Monday, September 25, 2006

Euro Club Roundup #8

This week in the Roundup will be short and sweet—i.e. no links. Last week started off well with three of the four teams I’m supporting in the top spots in their respective leagues. Only Liverpool had been underperforming. Although, the last two matches have been wins for the Reds and the team looks like it is rounding into form and moving up in the table.

Hertha Berlin is the shocker of the group holding the top spot in the Bundesliga earlier this week. But, a draw on Sunday put them in third. Hertha has a UEFA Cup match this week and needs a win to advance after a draw in the first leg. Roma was in first place in Serie A but lost to Inter and is back in second. Valencia is also in a three-way tie for the lead after a tough away draw against Barca. This week Valencia and Roma are matched against each other in Champions League play and Liverpool will be facing Turkish squad Galatasaray.s

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Grading SI Fantasy Predictions for Week 2

This week there were no Fantasy Football predictions in the print version of SI but there were some on the website. The results weren’t very good. Overall 28 out of 56 earned a plus mark for being pretty much on. This was a little worse than last week’s grades of 22 out of 42. The Sit ‘Em grades were great and Start ‘Em were ok but Peter King and Joe Levit have no business making FF predictions based on this week’s grades.

Again, I don’t play Fantasy Football so my understanding of the scoring systems are very rudimentary and any input/disagreement/etc. from the readers is appreciated.

Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em 22/34. Better than last week but the Start ‘Em grades are not good and the Sleeper and Bust picks were both off.

Start ‘Em 8/16. Not as good as the Sit ‘Em predictions.
(+) Donovan McNabb, PHI – 27/45, 350 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT: a nice resurgence for McNabb in the first two weeks.
(+) Daunte Culpepper, MIA - 23/32, 250 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT: the numbers aren’t bad but in the game he was not great.
(-) Steve McNair, BAL – 16/33 143 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT: he ran a good game but low fantasy numbers.
(+) Drew Brees, NO – 26/41, 353 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT: any decent quarterback will have good numbers against the GB defense.
(+) Julius Jones, DAL – 20 car, 94 yds, 0 TD
(-) Willie Parker, PIT – 11 car, 20 yds, 0 TD
(-) Cadillac Williams, TB – 15 carries, 37 yds, 0 TDs
(-) Ronnie Brown, MIA – 15 car, 70 yds, 0 TD
(-) Vernon Davis, SF – 0 rec, 0 yds
(-) Chris Baker, NYJ – 1 rec, 5 yds
(-) Rod Smith, DEN – 2 rec, 16 yds, 0 TD
(+) Darrell Jackson, SEA – 5 rec, 127 yds, 1 TD: great game, wait to see how Branch affects his numbers later.
(+) Isaac Bruce, STL – 5 rec, 77 yds: barely a plus. how did SF hold the Rams to such a low output?
(+) Joe Horn, NO – 5 rec, 88 yds
(-) Neil Rackers, AZ – 1/3 FG, 1/1 XP
(+) Bears Defense – 230 yds passing 0 TD 0 INT, 46 yds rushing 1 TD, 7 points

Sit ‘Em 14/16 right.
(+) Byron Leftwich, JAX – 26/39 260 yds, 1 INT, 0 TD: numbers weren’t bad but no TD.
(+) Trent Green, KC – DNP: boy that was a tough prediction…
(+) Jon Kitna, DET – 23/30, 230 yds, 0 TDs, 0 INTs: not bad, but not great.
(+) Chris Simms, TB – 28/53, 313 yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs
(-) Corey Dillon, NE – 20 car, 80 yds, 1 TD: Dillon is a tough call b/c Maroney will be taking some carries.
(+) Wali Lundy, HOU – 6 car, 25 yds, 0 TD: last week this guy was supposed to be a great pickup and now you sit him. Thanks for the advice last week.
(+) Chris Brown, TEN – 6 car, 9 yds, 0 TD
(+) Kevin Jones, DET – 12 car, 44 yds, 0 TDs
(+) Chris Cooley, WAS – 1 rec, 23 yds, 0 TD
(+) Heath Miller, PIT – 1 rec, 11 yds, 0 TD
(+) Randy Moss, OAK – 2 rec, 32 yds, 0 TD
(-) Joey Galloway, TB – 9 rec, 161 yds, 0 TDs: funny how Chris Simms is so bad but Galloway delivers good numbers.
(+) Marty Booker, MIA – 3 rec, 33 yds, 0 TD
(+) Roy Williams, DET – 6 rec, 71 yds: tough call but not many yards and no TD
(+) Stephen Gostkowski, NE – 1/2 FG, 3/3 XP
(+) Broncos Defense – 133 yds passing, 0 TD, 0 INT; 145 yds rushing, 0 TD, 2 FG, 6 points: Good thing Denver has a good defense right now because the offense sucks.

(-) Super Sleeper – Dominic Rhodes, IND – 14 car, 37 yds, 1 TD
(-) Beware of Bust – Warrick Dunn, TB – 21 carries, 134 yds, 0 TDs: how wrong were they?

Joe Levit – Surprise Starters 3/12…really bad.

(+) Brett Favre, GB – 31/55, 340 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
(-) Jake Plummer, DEN – 16/30, 173 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT: couldn’t be more wrong.
(-) Correll Buckhalter, PHI – 6 car, 6 yds, 0 TD
(-) Dominic Rhodes, IND - 14 car, 37 yds, 1 TD
(+) Michael Turner, SD – 13 car, 138 yds, 0 TD: good call on this one.
(+) Troy Williamson, MIN – 6 rec, 102 yds, 0 TD
(-) Lee Evans, BUF – 2 rec, 19 yds
(-) Marty Booker, MIA – 3 rec, 33 yds, 0 TD
(-) Ben Utecht, IND – 1 rec, 26 yds, 0 TD
(-) Itula Mili, SEA – 0 rec, 0 yds
(-) Jason Hanson, DET – 0/1 FG, 1/1 XP
(-) SF Defense – 185 yds passing, 1 TD; 118 yds rush; 0 INT, 1 Fumble recovery, 1 FG, 10 Points

Peter King Recommendations 3/10…way to go PK…why don’t you just focus on Brett Favre a little more?
(+) Chris Henry, CIN – 5 rec, 113 yds, 0 TDs
(-) Clinton Portis, WAS – (good upside, worth risk) DNP
(-) Brad Johnson, MIN – 19/31, 243 yds, 1 INT, 0 TD
(-) Marc Bulger, STL – 19/34 185 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
(+) Steve Smith, CAR – (don’t play him), DNP
(-) Brandon Jacobs, NYG – 5 car, 35 yds, 0 TD
(-) Tom Brady, NE – 15/29, 220 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT: not great fantasy numbers but still a good game for Brady.
(--) Terrell Owens, DAL – (overpay for him, he’ll produce) 3 rec, 19 yds, 0 TD: PK was off with this one by a long shot.
(+) SD Defense – 163 yds passing, 2 INT, 1 TD; 55 yds rushing, 0 TD, 7 points: not tough when they play Tennessee.
(-) Chris Simms, TB (play him) - 28/53, 313 yds, 0 TDs, 3 INTs: thanks for the tip PK. No, really.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Euro Club Roundup #7

This Roundup is quite late, but as I noted in another post, it has been a busy week and this has been delayed. For those of you who may not know, this is an endeavor on my part to better know European Soccer teams and leagues. I have selected a team from each of the main four leagues to support and follow and each week I do a roundup. So far I have found it quite rewarding because I have followed several leagues and learned a great deal about other teams. On the other hand, it sucks up my time quite quickly. Anyway, on to last week's goings-on.

AS Roma

Roma won 4-0 in its opening match in group play in the Champions League over Shakhtar Donesk. Roma also opened Serie A play with a 2-0 victory over Livorno.


The Berlin side struggled to a 2-2 draw against Danish side OB Odense. Hertha did squeak out a 1-0 victory over Darmstadt 98 in the German Cup match.


It was not a pretty week for the Reds. First, in the Merseyside Derby Everton thumped Liverpool 3-0 for the teams worst loss in the derby in over 40 years. Then, the team played a lifeless 0-0 draw against PSV Eindhoven in its first match of Champions League group play. Even more amazing was the Steven Gerrard didn’t start and played only 20 minutes, although he was being rested for the upcoming tie with Chelsea. That said, if Liverpool can beat Chelsea all will be well. All was not bad this week because Liverpool did receive a go-ahead for a new stadium.


Valencia won its second straight to open the La Liga season 1-0 over Atletico Madrid. Liverpool castoff Fernando Morientes scored a hat-trick in Valencia’s 4-2 victory over Olympiakos Piraeus in Champions League group play.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Grading SI Fantasy Predictions for Week 1

The start of the NFL Season marks the beginning of the Fantasy Football season. To capitalize on the FF buzz SI has started its own section, Fantasy Plus, to lure in readers by providing hints and predictions. There were many predictions, recommendations for starting and sitting, and sleepers or busts for Week 1 (W1) and these are my grades of each of those in a simple plus/minus format. There were 42 different predictions/recommendations and 22 received a plus for being accurate with one being borderline. SI's 'experts' got barely more than 50% of them correct. I would expect more.

Disclaimer: I don't play FF, so my understanding of the scoring systems are rudimentary. If I get something wrong let me know.

Eli Manning will have more yards than Peyton
(-) Peyton outpassed Eli 276 to 247.
Colt’s will beat Giants barely
(+) Colts won 26-21 in a close game.
Lions’ RB Kevin Jones will not rush for 80 yards vs. Seattle
(+) Jones only had 35 yards rushing.
Jones will not be a factor in the 4th quarter
(?) hard to tell since he had so few yards but game was still close in the 4th.
Shaun Alexander will outrush Kevin Jones by 80 yards
(-) Alexander only had 51 yards rushing.
Alexander will sit much of 4th quarter
(-) not with a close game.
Fantasy Owners will scramble to pick up Houston RB Wali Lundy after W1
(-) not after 32 yds on 11 carries.
Fantasy Owners will scramble to pick up SF WR Antonio Bryant after W1
(+) 4 receptions for 114 yards.
Bears will shut out Packers and beginning of long year for Favre
(++) hard to pick a shutout and Favre didn’t look good.
Cowboys will shut out Jacksonville and will be start of good year for Dallas defense
(-) no dice when JAX wins.
Brian Westbrook, PHI, will show no ill effects from sprained foot
(+) 61 yards receiving and 71 yards rushing.
Donovan McNabb will be PHI star
(+) 314 yds passing, 3 TDs, 1 int.
Lee Evans will have 100 yards receiving vs Patriots
(-) not with 25 yds receiving
Evans’ yards will come in garbage time
(-) no garbage time in the 19 – 17 NE win.
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, will have 100 yards receiving vs SF
(+) 133 yds receiving.
Anquan Boldin, ARI, will have 100 yards receiving vs. SF
(-) 62 yds receiving.
W1 Fantasy MVP will be Rudi Johnson, CIN, 140 yds & 3 TDs.
(-) there were better performers than 96 yds rushing and 1 TD, but still not bad.

Super Sleeper – Kurt Warner, ARI
(+) 301 yds passing, 3 TDs, 1 int
W1 Bust – Steve Smith, CAR
(+) Smith did not play.

Start ‘Em
Drew Bledsoe, DAL –
(-) 246 yds passing, 1 TD, 3 ints.
Willie Parker, PIT –
(+) 115 yds rushing, but no TDs.
Brian Westbrook, PHI –
(+) 61 yds receiving, 71 yds rushing,
Reggie Wayne, IND –
(-) 67 yds receiving, no TDs
Javon Walker, DEN –
(-) 3 for 41 yards, no TDs
Matt Stover, BAL –
(+) 2/2 FGs, 3/3 PATS
Thomas Jones, CHI –
(-) 21 rushes for 63 yds, no TDs.
Carson Palmer, CIN –
(-) 127 yds passing, no TDs
Reuben Droughns, CLE –
(-) 11 rushes for only 27 yds
Roy Williams, DET –
(-) 36 yds receiving, no TDs
Kellen Winslow, CLE –
(+) 63 yds receiving, 1 TD
PHI Defense –
(+) 10 points allowed, 208 yds passing, 70 yds rushing

Sit ‘Em
Daunte Culpepper, MIA –
(+) 262 yds passing, but no TDs and 2 ints.
Chris Simms, TB –
(+) 133 yds passing, 3 ints.
Ahman Green, GB –
(-) 110 yds rushing, no TDs
Willis McGahee, BUF –
(+) 70 yds rushing but no TDs.
Lamont Jordan, OAK --
(+) 20 yds rushing, noTDs.
Hines Ward, PIT –
(+) 53 yds receiving, no TDs
David Givens, TEN –
(+) 27 yds receiving, no TDs
Andre Johnson, HOU –
(-) 101 yds receiving, no TDs
Alex Smith, TB –
(+) 18 yds receiving, no TDs
Adam Vinatieri, IND –
(-) 4/4 FGs, 2/2 XPs
NY Giants Defense –
(+) 272 yds passing, 55 yds rushing, 26 points in loss, 1 int.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Things are going to be different around here in the near future. Well, maybe not that different just less posting. I have secured myself full-time employment so I can't spend my days surfing the net for sports stories and writing about it here. I also have a contract project that needs to be completed in about a month on top of my full-time job. I will also be the Weekend Contributor on a new sports website, And, on top of all that my outdoor soccer season starts this weekend and continues for the next 10 weeks.

So, I will be very busy in the near future, which will force me to better manage my time. I will try to post two-three times a week and I can be found on the weekends at Just bear with me while everything gets sorted out.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Deadspin HOF Induction Ceremony...How It Went

One of my favorite websites,, just turned one year old yesterday. In honor of the milestone, Will Leitch, the editor, created a hall of fame for Deadspin and allowed the readers to select the inductees. The ballot boxes have been stuffed and seven people/incidents have been elected to the inaugural HOF class. Here is how the ceremony went:

The Deadspin Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is the culmination of one year of inappropriate jokes, sports voyeurism and unbridled commenting genius on Appropriately enough, the ceremony takes place in the Berea Public Library, the scene of Inductee Carl Monday's greatest work of investigative journalism.

To start things off, Will Leitch, the President and Founding Member of the Deadspin Hall of Fame walks onto the dais to call together the audience to begin the ceremonies but Chris Berman jumps up to the podium before Will and announces the commencement of the ceremonies. Will points out to Berman that Barbaro is in the audience wearing leather pants and Berman waddles off distractedly towards the legendary horse to work his magic.

As Will begins the day’s events there is a scuffle by the library entrance with loud cries of “I’m a combat vet!!” The illustrious Mike Cooper and his father are attempting to gain entrance to the library for Coop’s day of glory. But, Carl Monday and his moustache have ambushed the pair with microphone in hand and camera in tow as Mike’s mother drops them off in the minivan. Carl has brought along the police in an attempt to get Cooper into more trouble by tattling about his frequenting of a place where children congregate. As the two try to enter the Berea Public Library Monday begins asking pointed questions like “Do you still have sex with yourself, Mike?” After which Cooper’s father grabbed the microphone from Carl Monday and chucked it across the parking lot with mini-Cooper screaming “Get the hell away from me, Carl Monday!!”

During this fiasco Southeast Jerome and Coach Janky Spanky arrive late to the ceremonies and attract Mr. Monday. In a pre-emptive strike Jerome told Carl that he was only “willing to talk X-rated shit.” Looking quite pleased, Carl Monday began his badgering of the Portis crew.

Off in the distance some more shouting breaks out as Kyle Orton has fallen off the hoochie dais in a drunken stupor. Jen P shouted “Hooray, bear! And, hooray, beer…I mean Jack!” from the commenter section. Bleeding from his elbows, Orton slowly picks himself up, dusts off his neckbeard and congratulates himself for only spilling Jack Daniels on his shirt and not on the floor.

As things started to settle down and Will began to restore order to the event another ruckus arose in the women’s bathroom. People were yelling. Cries of “hurry up!”, “get a room!” and “whores!” cascaded out of the tiny public restroom. Word that Renee Thomas and Angela Keathley were re-enacting the scene that led to their induction spread like wildfire in the crowd. Because most of the people in attendance have the maturity of a 15 year old there was an immediate exodus to the bathroom and people circled around the scene like it was a high school fight.

The bathroom was complete chaos. Angela’s eyes were rolling back into her head and she was moaning and you could see someone kneeling on the floor of the bathroom stall. Above the din of the crowd you could hear someone yelling, “I got this! I got this!” In a purple blur, Fred Smoot sprinted from the back with a large French baguette in a bag yelling for people to move out of the way. Jen P yelled, “Run!!! You stupid fucking purple dinosaur!! Run!!!”

As Smoot approached the stall, he revealed the contents of the bag—a gold, latex, double-ended dildo. He pressed his way to the front and ripped open the stall door revealing the sex act Carl Monday had been hoping for. Carl and his crew had managed to get right up to the stall but his questioning only resulted in the girls saying that they had to pee and asked him to leave them alone. Carl kept asking if they were going to drive but received no answer.

Smoot slowly approached the duo like he was stalking wild animals. Creeping up to Angela and Renee he made an offering of the dildo and the two began to accept. But, Smoot shook his head and said “I’m gonna be operating the device today ladies.” Apparently, the scene wasn’t that interesting to some because Daunte Culpepper was shooting dice in the corner. Mike Cooper had been forgotten in the hullabaloo and managed to sneak back to the scene of his infamy, the computer near the children’s section in the library. He displayed his left-handed prowess and finally felt a sense of relief that he had made it back.

As the Berea police department began to clear the scene and things died down, Chris Berman approached the Carolina cheerleaders and uttered his famous line, “You’re with me, leather?,” with a bit of uncertainty, but he was denied by the boys in blue. Will, sobbing gently in corner because the day had been ruined, let a small smile creep onto his face at the corners of his mouth as the tears on his cheeks dried. Why? Because this is the only way the Deadspin HOF induction ceremony could have gone down.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Do You Explain This?

So, I decide to check the interweb before I go to sleep and I found this wonderous story. The details are that a Detroit Lions assistant coach, Joe Cullen, has been arrested twice in the past two weeks, once for driving under the influence and another time for driving...wait for it...nude. Naked!! The guy was naked!! And, he got arrested for it!! Well, well, well, isn't he just mister friendly. I imagine that alcohol is involved in the decision to drive in the buff because if it isn't I can't think of too many legitimate explanations.

What I Want For NFL Christmas This Year

Tonight is like Christmas Eve for all the NFL fans out there. Tomorrow the first game will be played and we will all watch eagerly like kids on Christmas day. We all want to know the gifts our teams will present and whether they will be good or lumps of coal. For me, I am pretty sure I will be getting coal since my team is the San Francisco 49ers. However, there are five things I am looking forward to in the upcoming season. (These are in reverse order from 5 to 1 despite the numbering, which I can't figure out how to change.)

  1. The T.O. and Bill Parcells soap opera. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I think it can end only in rags or riches, no middle ground. Whatever happens, it should be entertaining. I will be rooting for T.O. to win in his battle against Parcells, whatever winning ends up being. I admit it, I am a T.O. apologist, his on-field talent and theatrics trumps whatever else he has done.
  2. The Cincinnati Bengals’ Legal Problems. This off-season the Bengals became the new Jailblazers. I am sure that there will be plenty more of that to come and I wonder how it will affect the team. I just hope the legal issues continue to include BUIs (Boating instead of driving) and tasers.
  3. Reggie Bush. That’s it. Just him. The Saints will stink this year but the team will be watchable solely because of this guy. He has amazing talent and can make some players on the defensive side look really foolish. I just hope he pans out. The Texans made a huge mistake in passing on this guy.
  4. Another Sexboat or Cheerleader Scandal. The Vikings Sexboat issues and the Carolina Panthers’ cheerleaders sex scandal both made following the NFL much more titillating than in the past. Plus, the jokes were so good.
  5. Chad Johnson’s Touchdown Celebrations. Chad Johnson’s (and others) endzone dramas have become persona non grata in the NFL (No Fun League). The league passed some rules to limit the celebrations even more than before but CJ promises he knows how to get around the rules and avoid a fine. Hopefully he scores a lot because it will be fun seeing a bunch of old men squirm and vent about how CJ is making a mockery of the game.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Leave It To The Russians...

This story has just too many jokes and stereotypes in it to be real. But, Russian world champion and world record holder in the women's 400-meter Yuliya Pechonkina has ruined her season by putting too much vodka on her skin. No joke.
"I just burnt my skin by having too many of these vodka-soaked compresses," Pechonkina told the All Sport news agency. "It's too bad because I missed most of the year with this injury."

Those crazy Russians. I always thought you were supposed to drink vodka. Maybe this is another way to get more vodka into your system after imbibing as much the body will allow. I'll let the Russians' do the work on this one. I wonder if the authorities test for this as a performance enhancing drug. I mean, she is the world record holder.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Euro Club Roundup #6

Roundup #6 has club play on a break for Euro 2008 qualifying and international friendlies. But, it also saw the close of the transfer season. There was lots of big signings, i.e. Tevez and Mascherano for West Ham, but not much going on for the four clubs I have selected to follow this season.

AS Roma

Roma signed Rodrigo Defendi, the Tottenham defender was part of the deal sending Mido back to the Spurs. Roma also signed Serbian striker Mirko Vucinic. Roma defender Sammy Kufour has been loaned to Serie A team Livorno for one year.


No significant news for the German side.


No significant developments at the close of transfer season but Liverpool teammates Peter “The Robot” Crouch and Steven Gerrard scored two and one goals respectively in England’s 5-0 win over Andorra.


It looks like Roberto Ayala and Valencia have made nice after a contract dispute.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This must be how Brazil felt after the World Cup

The USA basketball team won the bronze medal in the World Championships this weekend. This shouldn’t be surprising given the U.S. performances at the last Olympics and the 2002 World Championships where the team finished 3rd and 6th disrespectively. However, it is still a disappointment considering that the U.S. has, in my opinion, the most athletic and gifted basketball players in the world. Yet, we haven’t shown that on the international stage lately. At this point I care only if the US wins because anything else with the talent this team has is a failure. I imagine this is how Brazil felt after its national team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the World Cup this year.

Brazil has dominated international soccer for the past 12 years, having appeared three WC finals and winning two. The team has some of the biggest stars and best players in the world with Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Kaka, Roberto Carlos, and so on. Just like the U.S. with LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, etc. Team USA also dominated the international basketball scene until recently. Despite the presence of superstars both of these squads failed to come together as teams that worked well together and dominate the competition as they should. Ultimately, I think it is this, the fact that these athletes cannot learn a system and operate within that system to achieve victory that is the most disappointing. Oh, and the inability to guard a simple pick and roll.

And so, a third place finish, which would please many other countries, does nothing for our country or me. We feel disappointed in the failure of our team but have become accustomed to our national teams performing poorly. The baseball team failed to place in the inaugural World Baseball Championships, the U.S. soccer team sorely disappointed in this year’s World Cup and our basketball team hasn’t won the Olympics or World Championships since 2000. All of this has led us to become completely disinterested if our team doesn’t win it all, which I think is how Brazilians probably felt this year.