Archive for March, 2012

Some suggest I am a contrarian (false) while others think I am a glutton for pain (Mariners Baseball…so true), but I just tell it like it is.  Today, I defend the use of multiple brackets during the NCAA Tournament.  Practicing what I preach, I did indeed fill out three different brackets for a total of five different pools – something I thought makes a ton of sense.  Feigning loyalty and integrity in a quest for bragging rights and straight cash means playing to win the game.

The case against multiple brackets is incredibly strong and quite demeaning to people who do it.  Using multiple brackets screams “Buzzkill.”  You care far too much about being right so you come up with ridiculous scenarios in case all hell breaks loose like two #15 seeds winning in the “second round.”  People just want to have fun enjoying the tournament and those who actually like the sport can engage in meaningless conversation about Final Four selections.  In a stark turn, the “one bracket, all fun” group also merges with the integrity crowd.  These people find multiple brackets disingenuous because it runs counter to honesty in rooting for one team to win it all.  If you have five brackets then you need not root as hard because, conceivably, all the options are covered.  Winner takes all.

These criticisms, for the most part, seem very fair.  If a person is willing to invest $20 into every bracket to make a $40 profit, then more power to you.  This multibracketing is something I do not support.  I DO NOT SUPPORT MULTIPLE BRACKETS IN THE SAME POOL.  What I have no problem with is multiple brackets for different pools.  The reason is simple: YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.  Like Coach Herm, this whole conversation bothers me too.  I am putting up money and want a return on my investment.  The people in the pool naturally matter to my success.  Playing against people who know their college basketball means being more careful and choosing different early games to distinguish similar brackets.  Conversely, the willy-nilly pool can use more creativity but locking up the final seeds because people will put Duke in the title game because its Duke or they like Blue Devils or the color blue.  Point is that strategic bracketing can set you from outside looking in to making the money to possibly winning the entire tournament.  I do not have money to blow nor do I enjoy rooting for others to take my money.  A serious person would consider the competition and adjust accordingly.  It just makes sense.

Summary: Multiple brackets in one pool = pitiful.  Multiple brackets throughout multiple pools – smart play for the cash.  Haters: you may now begin hating.


Tournament Picks

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Collaborative Posts











There’s no doubt Laron Landry is a beast. But the man with the 24 inch pythons could use a lesson or two about self-incrimination and being discreet as evidenced by his twitter exchange with one of this fans: 


Fan: we need answers…as a Skins fan, i feel im owed an explanation as to why u feel like its ok to go the same route as David Boston

Landry: lol not in my veins fam… Stay blessed

Fan: cool. well we’ll see come august. we dont need you tearing a bicep when you go to wrap tackle.

Landry: if u wanna get real homie we can put it on the table-talk about it!!! Nvr know at goes on behind the scenes but I’m blessed-ready

Landry: if it comes to that I persevere thru it!!! Don’t forget achillies got like that bc I shot it up to play for y’all balee that

 Fan: i watch every game, son. i remember. the fans concerned tho. pics surface of you muscled up beyond belief and it seems kinda off

Landry: u right I’m 218 no fat boss I just grind F sleep I can’t bc the thought of failure can’t do it!!! Respect tho homie

Fan: i’m not entirely sure what you’re saying, but my only point is we need you healthy more now that ever with Otogwe gone.

Landry: u know exactly wt I’m saying… Don’t lie to urself boss

Fan: the finer points of your syntax elude me sometimes.

Landry: respect

Landry: water getting to deep I know-get out ur doing right!!!

Fan: all im tryna figure out is if you think its safe to carry around a DE’s worth of muscle playing the saftey position. thats all

Landry: DE 218lbs.. .cmon man I’m done Lil bro do research or learn about the game!!! Lots of athletes are gifted only a few are SPECIAL!!!

Fan: yea u 218… but you gonna break down in the open field looking like this? what about ya hip swivel?

Landry: great art work of hard work you should try it clown instead of sitting on the couch criticizing- u lame Otta here!! Yyyeerrr

Fan: this aint about my workouts, bro. i’m doing fine. i just need know you wont resemble a ‘roided up body builder come Kickoff 2012

No reply.



Somewhere in this is an implication that Landry may or may not have been juicing. Although ‘shot it up’ could be referring to Toradol or Cortisone, it would probably be best if Landry didn’t leave that so ambiguous for the NFL officials. 

The trade acquisition of Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins brought a lot of joy and excitement to Bears’ players, fans, and to me. The Bears acquired Marshall for one third round pick in 2012 and another in 2013 even though he is big, physical, tough, has good football intelligence, good hands, is unquestionably a top-10 receiver, and is only 27 years old. Marshall greatly enhances the Bears’ receiver group and his presence allows the other receivers to play roles that better fits their skill levels. Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Devin Hester will be bumped down a peg. They now will become the #2, #3, and #4 receivers respectively and consequently, they should produce at a more consistent rate. Also important is that Jay Cutler is enamored with Marshall.

I was giddy, elated, and euphoric—or any word that denotes a positive mood—when I first heard of the trade. The move was so surprising and hard to believe that a friend called me confirm that the reports are true. In the minds of many, the Bears completely fleeced the Dolphins. The Dolphins acquired Marshall from the Denver Broncos two years ago for two second round draft picks yet they traded him away for only two third round picks despite the fact that Marshall is still an elite receiver.

That prompted the question: Why were the Dolphins willing to trade a highly valuable player for something far below his worth?

Jeff Darlington, current NFL Network reporter and former Dolphins beat writer, reported on his Twitter account that the “Dolphins believe getting rid of Marshall will allow new coach to put his program into place without issues or distractions,” per his sources. The “issues or distractions” refer to the several legal troubles that have plagued Marshall since his days at the University of Central Florida. He has been arrested seven times and has had several more bouts with the law. Other NFL pundits speculated that Peyton Manning might have indicated to the Dolphins that he has no desire to sign with the Dolphins if Marshall is still apart of the team.

Whatever the reason was, I was well aware that Marshall came with plenty of baggage and was still comfortable with the acquisition simply because he had conducted himself as a civil citizen since the time that he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder last summer. Some of his misconducts are the result of suffering from the disorder and I was confident that Marshall could stay away from trouble as long as he continued to work towards quelling the disorder.

But the recent altercation involving Marshall at a nightclub during which he allegedly punched a woman has certainly shaken my confidence. Nevertheless, I still approve of the trade despite all the signs that say that I should condemn the move because Marshall provides the Bears with a much-needed, legitimate #1 receiver.



The “Who Cares” Signings/Releases:

  • Bears agreed to terms with Tim Jennings on a 2-year contract

Commentary: If you ask a Bears fan, they would like to have a better Corner to upgrade from their current Charles “Peanut” Tillman and D.J. Moore

  • Cowboys Release Terrence Newman.
Commentary: As a Giants fan, I love this 

Commentary: 1st Round pick. 1st round bust. Good riddance.

  • Carlos Rogers re-signs with the 49ers.

Commentary: Now the 49ers will return all 11 starters on defense from the 2011 season.

  • Kevin Boss will be cut by Oakland on Wednesday

Commentary: At least Boss can thank Eli Manning for that free agent deal he received last year…right?

  • Trent Cole agrees to a 4-year extension with Trent Cole through 2017
  • Eric Wright signs a 5-year/ $37.5 million with the Buccaneers


You are really going to overpay for that guy huh?

  • Pierre Garcon receives 5 years/ $42.5 million from the Redskins

Commentary: over 8 million dollars for a receiver you’re not sure is anything more than a product of Peyton Manning. In his defense, Garcon had 70 receptions for 947 yards with a combination of Kerry Collins, Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter. Let’s hope for the sake of Redskins Nation that Pierre can help RGIII adjust to the NFL.

  • Vincent Jackson receives 5 years, $55.55 million, including $26 million guaranteed from the Buccaneers.

Commentary: Jackson is a top 10 receiver at best, when he’s motivated. But now that he’s paid and paid handsomely, will he suffer from Chris Johnson syndrome?



  • Brandon Marshall traded to the Bears from the Dolphins for two 3rd round picks.

Commentary: Much like the Jay Cutler deal, Chicago fans are already punching their ticket to the NFC Championship game at the very least. Let’s hope for the Bears sake, Brandon Marshall keeps it together.



  • Reggie Wayne resigns with the Colts for 3 years/ $17 million

Commentary: How did he manage to get less than Pierre Garcon? I guess age has something to do with it, however I was sure Wayne would wait until Peyton made a decision. At least Luck has a #1 receiver.

  • Calvin Johnson re-signs with the Detroit Lions for 7 years/ $132 million

Commentary: I didn’t think anyone would surpass Fitzgerald’s 7 year/ $128 million. I   was wrong. But I can see why.


Over a year ago I made some phony wager with the Editor-In-Chief that Roger Federer would win a major before Eldrick Tont Woods.  I never meant to disrespect one of the most prolific winners and dominant golfers in history but I did suggest that invincibility is not a trait, but a cloak.  In a sport where intimidation can only go so far, where the players around you are not directly impacted by what you do before, the end game is harder because your best can be overshadowed by another.  In tennis, your play directly impacts the opponent; you can impose your will and change the type of game needed to win.  What I imagined but in no way expected was Tiger to lose his cloak and become a human.  In effect Tiger would become Eldrick.  In reality the conversation shifted from breaking records, to questions of winning PGA sanctioned tournaments, to quitting.  Betting against the best should not be confused with disrespecting a legend.

Tiger entered the final day after back to back low rounds, 67 on Friday and 68 on Saturday.  Tiger would not exit on Sunday.  After his tee shot on twelve, Tiger could not deal with the progressively worse pain in his Achilles and withdrew.  Done.  Eldrick on the cart and headed home.  I certain take no exception to him withdrawing from this event, a major, or anything he wants due to injury.  Tiger’s track record is impeccable playing and winning through pain to the delight of fans, NBC, and fellow golfers looking for notoriety and a larger payday.  Eldrick, however, does not have a track record to speak of, let alone hang a red polo on.  ELDRICK’ S LAST PGA WIN WAS THE BMW CHAMPIONSHIP, SEPTEMBER 2009!   Not good enough by any standards but the disrespect is shocking.  People arguing Eldrick quit need to totally reevaluate the situation and generally the potential damage to be done for playing through pain.  Bob Harig, a writer I genuinely like, wrote a piece praising Rory McIlroy’s third place finish by juxtaposing Caroline Wozniacki’s boo with the legend.  Suggesting Eldrick quit or made a decision he would not make in a major is boneheaded.  You do things differently when the stakes change.  (It’s why I will be defending multiple bracket use during March Madness.)

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: It seemed overly cautious to me. I don’t like to sound cynical, but I doubt seriously had he been in contention he would have pulled out of the tournament. Perhaps the pain explains his 2-over round when he quit. No one wants him to carelessly exacerbate an injury, but he owes it to the fans and the sponsors to try to complete the tournament.

Hey Farrell, if the man wants to be able to win a tournament again let alone a Major it probably is best to cut loses. But that is just me.

The larger question is whether Tiger is done and if we will be stuck with Eldrick, the maddeningly inconsistent rating machine inseparable from his alter ego but never good enough.  I cannot say if Eldrick is here to stay but Tiger is not close to reappearing.  The standard for Tiger/Eldrick is always wins: frequency and quality.  While both Federer and Woods have the same number of major victories since our bet, the former continues to rise from his annual death.  The latter, in my opinion, does not care or feel the external pressure.  His game is the problem and that more than anything else scares me.  I want Tiger to be back and to challenge the old guard, restoring the red and black to dominance.  This premature exit from Doral represents acute attention to the years of pushing himself for wins and knowing his limits.  Eldrick should not be disrespected for not being Tiger but the 23rd ranked golfer needs to retool his game to avoid humanity for good.

I wasn’t alive for it. But I know the date as though I was there watching it in the moment. He’s my favorite player that I’ve never watched live and I must say probably my least favorite pundit. However, ESPN’s The Announcement gave me Goosebumps as many of the other 30 for 30 films have. I take it for granted that I can see Magic on ABC every Sunday or that his imprint on Harlem, New York is as strong as Malcolm X or that he has more of an effect on HIV than HIV has had an effect on him. Nelson George did an amazing job of really allowing Magic to tell the story, instead of a narrator who would not be able to really capture the emotion Magic felt. Kudos Nelson.

I didn’t know what it was like to know an uninfected Magic Johnson. Aside from the few vague recollections I have of him overweight and dribbling through the 1996 New York Knicks, I don’t remember what he was like as a player. The Announcement did a better job than the Bird vs. Magic documentary or the SportsCentury documentary of how truly remarkable a figure Magic was during the 1980’s. The symbol of all that was great about the NBA at the time. [Never forget that before Magic and Bird, the NBA was viewed thuggish league that was “too black” and turned off many mainstream fans.]

But the most remarkable thing was watching a world ignorant of the HIV virus and the AIDS disease. Players who were concerned about their safety, teammates worrying about being too close to Magic and friends voicing their concerns out-loud. It’s shocking that Karl Malone’s comments were seen as par for the course and valid concern at the time. Even more jaw-dropping was Karl Malone’s refusal to admit that his comments were insensitive, offensive and just plain wrong. Even he admitted that his comments and his refusal to retract his statements almost 20 years later “make him sound like a country bumpkin”. So what’s stopping you from admitting your ignorance, Karl? As remarkable as the documentary was, I think the one thing I took from it was that Karl Malone is not a good person. While the documentary was very well done, celebrated Magic’s work in the HIV-AIDS community and profiled his cultural impact in a way, I will always remember it for Malone’s strong stand for ignorance. For every step forward a guy like Magic takes, guys like Karl Malone will push the movement back a few steps.