Nov 27, 2005 

Bengals Ready To Bounce Back


NFL - Week 12
$20 Pick Three

BENGALS (+9) over Ravens
Cincy's offensive juggernaut is a sure bet in any game. They proved it in losing to the Colts last week. This game shoudn't be close.

Patriots (+3) over CHIEFS
The Pats are still the defending Super Bowl champs and the Chiefs are hard to peg. Three points to New England on the road is a good bet.

Jaguars (-3 1/2) over CARDINALS
Jacksonville looks poised to make a run in the late season. They finally broke the 30-point barrier and should continue to throw points on the board. The Cardinals? They're the same team every year in the desert, except they can pass the ball a little.

Last Week: 1-2; Season, 20-16. Won, $40.00
(Home team in CAPS)

Fantasy Football - Week 12

Team Wonderbread (8-3-0) vs. Columbia Clowns (8-3-0)

The Cincinnati duo of Carson Palmer and Rudi Johnson return this week. An seemingly easy opponent in Baltimore should bode well for a points bonanza. After a good start, the Moss duo has become quiet. Santana may have been overachieving and Randy may be getting frustrated with a lack of receptions in Oaktown.

Another battle of first place teams this week. A win this week could vault Team Wonderbread to a spot in the playoffs.

Lineup: QB CARSON PALMER, WR Randy Moss, WR Santana Moss, WR DONTE STALLWORTH, RB RUDI JOHNSON, RB Stephen Davis, TE L.J. Smith, K Joe Nedney, DEF Jacksonville.

Nov 19, 2005 

Divide Between Good And Bad Begins to Show


NFL - Week 11
$20 Pick Three

Dolphins (+2) over BROWNS
The key for the Browns is RB Reuben Droughns and that's the problem. Browns QB Trent Dilfer was mauled by the Steelers last Sunday night and should see the same from the Fish. Miami should be able to throw on Cleveland's secondary.

Seahawks (-12) over 49ERS
The #1 offense vs. the worst (by a large margin). The 49ers' stellar defense at home is an allusion. It doesn't matter if the Niners are playing good defense because the offense's unbelievable ineptness is beginning to erode every bit of enthusiasm. Giving the 49ers 12 points is not generous.

Colts (-5) over BENGALS
Some sports books aren't even listing this game. Cincinnati is a tweener--not ready for primetime. Cincy RB Rudi Johnson is the key because the Colts lean towards limiting big plays. He hasn't shown up yet this year. This game will not be close, but not a blowout, by any means.

Last Week: 2-1; Season, 19-14. Won, $60.00
(Home team in CAPS)

Fantasy Football - Week 11

Team Wonderbread (8-2-0) vs. Funky Cold Medina's (5-5-0)

The trading deadline passed Friday night without a single trade during the entire season. This seems peculiar that not a single team sought to strengthen their squad in this tightly-packed league. Despite a six-game winning streak, Team Wonderbread is only three games above the last playoff spot.

Lineup: QB Tom Brady, WR Randy Moss, WR Santana Moss, WR Joe Jurevicius, RB Tatum Bell, RB Stephen Davis, TE L.J. Smith, K JOE NEDNEY, DEF JACKSONVILLE.

Nov 17, 2005 

Cheerleader Of The Week: Brittany

Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.

Washington Redskins cheerleader Brittany loves birthday cake and ice cream and thinks the perfect date is anywhere with her boyfriend. Let's make it a threesome!

Vote for Brittany on your right.

Ask yourself--honestly--would ya!

Nov 16, 2005 

Quakes Are As Good As Gone


The president of the Anschutz Entertainment Group and one of the most powerful men in U.S. Soccer had sobering news for San Jose Earthquakes fans in today's San Jose Mercury News.

Souding a bit perturbed from the year-long saga of finding a local buyer for the Quakes, AEG's Tim Leiweke has given notice that Major League Soccer's 30-day deadline is unlikely to unearth a local buyer and/or plans for a South Bay stadium.
'We stayed at the request of the fan club, and the guy they brought to the table had no money,' he said of how booster group Soccer Silicon Valley introduced Tony Amanpour as a potential buyer in 2004. 'We came out a lot worse because of it.'

That quote taken with the fact that "a fair amount of progress" had been made in finding a training site and stadium in Houston portends for a sad day for Bay Area soccer fans.

According to the story, the only plausible buyer would be the owner of the San Jose Sharks. For that to happen, local government in San Jose are going to have to layout a plan for a mid-size 20,000-25,000 seat stadium. The issue of the stadium is the most important issue to MLS, not the buyer.

Since Columbus built a soccer-specific stadium the longtime health of the league has been predicated on new stadiums. Three already exist in Los Angeles, Dallas and Columbus and four more are being constructed in Chicago, New York and Colorado and Salt Lake City.

Whether AEG is playing hardball or not, the loss of MLS tradition in San Jose and the intense rivalry with the L.A. Galaxy would be a major setback for the league, not to mention, the loss of the fifth largest market in the U.S.

You can be guaranteed that Bay Area soccer fans will not adopt the Galaxy and will likely return to kiddie leagues and Sunday afternoon pickup games in the park without a mention of the Earthquake-less MLS and maybe that's part of the problem.


Baseball Pumps Up Steroid Penalties


It's so funny to see our Senators grab at the huevos that are baseball's cherished ant-trust provision. Whenever Washington wants something done all they ever need to do is hang the commissioner out the window by his legs and the problem is solved.

Sen. Jim Bunning and Sen. John McCain did just that last week when they threatened to impose Olympic-style suspensions of two years on baseball players caught using performance-enhancing drugs.

Instead, what the commissioner and the players' union agreed to was basically Bud Selig's plan last April. Selig is probably going to take credit for this apparent victory, but he shouldn't. He's been as slow-footed on this issue as the union has in trying to push it under the table. Lawmakers in Washington made this happen by giving baseball a choice between a very harsh penalty and a harsh penalty.

Now, on the field, it became apparent last season that many sluggers were skinnier and suddenly couldn't hit more than 20 homers, nor could they stay healthy for a season.

Under last year's system, the first-time penalty was only ten games. Now with the specter of 50 games and then 100 games hanging over those on the fence to whether they should cheat, the homerun totals may plummet to 30-year lows.We might see a homerun champion with barely 40 homers.

It's quite possible that Roger Clemens' 1.64 ERA last year may become common in 2006. In fact, we might see someone like Minnesota's Johan Santana post an ERA under one. The last time pitching so dominated the game was 1968. To rectify the inequity between hitting and pitching, the league lowered the mound to lessen the advantage.

The riding of steroids in baseball may also give a few clubs in pitcher-friendly parks a huge advantage. Teams like Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, Houston and the Yankees just might take advantage of their already strong staffs and parlay their home-field advantage to a playoff berth.

And, of course, how can we not speculate on Barry. We've already seen how fragile he is since his return from two knee injuries and quitting the 'roids cold turkey. He may turn out to be one hell of an expensive pinch hitter by June.

Nov 14, 2005 

Collins Needs A Visit To The Mound

Dejected Kerry Collins
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.

The baseball infield that once cut through the center of the Raiders gridiron is gone. Yesterday, the Coliseum turf was again healthy and whole. Painted with the familiar silver and black. Too bad, they didn't leave the pitchers mound intact because Oakland's Kerry Collins could have used a visit from the A's pitching coach, Curt Young.

Collins' performance against Denver was much more of a wreck than his three interceptions. He bared the brunt of a strong Denver pass rush, but the loud boos raining down from the sellout crowd might have been more of a distraction.

Throughout the game, Collins was throwing the ball without any touch or heat. He consistently threw the ball high or behind his receivers.

Usually these are the symptoms of either a young quarterback or a signal-caller under an intense pass rush.

Collins isn't young, so throw that one out and Denver's pass rush was formidable but they only sacked Collins four times and failed to knock him down very often.

When a pitcher starts throwing the ball wild and high, it's usually bad foot work. Curt Young would tell one of his pitchers to lengthen his stride to bring the pitch down and make sure his front foot in pointing at his target. Alas, Curt wasn't there yesterday.

For most of this season, Collins has played well enough not to be mentioned as part of the team's troubles. After two consecutive games where his accuracy was atrocious, the loud boos at the Coliseum may start to ring in coach Norv Turner's headset.

Nov 12, 2005 

Loss Of Owens And Holmes Scuttle Title Hopes


NFL - Week 10
$20 Pick Three

Chiefs (+2) over BILLS
Call this one a pick from the gut. The Chiefs, despite a rousing victory over da Raidahs, don't seem to have it in them to take a road game in Buffalo in the fall. I like giving K.C. two points in another close game for the Chiefs.

PANTHERS (-9) over Jets
Carolina seems one of the best picks regardless of the spread. The Panthers just may beat the dreaded Sports Illustrated curse when the mag tab them as preview Super Bowl favorites. Their tenacious D should stifle the Jets iffy situation at QB.

Patriots (-3) over DOLPHINS
The Pats are reeling and the Fish may give them respite for, at least, this week. Look at it this way, if New England is upset in Miami, the view of the AFC also-rans changes greatly.

Last Week: 4-0; Season, 17-13. Won, $80.00
(Home team in CAPS)

Fantasy Football - Week 10

Team Wonderbread (7-2-0) vs. Super White Honkey's (6-3-0)

A league-high five game winning streak has vaulted Team Wonderbread to the top of the table despite the loss of Terrell Owens for the season. Seattle's Joe Jurevicius will takeover for Owens and has provided a few touchdowns during the bye weeks for Randy Moss and Owens.

The schedule gets tougher from hereon. S.W. Honkey's have been a formidable opponent; beating Team Wonderbread soundly in Week 3. The Team has caught the Honkey's at a good time, though. Four of S.W. Honkey's starters are on their bye weeks and RB Priest Holmes was lost for the season.
Lineup: QB TOM BRADY, WR Randy Moss, WR Santana Moss, WR Joe Jurevicius, RB TATUM BELL, RB Stephen Davis, TE L.J. Smith, K MATT STOVER, DEF Washington.

Nov 7, 2005 

The Mind And Body Disconnect Of T.O.


So, what's going to happen to Terrell Owens next? According to the Eagles, he will be suspended four games and then not allowed back on the team in a scenario similar to the Buccaneers banishment of Keyshawn Johnson a few years back.

In the last 20 years there is only one professional athletes on par in antics and disappointment with Owens--Mike Tyson--but even that comparison is iffy. Owens does not have the tinge of inner-city toughness and danger that Tyson possesses. There isn't a feeling that Owens would kill someone with his barehands like you might imagine Tyson could in your warped and creative minds.

But Owens is wholly similar to Tyson in this respect; you never know what he might do. In this case, it isn't an enhancement to the public's viewing pleasure, but a disappointment.
Owens is a disappointment. A complete disconnect from the romantic notion of the body and mind working in beautiful harmony.

Every teammate, pundit and sports writer agrees that Owens is the consummate big-play receiver. His work ethics is noble and legendary. His body a finely tuned machine as much due to a heavenly blessing than to consistent work habits. The question is why is he so stupid?

This week Owens went from a colorful jerk to a serious failure. The public and his team has given up on him. And what makes Owens even more an enigma is that we haven't a clue what his true motives are. Of course, on the surface, it's about money and the respect it affords.

Every athletes wants his due money in the large bag of dough that is the NFL, but nobody has ever repeatedly trashed the man who writes the checks, the man who names the starting lineup and every other person in the locker room.

Owens' insanity is about more than money. It's about a man hurting from a lot more than a helmet to the ribs.

Nov 6, 2005 

Raiders Loss Hurts Like An Arrowhead To The Heart


Larry Johnson's Marcus Allen-type leap into the endzone as time ran out was the definition of the "kick the chair in your living room" moment.

What happened?

Football doesn't have a literally narrative that baseball does, but usually the ebb and flow of the final minutes of an NFL game is predicatable. Even CBS Sports' Randy Cross mentioned the liklihood of a Raider touchdown when the score was 20-9. He was completely correct. Then, what occured in the last 29 seconds was improvisation from the typical script.

Not only did the Raiders take the lead with 1:45 left, they made the comeback on Randy Moss' first catch of the game--a fitting lead to every article written about the game. The Raiders even converted the two-point conversion which should have cemented the liklihood of a probable Chiefs rally to tie the game with a field goal.

On cue, the Chiefs rumbled down field and were in field goal range with 19 seconds and a timeout in hand. What occurred next, quite possibly, broke the emotional back of the Raiders for the 2005 season.

Why was Johnson sowide open? The Chiefs were already on the outer reaches of Lawrence Tyne's field goal range. Why was the Raider defense stretched when there was high risk for the Chiefs to try for the endzone?

K.C. has a good offense but doesn't have many effective options at wideout. How could Johnson be left open and how was he able to traverse the entire last third of the football field without a white Raider jersey in sight?

The obvious explaination is the injuries to Derrick Gibson and Charles Woodson two weeks ago finallly showed the void in the Raiders secondary. Rookie Fabian Washington and the hard-hitting Jerrod Cooper played very well last week in Tennessee, but the big player in the secondary weren't there to stop the Chiefs.

Don't worry, there hasn't been any reports of Moss being upset with his paltry numbers this season, but the question is: "How long until his lips start flapping?"

Given his reputation, it's easy to be skeptical over his effort the last two weeks. It's a fact that he hasn't been healthy since the first quarter against San Diego three weeks ago, but he looked spry in catching a TD against Buffalo and followed it with a lackadaisacal performance last week in Nashville. There were times when it looked like Moss was merely jogging his routes downfield.

Today in Kansas City, Moss again looked like the quick and lithe receiver that everybody expects, but caught only one of eight passes thrown his way. Most of the incomplete passes were not his fault at all.

If the Raiders' season continues along these lines--devoid of playoff contention--how long will it be until Moss piggybacks the growing criticism of the Norv Turner era in Oakland? If Moss doesn't become the gamebreaker that Al Davis foresaw in the spring, it may only take a pointed jab at Turner's coaching by Moss to bring his ouster.

The T had a perfect weekend against the spread for only the second time this season. The 6:1 odds netted $120 and raised the season's winnings to $80.

Nov 5, 2005 

Oddity: Visiting Teams Favored to Win In Week 9


NFL - Week 9
$20 Pick Four

Texans (+13) over JAGUARS
Houston is liable to give up massive amounts of rushing yards, but the Jags can't score. Thirteen points is lot to give for a team that hasn't scored more than 30 in years. Also, the Texans also have a mysterious hold on Jacksonville; beating them four times in their brief history.

Panthers (-2) over BUCCANEERS
If the Bucs could be so severely stuffed by the Niners, what will they do against Carolina's defensive line? If Chris Simms doesn't get the ball downfield, RB Cadillac Williams will go nowhere. Really, Tampa should be getting more than two points in this game.

Falcons (-2) over DOLPHINS
The Dolphins haven't allowed 300 yards passing in 37 games, but how long has it been since they allowed 100 yards rushing by the quarterback? Miami's duo of "Ganja" Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown is too inconsistent right now.

Raiders (+5) over CHIEFS
I always get on the Raiders bandwagon a week too late. But, here goes. Randy Moss' injury has allowed the team to find the right mixture of Lamont Jordan and Jerry Porter. Nevertheless, this might be one of those games where the favorite fails to cover the spread.

Last Week: 0-3; Season, 13-13. Lost, ($40.00)
(Home team in CAPS)

Fantasy Football - Week 9

Team Wonderbread (6-2-0) vs. Bruisin' Contusions (2-6-0)

Depending on your point of view Team Wonderbread is in the midst of a rash of injuries or the victim of the common NFL practice of over-publicizing the correct severity of injured players.

Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Santana Moss and Stephen Davis all missed various days of practice this week. The injuries to Randy Moss and Owens seem to be the most dubious of the four. Moss has played the last two weeks despite reports as late as Saturday night that he wasn't available.

Owens' injury also is hard to read. His injury was not known to the Eagles during last Sunday's game in Denver and may be a part of a new round of artillery fired over his contract situation.

On the trade front, nobody in the FFL Tator Tots league has made a trade offer for either Carson Palmer or Tom Brady. Amazingly, in a league that favors the point totals of quarterbacks, nobody is willing to acquire the number one point-gainer in the entire league.

Lineup: QB Carson Palmer, WR Randy Moss, WR Santana Moss, WR Terrell Owens, RB Rudi Johnson, RB Stephen Davis, TE L.J. Smith, K Rob Bironas, DEF Washington.

Nov 1, 2005 

Last Team To Leave New Orleans Is A Rotten Egg

The New Orleans Saints are not the only team from the Crescent City that is under seige by other cities.

While most grapple with the potential injustice of the Saints moving to San Antonio or Los Angeles, another professional team is quietly walking out the back door.

New Orleans' NBA franchise, the Hornets, held opening night in Oklahoma City tonight against the Sacramento Kings. The NBA, though, is calling the franchise the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Why add the moniker to the official name if the team isn't leaving the city of New Orleans? The Hornets even have their own custom-made court with the Oklahoma City painted all over with Hornets logos.

By adding Oklahoma City the NBA hedges it bet if there isn't enough money in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also begins to develop potential loyalty in Oklahoma. Maybe this is warranted, though. The Hornets finished dead last in attendance last season despite being in New Orleans for three season.

But what's important here, is that the NBA has done all of this under the radar. Fans are badgering the Saints owner, Tom Benson, for have talks with the mayor of San Antonio while assuring Louisiana that they're going nowhere. At the same time, their basketball team is lavishly vacationing in another city while checking the real estate.