Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Derosa Come Back!

First of all many apologies to the few people who follow this blog for being a dead beat blogger. I thought I was going to be writing for another site, but that doesn't appear to be happening so let's get this going again.

If you are like me you know a Cubs fan that is a little too obsessed with Mark Derosa and that inspired me to create this:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Seeing Orange

I was looking at the lines yesterday and I immediately locked in on Syracuse versus Arizona State. I was shocked to see the Orange only giving 2.5 to the Sun Devils. I am going to give the Pat Sheehan guarantee on Syracuse this afternoon. For those of you who don't me, I don't throw that phrase around on just anything. Syracuse is the lock of the year.

Sure Arizona State looked great in the first round beating temple despite an off night from Harden, but Syracuse is just the better and hotter team. I laugh when I see things like can Syracuse recover from the 6 overtime game in the Big East tournament. Really? That was over a week ago and these are 20 year old men, I think they will manage.

The Orange outscore the Sun Devils by eleven points. They hold a +7 rebounding advantage. I have Cuse in the Elite Eight and they will cruise today while I cash in.

Syracuse -2.5 vs Arizona State

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Friday Locks

Butler let me down yesterday, but I had the money line for Western Kentucky and +5 so we had a positive day.

I wrote this when WKU was up 17 with a couple of minutes to go. I swear I am going to go into convulsions one of these days because I can never have an "easy" win. Short to the point right ups as I forgot to post this last night.

I love Portland State today at +10.5 versus Xavier:
The Xmen are turnover prone and that is never a team you want to back with a double digit spread.

Siena +3 vs Ohio State:
So maybe it is practically a home game for Ohio State, but it doesn't change the fact that they are bad at basketball. Siena is deeper, outscores the Buckeyes and has a rebounding advantage.

Temple +6 vs ASU:
Dionte Christmas is going to go off today. Play a zone against him and see what happens. ASU is a one man show in Harden and bunch of guys who watch him work.

First Round Locks

Something really needs to be done about February as a sports month. After the Super Bowl, the world of sports completely shuts down and the agonizing wait for the Conference Tournaments begins. But the time has finally come, the greatest two weeks in sports is here. March Madness.

In case you care, my final four is Louisville, Mizzou, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. I have Louisville over North Carolina. But that is not why I am writing tonight, I am here to give the gambling locks of the first round.

If you follow my picks you are guaranteed a sweat no matter what, that is just how it works with me, I cannot control it. Tonight I had the Detroit Pistons at +8.5 and the game went into double overtime. Normally there would be no reason to watch the the finish getting 8 in overtime, but with two minutes to go sure enough, the Rockets are up 10. A quick 5-0 run ended up getting to 5 and within the number, but even a "sure thing" had to raise my blood pressure.

Follow with caution, but


12) Western Kentucky vs 5) Illinois: WKU +5
Sure the Hilltoppers lost Courtney Lee and two other starters from the squad that pulled off the most exciting upset of last year's first round, but WKU rolled through the conference and spanked Louisville during the season.

Illinois struggles to score and are going to be without guard Chester Frazier.
WKU fits the Giant Killer role, they are coming in hot, winning 9/10 and have a rebounding advantage over the Illini, while their opponent has lost 3 of 4.
+5 is a lock and give me that +190 straight up win as well.

9) Butler vs 8) LSU: Butler +2
Butler has that tournament experience and they continue to get it done on the defensive end. I had the great pleasure of watching this team play UIC and there is nothing spectacular about them. The SEC was bad this season, really bad. LSU lost 3 out of 4 going into the tournament and get more love than they should because they are full of athletes. When in doubt take the 9 seed (45-35 all time) and the better defense and Butler fills the bill here giving up 58 points per game.
Butler +2 is a lock.

We will have Friday's picks tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Boxing is dead?

I am sure you have seen the talking heads screaming that boxing is dead and will never recover. They tell you the heavyweight division is garbage and nobody cares anymore. While the first part of that may in fact be true, the second needs to be reevaluated. Part of the problem is the people talking and writing these things are not boxing fans, but just casual observers spewing out what everyone else is saying. MMA may be on the verge of taking over, but boxing isn't going down for the count. It is here to stay and after a thunderous 08, 2009 is trying to go punch for punch.

Case in point, Saturday night, Juan Manuel Marquez versus Juan Diaz for the lightweight title. A matchup that promised fireworks on paper, Number 1 and Number 2 inside the ring. A veteran counter puncher in the 16th year of his career and an up and coming young bull who loves to pressure. Sometimes when things appear too good on paper they end up disappointing on fight night.

This battle did no such thing.

Juan Diaz, fighting in front of his hometown in Houston, came out and applied the pressure from the opening bell. Marquez was back pedalling looking for that counter hook that he just could not find early. The first four rounds had Diaz backing Marquez into the ropes, looking like the stronger, faster fighter. Diaz even opened up Marquez in the fifth, but the tides would soon change.

This match had everything you could ask for, a fast pace, no clinching and blood. Oh yes there will be blood.

Marquez answered his 5th round cut, by opening up Diaz in the 8th in a similar fashion to the way Nate Campbell had the previous fight. The veteran was landing with the more flush and harder cleaner shots and Diaz was in trouble.

The middle rounds saw Marquez turn it on leading up to the climatic ending in the 9th. The blood was flowing into Diaz's eye and Marquez left was following right behind. Marquez hit him with a flurry that wobbled the "Baby Bull" and eventually put him down to the canvas.

The end was near. Diaz got back to his feet, but he was in trouble. There was no clinching to survive the round, he was going down swinging and Marquez hit him with a brutal uppercut that left Diaz crumpled in a heap, in the center of the ring.

The first time I noticed the ref in the ring was when he waved his arms to signal it was all over. That is when you know you are watching something special, when you forget the referee was even in the ring until the knockout. Fight of the year has already been decided, but if it hasn't I can't wait for the fight that tops this.

How close was this fight before the knockout? One judge had it a draw, one had Diaz up 77-75 and the third judge had Marquez up 77-75. In other words, this was one hell of a scrap.

Juan Manuel Marquez surprisingly did not call out Manny Pacquiao the man who he had two controversial battles with, but Floyd Mayweather, the retired pound for pound best in the business. With Pac Man already fighting Ricky Hatton, it makes sense. No one really believes Floyd is done fighting and after Saturday night, what a time for him to make his "comeback".

On this night, Marquez showed the world that Boxing is alive and well and so is his career.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Night Chicago Lost Two Legends

I'll never forget the night I met Norm Van Lier. I was at a Bulls game with my play by play teacher and sitting in the media room. Storming Norm walks through the doors smiling like I hear he always was. He knew my instructor, Steve Olkens and made sure to introduce himself to the two other students and myself. He was laughing and telling jokes and you could tell that man would light up any room he entered. Norm told me to come out with him for a night on the town and not to worry he had a police escort to chauffeur us around. I figured he was joking around, but he said he was serious and I wish I would have taken him up on the offer. From the stories I have heard that man lived his life to the fullest and got everything he possibly could have out of life in his 61 years. I am going to miss him on Bulls Postgame, it won't be the same without his unfiltered commentary and humor.

We talked for maybe ten minutes, but I won't forget the night I met the Legendary Stormin' Norman.

Just hours after the news broke of his death, word came of Johnny Red Kerr's passing as well. Talk about a couple of stomach punches for a fan base in one day. Obviously what sticks out most in my mind about the Chicago Bulls is the Michael Jordan moments. If you ever saw him hit a game winner live you never will forget it. I saw Jordan bury a game winner seconds after what seemed like a Glen Rice dagger live and that is locked up in the memory vault forever. What I will always remember about the Unforgettabulls is the night I got to witness Jordan being Jordan live, the game winner in Utah and Johnny Red Kerr behind the mic.

"The Bulls win, They Win it!" That's all I could hear in my head as I read the news of Red's death. The words of Johhny Red Kerr and the Jordan powder clap ritual in front of him are iconic moments in Bulls history. Everyone my age can recall the moments sitting in front of the TV watching those Bulls teams listening to the voice of Johhny Red Kerr. Listening to a broadcast without Kerr just hasn't felt right and sitting in the United Center knowing Red isn't in attendance isn't going to feel right either.

Thankfully the Bulls pushed up his long overdue ceremony as they knew his time was getting short. I just wish Norm Van Lier was a part of it as he was noticeably upset at not being invited to the celebration. Reinsdorf can't do anything about it now, but hopefully he will be honored the right way with his jersey being raised to the rafters.

There will never be another Stormin' Norm or Johnny Red Kerr, I am just glad I was able to have them in my life during the dynasty years and beyond. RIP to two Chicago legends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ramblin' Man Volume I

The blog post in which I ramble, coherently hopefully.

Every time I see the following commercials it upsets me:

This new Pizza Hut commercial in which they put people in a room and tell them about this all natural gourmet pizza made by chefs for them, but it is really Pizza Hut. This upsets me for a couple of reasons, isn't Pizza Hut admitting to making crappy pizza and is now making up for it? After 50 years we are finally using natural ingredients, enjoy! The other thing that grinds my gears is this just shows that people are sheep. You get them all in a room and tell them about this gourmet meal they are going to have and they all can't wait to tell you how "decedent" it was. It reminds me of parties in High School errr when I was 21 and how I always wanted to have a keg full of O'Douls and watch clowns act all drunk and tell you how hammered they are.

The Kay commercial that was running during Christmas. A man buys what I assume is a somewhat expensive piece of jewelry for his deaf girlfriend, but goes on about his signing is not very good. How long must these two be together that he bought her jewelry for Christmas? 6 months? More? He is willing spend money on jewelry on this deaf chick that he hasn't even learned enough sign language to have a real conversation with? Really?

Doesn't any ad with Vlade Divac in it have to have him flopping at some point? For the next one I want to see Vlady hitting the deck as a burrito backs him down.

Who's idea was it to market Bud Light as drinkable? Is that really the best way to go about selling your product? Don't let those Miller Lite drinkers fool you, our beer is totally drinkable! How many buds do I have to take down before I can pull a map out of thin air though?

Is it bad that the first thing I thought of when reading the Eddie Curry story, was damn all those things I was yelling at the TV when he was in Chicago were true? How long before you get tired of hearing one of your buddies making a Curry joke? A week, 2 weeks, a month? I say never.

I am pretty neutral on the White Sox signing Bartolo Colon, but I am going to be pissed if he finds the hot dog vendor in my section before me.

How long before the White Sox have the first ever infield made up entirely of Cubans? Gordon Beckham might want to forge that birth certificate.

Is Shaq the only person in the world who can give himself a nickname and no one will say anything bad about him? I have always thought giving yourself a nickname was pretty lame, but I won't tell the Diesel that.

Who should be more upset about Bradford staying at Oklahoma, Mizzou fans or Stafford? We are used to Oklahoma dominating us, but now Matthew is a lock for Detroit.

Mark Prior was given another contract and I think Prior is one more quality season away from being inducted into the Simulated games Hall of Fame.

What kind of prop action can I get on what happens to Milton Bradley first? Fist fight with Zambrano: 3-1, blowing out a knee while yelling at umpire as the Wrigley faithful cheer him on: 5-1, an altercation after a bleacher bum dumps a beer on him: even. Who wants in on some of that?

Now that the Cubs have signed Bradley does this make Fukudome the highest paid minor leaguer ever? Thanks again for choosing the north side, Horry Cow!

Is the highlight of Joey Gathright's career going to be the YouTube videos where he jumps over cars? I am going to put a Pat Sheehan guarantee on this.

I just learned that after Pacino's famous speech in Any Given Sunday, the Sharks allowed the opening kick for a touchdown. This has to be the most overrated pump up speech of all time right? I watch that scene to get ready for a big playoff game, to get motivated to take the dog out for a walk, to make myself a bowl of cereal in the morning and now I feel like I have been cheated.

After reading reviews of Righteous Kill it got me thinking, are Pacino and De Niro the Holyfield of Hollywood? What is the last relevant film these guys have been in? It might be a time to hang up the gloves before you sound like Sly Stallone in Rocky 5 for the rest of your lives. It might be for the best.

I only have one prediction for the upcoming MLB season, the Yankees will not win it, so can we all stop whining about a salary cap? More on this later in the week...