Monday, October 23, 2006

Is The Gambler a Cheater?



On a day when we found out that perhaps the best linebacker in football (Shawne Merriman) has been taking steroids, we also had the misfortune in waking up to the possibility that Detroit's Game 2 World Series victory may have been tarnished as well. For those of you seeing this for the first time, it is being reported that Tigers starting pitcher Kenny Rogers was caught with some sort of brown substance on the palm of his pitching hand during the first inning of last night's game. Was it dirt? Was it chaw spit? Was it pine tar? Was it shit? Who knows? All we do know for sure is that in a sporting world filled with controversy and perpetual steroid talk, this is icing on the cake.

As a die-hard sports fan, when allegations start to fly before all the facts are compiled, I always try my best to give an athlete the benefit of the doubt. For instance, as some writers practically painted us a picture of Terrell Owens tying a noose in his basement, I remained calm, cool, and collected until all parties involved were heard. Turns out, T.O. didn't attempt suicide but rather his publicist was feeding him pills so that she could get in his pants, call rape, then take her millions and run. See, no conclusion jumping here, no sir. But back to today's uproar…rather than give my honest opinion of what exactly Rogers' intent (if any) might have been, I'll wait until later today when I hear "It turns OUT, that last night in DEE-TROIT, Rogers was not in fact a CHEAT-ER, but merely a victim of faulty TOI-LET PAP-ER…In DEE-TROIT, Jeremy SCHAPP, EEE-s-p-n." Until then, I'll just let you wonder if it's a coincidence that 41 year-old starting pitcher can go 23 innings of Playoff baseball without giving up an earned run…

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pujols NL MVP?



Anyone happen to catch Joe Buck’s comment in the aftermath of Albert Pujols’ 2-run homer in the 3rd inning of last night’s World Series Opener?

“The Tigers pitch to the MVP and he makes Detroit pay.”

Interesting, huh? I know, I know. Buck has made numerous references to Pujols being the reigning MVP, but I can’t recall once this whole postseason (and I’ve watched just about every single game) when he hasn’t attached the requisite “reigning” to precede MVP. Hmm. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I think Buck slipped up. I can tell you this much; Joe Buck knows who won the National League MVP Award. I guarantee it. The vote for the prestigious award took place right after the regular season and it’s not uncommon at all for the impending result to leak out. Heck, look at what went on this past spring with the NBA awards. Every single trophy was “reported” by a local media source before the honor was officially announced. In some cases, like with Steve Nash winning his second consecutive MVP award, the news broke more than 2 weeks before the actual announcement.

Another nugget of information to consider—Joe Buck is the Cardinals play-by-play announcer. The chances that the news would break to him, before almost any other media member (either local or national), is an almost certainty. Whether you like him or not, the guy’s got clout. And especially in a season in which there’s a lot of suspense as to who won the award (in both leagues for that matter, although I think Jeter won by a landslide in the AL), it’s highly probable that some league source, some power-hungry, gossip-loving executive spilled the beans to Buck because he wanted to further his relationship with the most powerful media member covering the MLB (apologies to Peter Gammons).

I’m telling you…Buck goofed up. Pujols won MVP. And I’m not too thrilled about it (Ryan Howard deserved it, but that’s a whole separate column). Of course, I’m being entirely presumptuous and if Howard does indeed win the award, then let’s just pretend I didn’t write this.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Week 7 NFL Picks

Is the resurgence of Big Ben and the Steelers for real? Ant and Paul think so. Look for the Steelers to to come up big with a road win in Atlanta on Sunday.



So Ant and I mutually decided (that's a lie, this was entirely his idea) to come out with NFL picks every Friday. Real original, huh? I know, I know. The thing is, we talk about our picks every Friday for at least an hour anyways. So why not just jot down our thoughts on paper and share them with everyone? Besides, it's not like you can go wrong with an NFL picks column. I spend half of my Thursdays and just about all of my Fridays scouring the web for "experts" picks as it is. We're pretty good at this, too. Ant thought it would be lame for us to post our current season records right now, but we're both over .500 (I'm about 6 games over; he's close to 10 over). You'll notice we took a more businesslike approach this week and that's mainly because we actually do take this pretty seriously. But don't worry, once/if we start sucking, the jokes will start flying. Enjoy.


KANSAS CITY +5 vs. San Diego

Paul’s Pick: Chiefs (LOCK). The Chargers always have problems playing at Arrowhead and haven’t won there by more than a field goal in years. Besides, this is one of those cases where one team looked so good last Sunday, and one looked absolutely atrocious. Conventional wisdom would lead you to believe the Chargers win pretty easily, right? Wrong.

Ant’s Pick: Chiefs. Last weekend my fantasy team was up by roughly 30 points going into the afternoon games. I still had San Diego’s D going, but my opponent had LaDanian Tomlinson. Needless to say, I felt pretty good. But after LT rushed for what felt like eight touchdowns, I ended up on the back end of a 124-112 outcome. Part of the reason I lost is because deep into the 4th quarter with the Chargers up by 22, Marty Schottenheimer elected to leave in all of his starters, including his star RB (despite having the best backup in football in Michael Turner). You know what that means this week don’t you? Karma = bad. Chiefs = win.


ATLANTA +2.5 vs. Pittsburgh

Paul’s Pick: Steelers. The Falcons can’t possibly drop two in a row at home, can they? They will. Pittsburgh’s D is fast enough to limit Atlanta’s swift running game and I think Big Ben’s beauty last week was a sign of things to come. What’s going on with Joey Porter anyways? Did he really hurt his hamstring or is he taking weeks off to secretly train his pitbulls to take down elephants?

Ant’s Pick: Steelers. Quote from DeAngelo Hall before last week’s game versus the Giants: “We’re playing the New York Giants. No problem. Light work. I’ll have two interceptions and one touchdown.” And while he did manage one pick off the younger Manning, the rest of the Falcons were apparently still on their bye week. Meanwhile up north, the Steelers got back to their winning ways sans defensive leader, Joey Porter. Expect these trends to continue.


TAMPA BAY +5 vs. Philadelphia

Paul’s Pick: Eagles. Even though it’s been 3 years since they last met, I can promise you some of the Eagles vets (McNabb, Dawkins, Westbrook, Walker) haven’t forgotten about the last two meetings against the Bucs (’03 NFC Championship loss and Week 1 MNF loss months later). That, coupled with a disappointing road loss last weekend, should spell doom for an overmatched Tampa Bay team.

Ant’s Pick: Eagles. Bruce Gradkowski? I think I had that guy for 8th grade chemistry. Facing that potent Eagles blitz this Sunday, he’s going to wish he was in a classroom.


Is Bruce Gradkowski white? Black? Biracial? What is he? Is anyone going to clear this up? I'm dying to know.


BUFFALO +5 vs. New England

Paul’s Pick: Bills. For some reason, I was under the impression that the Bills almost always play the Pats tough, especially at home. Oh, how wrong I was. 6 of the last 9 meetings between these clubs have resulted in double-digit Patriots victories, including blowout victories for New England at Buffalo in 3 of the last 4 years. So why am I going with the Bills? TRAP GAME. The Pats are at Minnesota next Monday night with their annual clash against Indy the week after. Buffalo will keep this close.

Ant’s Pick: Patriots. For the last two years, New England has played Buffalo after its bye week, with the Pats winning both contests (covering once). So what does this mean for this weekend? Absolutely nothing (I just wanted to sound like Paul for a second). But we can be certain that Bill Belichick has focused heavily on adjusting that lackluster passing game (206.2 YPG) over the past two weeks. Expect vintage Brady this Sunday.


HOUSTON +10 vs. Jacksonville

Paul’s Pick: Texans. Jacksonville, even after a bye week, is beat up and it’s bound to catch up with them (although 3 of their next 4 are against Houston and Tennessee. Why does it seem like Jacksonville has the easiest schedule every single year?). The Texans keep getting pounded, but I don’t think this can go on forever. They’ve played well in stretches and something tells me that stretch may last 3, maybe 4 quarters this week.

Ant’s Pick: Texans. I always love games like these. On the one hand, you have a Houston team coming off an absolute drubbing (34-6) at the hands of the Cowboys, while the Jags were last seen annihilating the Jets (41-0) before their bye week. All signs point to a blowout, right? But that’s what Vegas wants you to think. David Carr to Andre Johnson will provide just enough to cover.


MIAMI -5 vs. Green Bay

Paul’s Pick: Packers. I don’t care WHO Joey Harrington and the Dolphins are playing, whether it’s The Little Giants or the hapless Packers, they should NOT be giving 5 points. Heck, they haven’t even scored more than 17 this year and they’ve played the Titans, Texans, Bills and Jets.

Ant’s Pick: Packers. Let’s get crazy here and assume that Miami wins all the rest of their games, making them 11-5 to finish the season. But in competing against the likes of San Diego/Denver, Pittsburgh/Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and possibly even Baltimore, will that even be good enough for a Playoff berth? And let’s not forget, this is assuming the Dolphins win 10 straight games. I guess the real question is, why should Miami even show up this weekend?


N.Y. JETS -3.5 vs. Detroit

Paul’s Pick: Lions. Say what you want about the Lions, this is a team that could easily be 5-1 as opposed to 1-5. We all knew they would eventually hold onto a game (albeit barely) and I think we’ll see a slight turnaround (especially with 4 of their next 5 against the Jets, 49ers, Cardinals and Dolphins).

Ant’s Pick: Jets. This is one of those games where I talk myself into thinking the Lions will win the game outright or if they do lose, it will come via a last second field goal. Then some dingleberry at work will completely alter my rationale and have me thinking “Jets 24, Lions 20” because his brother-in-law said so. And I’ll waffle between the two teams throughout the day on Friday and ultimately choose the wrong one. It happens every week with these 3.5 spreads.


CINCINNATI -3 vs. Carolina

Paul’s Pick: Bengals. Despite winning four straight, the Panthers have yet to look overly impressive for an entire game this season (don’t give me shit about Baltimore…they stink). Meanwhile, Cincinnati has been dreadful the past 2 weeks and is desperately in need of a win. I think this is an instance where the AFC flexes its muscles.

Ant’s Pick: Bengals. Anyone seen Rudi Johnson? Nah, me neither. Through the first two weeks of the season he gained a gaudy 241 yards, but during the last three, a paltry 164. Hell, Rudi Huxtable could be a more effective runner lately. But this weekend I think we’ll see Marvin Lewis commit to the run and give Johnson his 25-30 carries, thus opening up the long ball for Palmer and his potent WRs. Bengals by a touchdown.


Forget the whereabouts of Rudi Johnson, I want to know where the hell to find Keshia Knight Pulliam! Damn! Rudy Huxtable has grown up!


CLEVELAND +4.5 vs. Denver

Paul’s Pick: Browns (LOCK). Don’t sleep on the Browns. Aside from a shellacking at Cincinnati, they’ve played everyone tough, including Carolina, Baltimore and New Orleans. Considering that Cleveland has an underrated defense and the Broncos haven’t scored 20 points this season despite a 4-1 record, this game promises to be close. Upset special, baby. Browns 16-13.

Ant’s Pick: Browns. You know what’s a lot of fun? Thinking all week long that the Browns are going to win this game and then seeing that Paul has the same sentiment, but since I come second in this crumby format I look like I’m just biting off him. I love that. (Side note: R.I.P. to Kellen Winslow’s younger brother who passed away earlier this week. I predict a big game from the elder bro)


INDIANAPOLIS -9.5 vs. Washington

Paul’s Pick: Redskins. Have you seen the Colts run defense?! David Eckstein could run over their mangled D-line. Portis will have a monster afternoon only to leave a close game in the hands of Mark Brunell. ‘Skins fans, say hello to your Week 8 starter: Jason Campbell.

Ant’s Pick: Redskins. Last week I had a choice in my survivor league: take Denver at home to beat Oakland or take the Skins, also at home, to down the Titans. Of course, I chose wrong. That said, shouldn’t a team who can score 35 points at will (off a bye week no less), be favored by more than 9.5 points against a team that just lost to the red-headed stepchild of the league? Using this mentality, I feel like it’s almost too easy to take the Colts, plus this game means a lot more to the Skins (2-4) than it does to Indy (5-0).


SEATTLE -6.5 vs. Minnesota

Paul’s Pick: Vikings. The Seahawks haven’t lost at home since they dropped a wildcard contest against the Rams on January 8, 2005. In that span of 12-straight home wins, 9 were by double-digits. But the Vikings play everyone tough, having lost just 1 game by more than a touchdown in their last 14. And there’s bad blood brewing here what with the Steve Hutchinson fiasco. Something tells me this game is decided by a last-second field goal.

Ant’s Pick: Vikings. Trust me, without Shaun Alexander, there are only a handful of teams that Seattle can beat by a TD or more. Minnesota, now with a potent rushing attack, should be able to control the time of possession and wear out the Seattle D to keep things close. As for who wins the game, who am I, Dionne Warwick?


OAKLAND +3 vs. Arizona

Paul’s Pick: Cardinals. A loss like Monday’s at Chicago can really deflate a team with high hopes. Good for the Cardinals, since they have no hope for this season whatsoever. Monday’s embarrassment will only benefit a young team now playing with a chip on their shoulder. Arizona will finish no worse than 6-10.

Ant’s Pick: Cardinals. If there was ever a game the Raiders were going to win this year, this would probably be it, no? No.


DALLAS -3 vs. NY Giants

Paul’s Pick: Giants. New York’s pass-rush is back and that’s bad, bad news for the Cowboys. If they can get to Vick 7 times, then they should just list Bledsoe as doubtful now…since he’s got little chance of surviving this game.

Ant’s Pick: Giants. If the Giants win this game, they’ll move to 4-2 with their next two games at home versus Tampa and Houston, respectively. Assuming they win both of those, you’re looking at a showdown between the red-hot, 6-2 Giants versus the 8-0 Bears in the Meadowlands on November 12th. Wow, I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We're Baaaaaaaack!

The comeback story is back in full swing and The NBA Source is ready to join the likes of Shawn Kemp, Jay-Z and Screech Powers as we attempt to rekindle our glory days. Whether we succeed or fail miserably (see Shell, Art), at least we'll have fun wasting your time doing so.



To quote L.L. Cool J,

"I wanna knock your block off, get my rocks off, blow your socks off, make sure your G spot's soft."

Whoops, wrong line...

"Don't call it a comeback. I been here for years. Rockin' my peers and puttin' suckas in fear. Makin' the tears rain down like a MON-soon. Listen to the bass go BOOM, Explosion!"

Okay, so maybe our comeback isn't so triumphant that we're putting "suckas in fear" and causing explosions, but at least to a select few people (four, maybe five?), this is kind of a big deal. People know us. We can't exactly prove it (don't pay attention to that poll question on the right since it means nothing. It's totally pointless. No seriously, don't even bother clicking on the results. Okay fine, just do it. But not because I told you to), but encourage you to just trust us.

There are going to be some changes to 'The NBA Source' this time around. For starters, this is not going to be an NBA-only site anymore. We haven't come to a decision as to whether we're going to change the domain name or not. The site will technically be called "Sports Source", but since "Sportssource.com" and "Sports-source.com" are both taken by those rat bastards who simply buy domains just to fuck hardworking people over, we'll stick with www.nbasource.com as our domain. Seriously, you couldn't find anything better to do with $10? Whenever you're stumped on what to do with a small chunk of money, just remember...there's always porn (charity works, too). Anyways, nbasource.com is sticking for now. Unless Ant finds a way to convince sportsdudes.com to let us buy them out. Go ahead, Ant. Do your "wurst".

So as I was saying, we're going to take a broader look at the sports world from now on...of course from our typically unique perspective. While the NBA will still be our main focus, expect frequent columns discussing the NFL, MLB, college football and basketball, and of course, tall bike jousting. Heck, Ant might even throw a random hockey article in there (I sure as hell won't) somewhere along the way.

We're also going to try to limit the length of our posts (try being the key word here) this time around, placing more of an emphasis on updating frequently throughout each day. We want to be your source for an angle on breaking sports news that you can't get anywhere else. Here's an example...

ESPN:

Penn State Might Be Forced to Start Third-String QB

Doctors haven't cleared starting QB Anthony Morelli for full contact practice.


NBA Source:

Penn State is Totally Fucked This Weekend

Starting QB Anthony Morelli and his backup both are likely out with concussions. Who cares? Penn State blows this year.


Our theory-- why beat around the bush? The beauty of blogging is that you can say exactly what you mean without any repercussions. That's what we did in the past and that's what we're going to continue to do here at The NBA Source. All that being said, we'll still bring you thoughtful analysis and critical commentary. While Ant and I may occasionally act like total idiots, we live and die with sports, and consider it our responsibility to share our passion with fellow afficionados. We welcome back any and all of our former readers and encourage you to spread the word about The NBA Source. This time, we're here to stay.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Relaunch?