Kansas City Wizards. Despite what should be a greatly improved team, TFC is a +302 underdog tonight. Value personified...a friend of mine ran into Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin on the felt at a casino in Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Sadly, nobody knew who the purported face of the NHL - along with Sidney Crosby - was. Gary Bettman thinks the southern markets are worth saving? Word is Ovechkin couldn't have been more down to earth. That, and he's a large fan of Corona...the World Baseball Classic semis go this weekend, with Korea
facing Venezuela tonight and the U.S. taking on Japan tomorrow night. Should be good stuff...Miika Kiprusoff and Martin Brodeur both needed 347 games to get their 200th win. Somehow, can't imagine Kiprusoff coming anywhere close to Brodeur's career totals when all is said and done...starting a new feature at RM that will appear periodically. It is simply entitled "People I Hate". In the opening installment, I give you People Who Wear Sunglasses Indoors. That only works for rock stars, folks. So to the clowns I see rocking their $12 gas station shades wherever, take them off, you loser. It'll stop me from rolling my eyes at your pretentiousness...playing Washington -1 today over Purdue. And TFC of course, though only the former counts for PTP now that we're all caught up, and Manchester United on the goal line - so much action!...have a great Saturday.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
The Champions League quarter-final draw went this morning, headlined by Liverpool drawing Chelsea. Defending champions Manchester United have to be the happiest of the bunch, drawing what should be the easiest matchup in FC Porto...Newcastle United striker Michael Owen has declared that he is not injury prone, despite only playing 53 English Premier League games in four years - of a possible 144. Vince Carter and AJ Burnett think that level of performance is embarrassing. Cal Ripken he is not...want VIP access to Chris Bosh' 25th birthday party? GotStyle Menswear is selling "25" shirts which begs the question, is that to represent how many wins the Toronto Raptors are striving for?...these Adolf Hitler clips on YouTube never get old. The latest itteration has him going off about Terrell Owens going to the Buffalo Bills...is there anything more predictable in the world of sports than a boxer unretiring? Floyd "Money" Mayweather is the latest, and tough not to see why when his division could be lining up a string of mega-fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez...a spectacular debut for the Seattle Sounders, who thumped New York Red Bull 3-0 last night at a rocking Q-West Field. I'll leave the assessment of their crowd to GBVH...picking up on the "Derek Jeter as defensive black hole" commentary of a couple days ago, Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal is taking it a step further, saying Team USA should start Jimmy Rollins at short over Jeter...this one is for my good friend at Empties Crushed. Insurance giant AIG - a heavy recipient of U.S. government bailout funds - has issued a memo to staff about protecting their physical safety in a hostile environment, including not wearing the logo prominentely in public. This comes hot on the heels of a 4-1 beatdown by Liverpool over AIG-sponsored Manchester United last weekend. Figured I best get that in myself before G.S. takes the torch...hard to comment on March Madness when I'm still TV-less, but am hell bent on fixing that today, so I must off. That said, your PTP comes shortly.
Posted by TB at 9:12 AM
Thursday, March 19, 2009
If you're at all a sports fan - and I'm not even saying basketball specifically - the next four days are about as good as it gets with wall-to-wall action in the NCAA hoops tourney sometimes known as March Madness. I woke up in a panic this morning making sure I had my entries filled out before the fun starts. And hey, it isn't like I'm the President of the United States that I'm investing especially valuable time sorting out my brackets. I'm going with Wake Forest, Pitt, North Carolina and Memphis for my Final Four with Memphis to win. As Tony Kornheiser says, "who ya got?"...sticking with the subject of picks, Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch expects to be suspended for his latest brush with the law...the NFL competition committee couldn't garner enough support to change their lame overtime rules. You'd think common sense and overwhelming disdain from fans everywhere for the current setup would rule the day, but apparently not...I know Details tends to be a bit of a different magazine, but why would A-Rod take shots like this right around the time he knew Sports Illustrated was about to reveal his name as a failed test in 2003? The words "ill advised" might not be most accurate, but they're the first that come to mind...Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho is looking to replicate his wild Chelsea shopping spree this summer, with £100m said to be set aside to chase Premier League talent including the Chelsea trio of striker Didier Drogba, John Obi Mikel and Ricardo Carvalho, Arsenal's Abou Diaby, Tottenham Hotspur's Jermaine Jenas and Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic completing the list. Meantime, another big name club - Real Madrid - is looking to bring back David Beckham. Yeah, that is going to make a difference the next time they run into a Liverpool in Champions League play...here's a tourney we can all get behind: the 2009 National Douchebag Tournament. Exciting stuff. I've got Duke, Dane Cook, Ann Coulter and Auto CEO's in my Final Four, with Auto CEO's winning in a beatdown...going to play some catchup for the missed picks of last weekend over the next few days, and have two picks posted shortly. Good luck.
Posted by TB at 8:57 AM
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
After the somewhat-traditional Toronto Raptors green getup for St. Patrick's Day suddenly included a very Boston Celtics-like shamrock, a few Raptors rightly complained. This also marked the first time all year the team showed any pride...Martin Brodeur broke the all-time wins record for goalies in the NHL, previously held by Patrick Roy. Next up for Brodeur is the all-time shutouts record, which he needs four to break...the story of the missing and presumed dead NFLers that had their boat capsize last month is getting worse. Lone survivor Nick Schuyler told police that a one of the guys was throwing punches before going for his final swim. Madness...Steve Nash is more than a little excited over Vancouver getting an expansion franchise in the MLS, an ownership group he's part of, or at least it appears that way on his Twitter page...speaking of Twitter, which is exploding as far as I can tell, Milwaukee Buck Charlie Villanueva took it upon himself to tweet at half-time and needless to say, coach Scott Skiles was less than impressed...so far, so great for AJ Burnett in his first New York Yankee spring...in case you missed the game last night, be sure to watch the incredible World Baseball Classic hilites below between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, in which the U.S. avenged an earlier 11-1 mercy loss with a dramatic 9th inning comeback. Be sure to note, Yankee fans, that Puerto Rico had five hits, and two were to Derek Jeter's left which, like Tim Horton's, is always open...BJ Penn's mother was part of a hearing over "Greasegate" with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, who it appears will be turning the page on Penn's complaints that Georges St. Pierre was vaselined up when GSP pounded him senseless...Chipper Jones isn't a fan of Toronto, saying everything but that it is boring. If I may speak for T.O., I'd say Toronto isn't a fan of anyone named "Chipper" that has fewer than four legs...Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment are contemplating adding 8,000 seats to BMO Field to ease the 14,000 names on the waiting list for season's tickets. My vote says "no". Adding another deck to the south end would hide the best part of the stadium: the fans that rock The Bunker...finally busted the PTP losing streak with a narrow Oakland cover...back later with your Wednesday pick.
Posted by TB at 8:25 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The U.S. entry in the World Baseball Classic is suffering from enough injuries that manager Davey Johnson is talking about possibly forfeiting if they run out of bodies. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, quit...speaking of notable injuries, the Philadelphia Phillies are finding out that while winning the World Series is tough, defending it is even tougher as pitching stud Cole Hamels is suffering from the dreaded mysterious arm issues. 3,400 Club, anyone?...one of the best songs of the 80's - Bon Jovi's "Wanted: Dead or Alive" - done by Jon Bon Jovi with Charlie Weis and Bill Belichick on background vocals? You can't make this stuff up...if you're thinking you will lose your NCAA pool this year - and I haven't a clue why people refer to it as a "bracket" only - here's a list of the likely winners that will take you down...continuing his whining, Jay Cutler skipped the first Denver Broncos meeting..."The Rock" Dwayne Johnson admits using steroids in the past. A wrestler and football player. So, of course, it will barely register in the public. But a baseball player does it and get out the crucifix...it may be barely a handful of games, but the reviews of Sean Avery thus far - 4 goals in 6 games and a decidedly improved New York Rangers squad - have been glowingly positive...a rare bit of trivia from RM: what brother duo has the most goals combined in NHL history? Your answer tomorrow, if not later today if one of you nails it...Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terrance Newman admits in an interview that he believe Tony Romo's relationship with Jessica Simpson has affected his performance. Of course, because it wasn't Terrell Owens commenting, it barely gets noticed...I don't believe everything SI.com's Peter King says, but when he says he believes that the NFL owners will lock out players in 2011, that gets my attention...what do you get when you're Travis Henry, former NFLer, and have 9 kids with 9 women? An obligation to pay $170k a year in support. Shame that "former" bit is going to make that tough sledding...creepy vid of some guy named Kayvon stalking Derek Jeter in Toronto at the WBC...the PTP has me convinced I'm perhaps the streakiest gambler ever...have a great Wednesday.
Monday, March 16, 2009
LaDanian Tomlinson is now talking of breaking Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing record. He needs 6,600 yards or so to do so. Any takers that he gets it done? Didn't think so...does anybody think that getting a tattoo of yourself is a good idea? Apparentely New York Yankee pitcher AJ Burnett thoughts so, as he's got ink of himself...that physical specimen that is Phil Mickelson - he's not dubbed "Hefty" for nothing - needed to be treated for heat exhaustion after Saturday's round at Doral in Miami. Didn't matter much, as he went on to win the tourney regardless...unless you've been living under a rock or are moving under one, expect much discussion of the NCAA March Madness that starts Thursday. Frankly, even as a guy who doesn't pay much mind to NCAA hoops, it is a fantastic thing to take in, especially the first two rounds where it is wall-to-wall action with drama left and right. Need your brackets? Here they be...here's a look at the Top 10 Dirtiest Athletes. Hines Ward? Don't think so..after seeing the result of the Manchester United/Liverpool game - a 4-1 win for 'pool - I was pretty glad to not have TV for the weekend. Took some grief from a couple guys out on Saturday night while wearing a Man U jacket but it is almost worth it just to see that much soccer talk out on the town, even from guys who wouldn't know Liverpool from Blackpool...NHL General Manager's have talked about using wins in regulation as a tiebreaker. Here's an idea: three points for regulation wins, if you're really looking to encourage teams to go on the offensive in the first 60 minutes...another wrestler - Andrew Martin aka "Test" - has died at far too young an age, 33. No word on the cause of death but hard not to think it was anything but natural causes. 33 year olds that are outwardly fit don't just die suddenly...talked to a guy yesterday who is becoming a bigger fan of the EPL and said he's particularly fond of Arsenal and Tottenham, thanks to his love of Croatian soccer players. Arsenal and Tottenham? He must also be a fan of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens by that measure...it is 3/16 and Stephen F. Austin is in the NCAA tourney. How fitting...so after whining that the Denver Broncos were thinking of trading him, quarterback Jay Cutler has now asked for a trade. How fitting. This guy has some serious delusions of grandeur, a lot more accomplished players than him have been moved and complained far less, but he's going to whine? Good luck to whatever team gets him. Hope Pampers size 6 are available...back with your PTP later today.