Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 NFL Survivor Pool: Week 9

Survival through Week 8, on to Week 9.

So far, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, San Francisco, Green Bay and New Orleans are off of our board.  Each has won. But things get infinitely more difficult from here.

We have now used most of the good teams in the league. So our options are very limited now.

Tampa Bay (+16.5) @ Seattle - No brainer, if you've got the Seahawks left. Chances are you, like us, do not.

Minnesota (+10.5) @ Dallas - Full disclosure here. We are Cowboys fans and have been since birth. We don't like picking games involving Dallas. Either for or against. We have seen the Cowboys win too many games they should have lost and lose too many games they should have won. We rely on Vegas lines when making our survivor picks. They get paid to make lines and have no emotional investment. They have placed Dallas as double digit home favorites. Those teams win over 80% of the time.

Chicago (+10.5) @ Green Bay - Another double digit home favorite. This is a divisional game, which would give us reason for trepidation most of the time. But Jay Cutler is out for the Bears. This makes it an easy pick for the Packers.

Atlanta (+7.5) @ Carolina - This one, we are not too sure about. Atlanta has too much talent (even with the injuries) and we are just not sure about the Panthers yet.

The Pick
We don't have Seattle or Green Bay available, so it's between Dallas and Carolina. We are going with Vegas here and taking the 10.5 home favorite Cowboys.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Be Like.........Sammy

If you grew up with the "Be Like Mike" ad campaigns as we did, you can relate. If you are lost on that reference, here's the Cliff's Notes version:

"Be Like Mike" was in reference to being like Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player. Ever. That is not up for debate here.

But Jordan never seemed to be happy. Always searching for something more.

In the Cheap Seats, we propose "Be Like Sammy".

Sammy? Sammy who?

Why, Sammy Hagar, of course.


The dude has been rocking out for 40 years. And rocking out his way.

Listen to Sammy's stuff from Montrose, through his solo stuff, with HSAS, the Van Halen years, with the Cabos and Chickenfoot. He's put the Hagar stamp on everything along the way.

The most glaring example of that is with Van Halen. The consistency of Van Halen has been Eddie's guitar and Alex's drumming. That is unmistakable. But when Hagar was in the band, they sounded like Hagar.

And when Hagar was in the band, that was when the band was the most fun. Sammy brings the fun.

We just saw Sammy's Birthday Bash on AXStv. 66th birthday. And, in a word, it was fun.

So, yeah, we want to be like Sammy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 NFL Survivor Pool: Week 8

So far we have survived 7 weeks of NFL football. If you are still with us, you should be left with well under half of your initial entries in your pool.

So far, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis, San Francisco and Green Bay are off of our board. That leaves us with some good options left this week, but we will also comment on those that are not available to us.

San Francisco (-16.5) vs. Jacksonville - Technically this a road game for the 49ers. But in reality, it's in London, England. It has been established that the Jaguars are not good. San Fran is not available to us, but if you haven't used them yet, this is the safest pick of the week.

Washington (+13.5) @ Denver - Alas, Denver is no longer available to us. Double digit favorites at home win over 80% of the time. This game looks like an above 80% probability of the home team winning. If you have the Broncos available, this one is safe as well.

Buffalo (+12.5) @ New Orleans - Now, this is a game that we're interested in. Why? Because we have the Saints available to us. This one looks like a lock as well.

Seattle (-10.5) @ St. Louis - This is the fourth game with a double digit favorite. The Rams are without starting QB Sam Bradford. The Seahawks are not quite the same team on the road as they are at home. But this is the Rams we're talking about. Another safe pick if you've got it.

Green Bay (-9.5) @ Minnesota - This is a division game. The favorite is on the road. Two things we like to stay away from if possible. But if you saw the mess that the Vikings offense has become on Monday night.......Mercy. Who knows who is going to start at QB for Minnesota now with the Josh Freeman concussion situation. But does it really matter? The Pack is another safe pick.

The Pick
For us, it's easy. New Orleans. Of the five games profiled, the Saints are the only team we have available to us. If any of these five teams are available to you, we think they are all safe.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

College Football Targeting

This whole targeting thing in college football is all out of whack. Not that we think it's a bad thing to penalize targeting. It's just that whole implementation is way off.

Just to refresh your memories, an official can throw a penalty flag for a targeting foul and marks off 15 yards and the player is tossed from the game. But then, the replay booth can reverse the game expulsion. But the 15 yard mark off still stands.That's just stupid.

We propose a different scenario:

Throw the flag. Make the call for targeting. Mark off the 15 yards. That's it. For now, at least.

If we want to keep a possible suspension associated with targeting, let the replay determine that. After the fact.

Have all targeting fouls be reviewed. By someone. Set it up. If the video review shows it to be actual targeting, then suspend the perpetrator for the next game.

The way it is set up now is just backwards.

2013 NFL Survivor Pool: Week 7

So far, we have used  Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Denver, St. Louis and San Francisco. If you are still with us, you are still in.

On to Week 7.

Cleveland (+10.5) @ Green Bay - The only double digit spread of the week. We don't see where the Pack loses this game. The best bet of the week.

Buffalo (+8.5) @ Miami - The Dolphins hold little future value at this point. This could be the best bet to pick Miami. Our only trepidation on this game is that it is a division game.

San Diego (-7.5) @ Jacksonville - OK, so picking against the Jags has been a good ploy all season. Probably is here as well. However, Jacksonville showed signs of life against Denver last week and the Chargers are making a west-to-east cross country trip. We will pass.

Houston (+6.5) @ Kansas City - We are surprised the spread on this one is not more. The Texans have completely fallen apart and are now without Matt Schaub (though that may not be a bad thing). But their backup came in and promptly threw a pick six. All that being said, this game scares us just a bit.

The Pick
We are very tempted to go with Miami or Kansas City. However, we are going with the safer pick in Green Bay.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

2013 NFL Survivor Pool: Week 6

On to Week 6 of NFL Survivor and we are still going strong. Last week saw the first big hit of the season with the Jets win against the Falcons taking out between 30 and 40 percent of most pools.

Thus far, we have Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, Denver and St. Louis off of our board.

This week's slam dunk, lead pipe lock is Denver over Jacksonville. We don't have that option. Next best? Seattle over Tennessee. Oops. That one is gone as well. But there are still plenty of options available. Let's take a look.

Jacksonville (+26.5) @ Denver - Yes, you read that right. 26.5 point spread. We really don't see any way that the Broncos lose this game. If Denver is still available to you, take the Broncos and enjoy your weekend. No worries here.

Tennessee (+13.5) @ Seattle - This one might have been a little closer if the Titans had Jake Locker available. Traveling to Seattle, where the Seahawks are a much better team than on the road, Tennessee should provide very little resistance.

Arizona (+11.5) @ San Francisco - This is a division game, which we never like. We also remember what the Cardinals did to us on the road in New England last year. That being said, this looks like a good pick. Double digit home favorites win over 80% of the time.

Oakland (+8.5) @ Kansas City - Another division game. And these teams hate each other. The Chiefs should win this, but we think there are better options.

St. Louis (+7.5) @ Houston - Matt Schaub is a mess for the Texans. The Rams are just not very good. Unless Schaub throws more TD's to Ram DB's than he throws to his own WR's, Houston should win easily. But who's to say he will?

NY Giants (+7.5) @ Chicago - If this game were not being played Thursday, we would really like to take the Bears. But the Giants will not go winless and a short week is the perfect time for something crazy to happen. Not touching this one.

The Pick
If we had Denver or Seattle available, that would be the pick. We don't. The pick here is San Francisco.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tony Romo: Entertain Us

Luckily, we don't follow many Dallas Cowboy fans or writers on twitter. We can watch the games and form our own opinions without having to deal with the inevitable twittersplosion that occurs every week. We get enough of that with Rangers fans.

If you were lucky enough to watch the Dallas/Denver game, it was an epic regular season game. Just a joy to view. 51-48. Peyton Manning and Tony Romo trading blows. Excellent QB play from both.

What's that? Romo played well? He threw the interception that single-handedly lost the game? He's a bum?Cowboys will never win with him at QB?

Jean-Jaques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News claims Romo is the most polarizing figure ever to wear a Cowboy uniform. There are either Romo apologists for whom Romo can do no wrong and it is always the fault of someone else. Or the Romo haters who claim everything wrong with the Cowboys is due to Romo.

We fall in neither of these camps. But, as always, we do have a take.

Tony Romo and Ron Washington have a lot in common. If they were not so good at what they do, their mistakes would not be so magnified.

We ask the same as we did with Wash, who is available that you would rather have at QB for the Dallas Cowboys than Romo? Available being the key word.

Peyton, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Luck, RGIII? None available. And won't be. Josh Freeman anyone? How about Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Matt Flynn? If not available right now, will be at the end of the season. Any takers on those QB's? Didn't think so. Brandon Weeden? Kevin Kolb? Matt Cassell? Matt Leinart? Vince Young? Shall we continue?

As Cowboys fans, Tony Romo is frustrating. But not nearly as frustrating as the GM. And you all know who we're talking about. We look at sports as entertainment. From an entertainment standpoint, Romo brings it in spades. Watching him play is a joy, as long as you don't let a football game ruin your week.

We just want to be entertained. Sunday, we were entertained.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2013 NFL Survivor Pool: Week 5

If you've made it this far in your survivor pool, congratulations. But it only gets tougher from here.

We are still in and have used the Colts, Ravens, Seahawks and Broncos in the first four weeks. We will still explore games that those teams are in, but will concentrate on who we have left.

This week scares us, we're not afraid to admit. But it does feature some solid games to pick from.

Jacksonville (+11.5) @ St. Louis - Good news, bad news here. Good news: double digit home favorites win over 80% of the time. Bad news: the Rams are not a good football team. Good news: the Jaguars are worse.

NY Jets (+8.5) @ Atlanta - The Falcons may be the best 1-3 team in the league, for whatever that's worth. The Jets, at 2-2, are lucky to be there. Atlanta probably doesn't lose two in a row at home, although the Jets defense is for real. The offense on the other hand?

Denver (-7.5) @ Dallas - Based on Philip Rivers and the Chargers shredding the Cowboy defense for over 400 passing yards and that Peyton Manning is on pace to throw for over 347,000 yards and 168 touchdowns (stats may be off a bit), this should not be as close as the 7.5 point spread. Denver is off our board, but the Broncos would be a solid pick if you have them available.

Detroit (+6.5) @ Green Bay - We like to stay away from division games when we can. While we think Green Bay is a solid pick, we like other options better. And the Pack has much better value in future games.

Houston (+6.5) @ San Francisco - Just stay away from this game. Both teams are way too unpredictable.

The Pick
As much as St. Louis makes us nervous, Jacksonville is just too awful. Plus, the Rams have absolutely no value down the road.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rangers 2013 Season and Game 163

The 2013 season for our Texas Rangers had ended in disappointment. Again. But that's not to say it wasn't a great ride.

The Rangers came up against an ace in Game 163. And that ace, David Price of the Rays, delivered.

Was there another September collapse? Yep. Just like 2012? Not so much. The 2013 Rangers had to win their last seven games to even force a Game 163. The 2012 Rangers just took a big dump in the middle of the field and wallowed in it the last week of the season and the Wild Card game. 2013 just felt different.

The Rangers overcame quite a bit to end up where they did. The entire projected starting pitching staff was on the DL for 7 1/2 months. Or at least that's what it felt like at times. David Murphy and Mitch Moreland were terrible for long stretches, if not entirely. Lance Berkman anyone? Elvis spent the first half of the season in a slumber. And then there's the Nelson Cruz thing.

This team, in reality, had no business being where they were on the Monday after the final day of the season. Which brings us to the hot-button topic as of late. Ron Washington.

Is he a great in-game manager? Nope. Does he make decisions that leave everyone scratching their collective heads? Sure. Would his every move be so highly scrutinized if his teams weren't successful? No. Would his teams be as successful if he were not the manager for 162 games? We think not.

We are definitely in the pro-Wash camp. And we are not apologetic about that.

We think Fox Sports Southwest's Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) had the winning tweet Monday night: I haven't covered a meaningless baseball game in four seasons. That says a lot about the #Rangers organization.

Well said, Emily, well said.