Get your winning wagers down! Online Sports Betting

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Opening day in the books, productivity tumbling

It is a horror that nobody should have to endure.  Wake up to your alarm clock on a Saturday morning after a great night before (read: malted hop frenzy) and think you're going to watch Argentina and Nigeria in World Cup action.  Instead, you find you're seeing the duller-than-dishwater Greece.  That's all you need to know, it don't matter who they're playing, that's a giant lunchbag letdown.  1-0 Korea though in the early stages, so that makes it a bit more palatable. Yes, Greece has a debt in this one too.

Those uniforms that the United States World Cup team will be rocking today were inspired by the U.S. team that had the biggest upset arguably in World Cup history some 60 years ago when they beat England Of course, the U.S will face England today kicking off at 2:30pm in what is expected to be the highest rated soccer game in American history.  The game will be played at a high altitude so it'll be interesting to see if the more worn down English players can keep pace with the U.S., who tend to be among the fittest teams in any competition.  Found out that the referees are having some special training to learn English swear words ahead of this one.  

Started a column to the right with the World Cup picks and record.  Be sure to toss your picks into the comments section.

UFC 115 goes tonight in Vancouver with a less than appealing main event of Chuck Lidell and Rich Franklin.  Maybe it is just me, but I find the Canadian UFC cards to date have been a little sub-standard relative to the cards you see in the U.S.  Cro Cop faces Pat Berry in the main undercard fight, and there will no doubt be a strong Croatian support in Vancouver for Cro Cop. Full card here.

Michael Davis was on The B.S. Report podcast this week talking World Cup and explained that there is a difference in the grass in the northern and southern hemisphere and that that has historically played into why teams from the opposite hemisphere don't win.  The southern grass tends to be longer, slower and thicker while the north tends to be shorter and faster, particularly when the fields tend to be watered pre-game leading to the ball sliding around the surface far quicker.  Interesting note: the South African fields have been designed to play more like the northern hemisphere.

The fashion crime of the World Cup day goes to France, where they were all wearing smedium shirts that looked more fit for the Tour de France than Les Bleus.

That sound you hear at World Cup stadia is the sounds of the "vuvuzela", a plastic horn that you blow and the effect you get is the sound of an IndyCar or F1 race.  GBVH offers up this site where you can blow your own.  Yours truly, in addition to using it as a funnel, once worked one in an Oktoberfest hall with a few friends that resulted in them being banned from Oktoberfest altogether.  Yep, we've got game.

A U.S. court ruled that urine samples that show Barry Bonds used steroids cannot be presented at his perjury trial where he said he didn't use steroids.  Make sense of that, if you can.

Enjoy the games.  Back tomorrow for a brief RM.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It has begun!!

In case you weren't aware, the World Cup starts today and this guy is freaking jacked for it.  That strange grinding sound you hear is the internet's bandwidth diving from everyone tuning into the South Africa/Mexico tilt at the office.

Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who beat Roy Halladay and the limp hitting Philadelphia Phillies last night with a 2-0 shutout, has six straight starts of 6+ innings pitched with one run or less given up, the first to do that since Chris Carpenter did it in 2005.  It was also the 5th game this year that he allowed no more than three hits while pitching 6+, something nobody else has done this season.

Game six of the Stanley Cup Final was watched by 8 million households in the U.S., the highest figure since 1974.  Modest by any measure, but the NHL has to feel pretty good about the year it has had.  Having two traditional markets in the final, and a rub from the Olympics, had to have helped some.

Here's who a variety of experts have to advance and win in the World Cup.  Me, I've got Spain winning it all.  I know, pretty thick branch and all, but when they're on and healthy, they're a load for anybody.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlesberger is playing the "young and immature" card in apologizing.  Right, because I'm sure he's aged and gained so much wisdom in mere months since he was accused of raping an underage girl in a bar bathroom.

A great soccer blog I've discovered in the last few days - - that developed an awesome points system that took into account diving, bad fouls, waving invisible cards and stealing yards on throw-ins, among other things, to determine the dirtiest eleven soccer players at the World Cup

A trio of picks for tomorrow's World Cup action are coming later today, a little hesitant to check the old gambling lines at the office.

Come to find out that the Lucha Libre set don't take kindly to fans trying to rip their masks off.  The slo-mo is amazing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Hawks win!

The Chicago Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup last night with a 4-3 overtime win that was eerily similar to Canada's gold medal win in February. A late goal from the opposition ties it up, and the winning goal comes early in overtime on a nice individual play - this from Patrick Kane - from the goalies right shooting five hole, just like Sidney Crosby did in Vancouver. Kane will never have to pay for a cab in his home town of Buffalo again.  Finally, a sincere "STFU" to Don Cherry for his continued raving about how many Canadians were in the final four.  We get it, you like Canada.  It stuns me that more people don't cringe at his broken record act.  Imagine if you tuned into the World Series or Super Bowl to hear "90% of the players here are American!"  You'd puke in disgust and bitch and moan, but that old curmudgeon does it and we get to pay for the privelege.  Can't wait til Father Time takes care of Grapes, because the CBC sure doesn't seem to have the stones to not cater to the lowest common denominator.

In the 2-3-2 format, the last ten years the winner of game three has won the NBA title.

The NHL is in the process of renaming some of its trophies.  If they were ever to rename the Stanley Cup, wouldn't "Scottie Bowman's Cup" be a slam dunk?  He's getting his name on it again after his run as a consultant with the Hawks, in addition to multiple Cups in Montreal, Pittsburgh and Detroit. The guy is as money as anybody in sports history.

A mere 100 hot female soccer fans.  Enjoy.  This is fantastic stuff.

The Seattle Mariners think the New York Yankees will come knocking soon to trade for starting pitcher Cliff Lee, and are scouring the Yankees farm system to get their legwork done ahead of time.  For their part, the Yankees insist they're not interested in Lee at the moment. Of course, they once insisted they weren't in on Mark Teixera and we know how that ended.

Well that didn't take long.  A trio of journalists were robbed in South Africa where they're covering the World Cup, in their hotel.  Two slept through it.

John Doyle at the Globe and Mail looks at diving in soccer and calls it part of the game.  My take is this: (1) yes, it is a part of the game.  A terrible part.  Let's be clear: not all players and teams engage in it, and not even close to most players.  For example: find the U.S. do it once this World Cup and I've got a beer for you.  No joke.  Lionel Messi - best player on the globe today - won't go down unless he's killed.  Wayne Rooney is largely the same way with a couple incidents I'd rather not discuss for my fav player who plays the game right 99% of the time (2) Don't necessarily watch a replay and see a guy go down and assume it was a dive.  Remember these guys are flying out there and a shoulder can knock you off balance and on your rear easy. Cristiano Ronaldo is a noted diver, but he also takes more of a pounding than virtually anyone as there isn't a way to slow him down otherwise and he doesn't often look to pass once he gets in top gear, so he's not always diving.  I won't reference his bitching to the refs, that's another topic.  (3) don't pretend it doesn't exist in hockey and basketball.  It does, and as GBVH pointed out, in the NBA it is often called "defending".  (4) I hate it, it is embarrassing, and have long maintained that if you were to dish out cards with post-game reviews by video, you'd see it disappear in a hurry when teams started losing guys to suspension and coaches jobs became threatened when stars started missing games and games were lost.  (5) Fortunately, it is also a rare, almost non-existant occurance in the MLS.

Two games on the go tomorrow and here's how we're going to do it.  We're going to play every game on the money line available to either wager or win a hundred dollars.  So if a dog, we're wagering a theoretical $100, if a fav, we're betting to win the hundred.  I'm taking the draw in the South Africa-Mexico game at +231.  In the afternoon battle, I'm betting France at +120 over Uruguay.  All lines at Pinnacle where you can sign up, or just check lines, by clicking the link above today's entry.  If you're wondering why I'm doing them a day ahead, it is more to get the 7:30am kickoffs out of the way that start Saturday morning.  Post your picks in the discussion portion if you wanna go head to head.

No, it won't be all soccer here for the next month, but there will be a lot of it.  If you're not a fan, stick around, you might learn something.

Why Spain is my pick to win the World Cup...check them take Poland apart a couple days ago in a 6-0 beatdown.

Dan Patrick brings Jeremy Roenick to tears, leaving Roenick in the same spot Patrick leaves most.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Boston Celtics opened a house of fire against the LA Lakers last night, with a rocking Gahhhhden, but it wasn't to last, as the Lakers took game three with a 91-84 decision.  Wonder if Paul Pierce still thinks it isn't going back to L.A.?  Funny stuff in the stands, as there were 5,000 Khloe Kardashian masks - aka Mrs. Lamar Odom - handed out pre-game, and the fans were working a "Ug-lee sis-ter" chant as he obviously did get the less attractive Kardashian option.

Stephen Strasburg made his Washington Natinals debut last night, and it was a strong one with a win, 14 K's and no walks over seven innings.'s Buster Olney points out that a good major league pitcher will get about 11 missed swings of every 100. Strasburg had a stunning 18 missed swings among 94 pitches.  Now, before we get too crazy here, let's remember that he pitched against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team not even good enough to be called bad.  Let's see what he does a month in when teams have a bit of a book on him and he's facing a team that's at least a threat.  Strasburg's next start is Sunday against the equally woeful Cleveland Indians.  Enjoy Strasburg while you can, word is his agent Scott Boras is being militant he's only to work 95 innings in the bigs this year, which leaves him with 88 left.

How much is estimated to be gambled on the World Cup?  A mere $1.5 billion, says Chad Millman at (Insider required). 

The Sporting News is predicting that the New York Jets will win the Super Bowl this year in Dallas, over Dallas.

Crazy World Cup stat: 11 of the last 13 World Cup's have had one or both of Brazil and Germany in the final.

I'm not going to explain to you why this is funny, but if you don't know, know that it is.  Portugal's Nani hurt himself and is said to be out of the World Cup thanks to a busted collarbone suffered while trying an overhead kick.

The Vancouver Whitecaps new logo is out in time for their MLS launch next year.  It is very much simple, which I tend to favor, but also a bit of a nod to those Canucks unis of yesteryear, no?  Some snow and water colours, and mountains, fittingly, but the rip job from Volkswagen seems a bit odd.

The rumor mill has Sacramento as Hedo Turkoglu's preferred destination if the Toronto Raptors can (miraculously) swing a deal to move his five-year, $53 million deal.  Sounds like it would be at least Andres Nocioni coming to the 416.

Manny Pacquiao has agreed to the 14-day blood test ahead of a proposed fight with Floyd Mayweather.  It'll be interesting to see what Floyd comes up with now, or whether he finally drops the issue, and figures making $40 million is worth doing if you might lose your perfect record.

David Geffen - entertainment mogul - wants to buy the LA Clippers and bring LeBron James in to make the franchise.  Not only that, he's said his ownership would in fact deliver LeBron.  Personally, I'd love to see it happen, but can't see 'bron going to a second class franchise in a city that Kobe Bryant owns already.

I'm figuring if I attempted to squat 1000+ pounds, whatever blew out of me wouldn't be spewing out of my mouth, but not this guy...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

That's the very fine Rosie Jones holding the World Cup.  Not a bad way to start your day.  England may not win the Cup, but the Cup got nice and close to a nice lady!  More Rosie here.

Not sure how the NBA and NHL couldn't figure a way to stay out of each other's way, but they're head to head again tonight.  Surprisingly, Sunday's head-to-head saw the NHL put up surprisingly strong TV numbers in the U.S.

Derek Jeter and Jay-Z say they're not recruiting LeBron James to come to New York.  Thanks for that update, gents.

The Sports Pickle says if your fav team is one of these, it says much about you.

The Glazer family, who own both Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are a mere $1.6 billion in debt.  They have the biggest soccer club in the world and a team in the can't-lose-money NFL and somehow they're still going to screw it up.

Have you heard about the "icing" phenomena?  Simply put, don't do it.  It is the epitome of douchebaggery.

Where but Philadelphia would a camera pick up a kid, surely no more than 4-years old, drinking beer?

Starting Thursday, going to be picking every World Cup game for your entertainment and mine.  Feel free to post your picks in the comments, and track your own.  At stake: bragging rights.

Woody Harrelson scores a big penalty kick in a charity game, marking the first time the Rest of the World beat England in some kind of charity game.  Pretty funny seeing him and Mike Myers celebrate.

These Ray Bans never need cleaning...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thanks for nothing,

Apologies for the delay, Blogger was down for most of the day.

Can you recall a Stanley Cup Final where there were two more inept goalies than this one?  Don't get me wrong, it is making for far more exciting stuff seeing some goals scored than when you're watching a dull game where five guys collapse before Hal…err…the goalie, but these guys don't look like champions.  The Chicago Black Hawks moved to within a game of winning the Cup thanks to a 7-4 win.  Not a good night for Chris Pronger.  He was -4 and in the box for another goal in the first five.

The Boston Celtics evened their NBA Final at a game apiece, beating the LA Lakers wire to wire last night in L.A.  Celtic Paul Pierce was caught on video saying the series will not be coming back to L.A.  See video at the bottom of today's entry.

We talked last week of Alex Rodriguez ridiculous numbers when a team walks Mark Teixera intentionally to get to him, so what did Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston do yesterday with one out?  He walked Tex.  Now, A-Rod didn't come through this time, but nor did he ground into a double play like Cito was hoping he might, so then that left the Jays to face Robinson Cano, who is hitting as well as anybody in the world this season, and doubled home a pair.  We'll leave it to's Jon Heyman to assess the move by Gaston via Twitter:  "Cito's call to int. walk Texeira w/ 1 out and pitch to ARod, Cano is single dumbest move I've seen this season. #getaclue".  Careful Heyman, lest Cito and the Jays see you suspended from your job for asking legit questions in much the same way that Fan590's Mike Wilner was for questioning Cito earlier in the week.   The Jays took two of three from the Yankees, though the last two could have gone either way.

Word is Philadelphia Phillie Ryan Howard is dating Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks. Nice work, RH.

Tweets the great site Mental Floss: Poet Heinrich Heine left his wife his fortune with one catch: she had to remarry. “Then there will be at least one man to regret my death.”

Gonna go out on a limb and suggest that the new Toronto Blue Jays ads, at left, featuring bird characters in suits are very much lifted from Them Crooked Vultures, at right.  Best move the Jays have made in decades!  To take it a step further, even the SportsNet broadcasts go to commercial playing TCV.

Gotta love Alberta allowing bars to serve booze at 8am for the World Cup.

The MLB draft starts tonight and ends sometime in the next year or so.  Only slight exaggeration there.  Ought to be an interesting few days for the Toronto Blue Jays, with four picks in the first 41.

Quick hits: Toronto FC played a scoreless draw with Kansas City that was as dull a game as you'll ever see.  Expected more from TFC ahead of a three week break for the World Cup…speaking of the World Cup, seems a lot of big name stars are going down ahead of the big tourney: Arjen Robben of Holland is the latest to join the list of the out or questionable with a bad hamstring.  Holland has looked damn impressive in the run up to the tourney…strange as it may seem, but Ken Griffey Jr. didn't hit over 100 RBI in his last decade in the Majors...

Paul Pierce talks smack... had some technical difficulties all day, so your RM is written, but won't be up until 7pm (at latest).
Blogger is currently unavailable online, so RM is delayed for the moment.