Monthly Archives: December 2015

Bet It All On MSU Tonight

For an explanation, see the post below.

Here’s To 2016!

2015 was a bummer for too many reasons to mention, so I am glad to turn the page to 2016. Being an optimist by nature, I predict a much better year. I am also going to make some sports predictions- some serious, some less so.

Tonight (Close enough to 2016 for me)

Alabama and Oklahoma advance to the title game. So-so TV ratings and the fact that the MSU-Alabama game ends after the ball drops, lead to college football changing the date of the semifinals to New Year’s Day permanently.

January

I’ll take Oklahoma to win it all. That’s right, the team that lost to Texas wins the National Championship.

The Colts don’t make the playoffs, the Jets do, and we have a Super Bowl of Arizona and New England.

Yankees sign Justin Upton and trade Brett Gardner.

February

Arizona wins the Super Bowl because Bill Belichick elects to kick every time he touches the ball. When questioned after the game, Bill tells the press they don’t understand defense

March

There are a few upsets in the NCAA Tournament.

April

North Carolina cuts down the nets and wins its 7th NCAA Championship. Kennedy Meeks dominates throughout the Final Four.

Jordan Spieth wins the Masters.

The Knicks are the 8th seed in the NBA Playoffs and actually win a game in Round 1 before bowing out.

May

Rangers go down in flames to Washington in the second round of the NHL Playoffs and the rebuild begins.

June

A horse wins the triple crown for the 2nd-straight year.

Jordan Spieth wins the U.S. Open.

The Capitals win the Stanley Cup.

Golden State goes back-to-back.

July

MLB holds an All-Star Game and nobody seems to notice.

Jordan Spieth wins the British Open.

August

Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship for his 15th, and last, major.

Mark Teixeira is ruled out for the rest of the year.

September

The NFL season starts with massive rule changes to prevent head injuries. Among them, no more extra points as touchdowns are automatically seven points unless a team goes for two.

The U.S. wins the Ryder Cup.

Serena wins the US Open and retires on the court.

October

The Cubs win the World Series. The World ends.

November (If there is a November)

 

Jerry Jones fires himself as GM after the Cowboys stumble to a 2-8 start.

The Giants, under new coach Jon Gruden, end November with a winning record for the first time in years.

December

The Jets wrap up the top seed in the AFC. The Giants are winners of the NFC East.

A blogger looks back at his failed predictions for 2016 and vows to do better in 2017.

 

Happy New Year to all!

 

 

 

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance!

I think the Colts might have the greatest playoff clinching formula I have ever seen.

Start with the fact that they needed Denver to win last night. (Check)

Then, like most teams in their position,  they need to win next week.

They also need the team ahead of them to lose (Houston)

But here is where it gets nuts. They need to tie the FIFTH tiebreaker with Houston and pass them on the SIXTH tiebreaker. (Strength of victory and Strength of schedule) That means they need seven, yes SEVEN, other things to happen beyond the above.

Those are wins by the following teams- Ravens, Bills, Falcons, Broncos, Dolphins, Steelers, and Raiders. ESPN put the odds at 3,326-to-1.

But at least I know what will keep my attention in Week 17.

A Total Mess

The Giants lost another heartbreaker Sunday, but that was hardly the story after the game. The story was OBJ and his complete loss of control.

There have been a lot of stories about what happened that may have precipitated all of this including a really ugly one, and the NFL has responded by suspending OBJ for next Sunday’s game. To me there are clearly four parties that deserve the blame for something that never should have escalated to this level.

1- OBJ. I don’t care what the Panthers did or didn’t do, it’s up to OBJ to play under control and he didn’t. Not only did that, but his shot on Norman in the second half was simply revolting. He never should have completed the game, which brings me to #2 on my list…

2- The refs. I really don’t understand what they were waiting for because OBJ should have been ejected and Norman probably should have followed him. They absolutely lost control of this game and the NFL should punish them as well.

3- Tom Coughlin. I lost a lot of respect for Coughlin during this game. OBJ was clearly out of control and when the refs wouldn’t impose order it fell to Coughlin. He chose to ignore flagrant foul by his own player and I still can’t believe he did.

4- The Panthers. They don’t escape this. Norman wasn’t much better than OBJ and if the stories about homophobic slurs directed at OBJ before the game are true, they should be punished severely.

Hideous, revolting, pick your adjective. Let’s hope we never see it again.

Playoffs?

Three teams are tied atop the NFC East at 5-7 with Dallas a game behind them at 4-8. This is hideous. Let’s break it all down.

Dallas has three division wins, that’s an advantage. New York, Philadelphia and Washington have two, but Philly and Washington have two more divisional games, while NY has one. If either Philly or Washington can get to four, they probably win the division.

However, consider this situation. Washington beats Dallas, but loses to Philadelphia while New York beats Philly. That leaves you with every team at 3-3 in the division and assuming they all have the same record, you then have a tiebreaker nightmare.

So could we have all four teams at say 7-9? Here are the schedules.

New York- @Miami, Carolina, @Minnesota, Philadelphia. The Giants are currently favored in 2 of those games.

Philadelphia- Buffalo, Arizona, Washington, @New York. The Eagles are only favored in their game against Washington right now.

Dallas- @Green Bay, Jets, @Buffalo, Washington. Dallas is only in their game against Washington right now.

Washington- @Chicago, Buffalo, @Philadelphia, @Dallas- Washington is only favored in their game against Buffalo right now.

 

None of the schedules are very easy and it is interesting that Buffalo is on three of them. This will be a fascinating final four weeks in the NFC “L”east.

How Much More Can We Take?

Today’s Giants game looked a lot like most of the other Giants games this season. The team built a lead, took it to the fourth quarter, and lost because of bad execution and bad coaching.

Ironically, today’s bad coaching decision would have helped them in Week 1. That’s when they didn’t go for it on fourth-and-goal in Dallas and settled for a field goal. Today, they should have settled for the field goal and turned a 10-point lead into a 13-point one. They didn’t, the defense collapsed again, the offense stopped working, and the rest is history.

Let’s put aside the idea that they can win the NFC East. They certainly could, but that’s irrelevant right now. The final four games of the regular season should be a referendum on Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese. I don’t think Resse did anywhere near enough putting this team together, especially on defense, but Coughlin is making things worse with bad coaching decisions. Let’s see if the players care enough about the coach and GM to put out 60 minutes of effort over the remaining four games. If they do that, win or lose, I say you keep the coach and GM in place. And if they don’t, January 4th will be a morning to clean house.

Welcome To Rivalry Week

This week for the first time since 1988 we will see three intracity rivalries at once. The Jets will face the Giants, the Knicks will face the Nets, and the Rangers will face the Islanders. And as a special bonus, the Rangers make their first ever trip to Brooklyn tonight.

It will be very interesting to see how things go at Barclays tonight. Through 14 home games, the Islanders are only averaging 78.4% of their tickets sold. That’s 27th in the league and about what they did in Long Island before they announced they were moving to Brooklyn. (For comparison sake, the Nets are averaging only 79% this season, but they averaged 94.9% in their first season in Brooklyn.)

What’s the reason for the difference between the reception for the Islanders and the reception for the Nets? I have two theories.

1- Basketball is a much more popular sport than hockey. Both the Nets and Islanders came into a market with established teams, but the Nets had a better chance of pulling in the casual fan because there were more of them.

2- The Barclays Center  was not built to hold hockey, so it is not a symmetrical arena and one side of it offers obstructed seating in a lot of places. There are seats where you can’t see the goal, or you are facing away from the goal.

Perhaps it is a combination of both, and perhaps we need to wait until the season is over to see if attendance ticks up, but it is strange that the Islanders are not packing the building. That’s what makes tonight such an interesting game, how will the crowd split? Tickets are averaging over $200 to sit in the lower level, so maybe we won’t be able to draw any sold conclusions, but let’s listen to the crowd and see which team they are pulling for.