Saturday, December 03, 2005

Football, More Football & Some Hockey

Hey peeps, and anyone else checking in - from the regulars to those of you visiting for the first time. A special hey goes out to Ms. Hazel Mae if she has stop by to spend a few minutes...thank you to one and all.

In this week's "Whacked Wedneday Spills Over Into Thursday" I wrote about a CFL trade between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Hamilton Tiger Cats (American readers must laugh at the CFL our American friends I say this - remember boys and girls...Our balls are bigger! Hazel will see the humour in that). There was a rumour that Edmonton QB Jason Maas was going to the Tiger Cats to complete an earlier trade for Troy Davis.

On Friday afternoon, the CFL announced a trade between the Eskimos and the Tiger Cats that involved Jason Maas and a draft pick going to Hamilton for aging Ti-Cat QB Danny McManus, a couple of other players and a draft pick. I just have one question...who did Hamilton get for Troy Davis then? I'm sure Hugh Campbell, aka the Godfather of the CFL, could shed light on that one...then again, what does he care about explaining anything...he won the Grey Cup.

Ok, going into week 13 - I am still alive in the suicide pool with one other this week's pick is Miami...I had considered the Bears over the Pack (but I don't trust Orton over Favre)...thought about Carolina over Atlanta (but Ron Mexico has a habit of screwing me when it hurts most)...even Arizona over S.F (I have Arizona as a high pick...but I'd hate myself if I lost the suicide pool because of a couple of awful teams) i went with Miami to beat the road wimp Bills. This week's picks...

16) Indianapolis over Tennessee - D'uh

15) San Diego over Oakland - L.T breaks the Raiders D with a big 3rd quarter.

14) New England over NY Jets - After last week's performance...Brady makes the Jets pay.

13) Arizona over San Francisco - I'll take Warner over Alex Smith...and Hazel Mae's Cowboys' Fitzgerald and Boldin

12) Seattle over Philadelphia - Statement game for McNabb, a weakened D - if Seattle doesn't win, this will come back to haunt them and raise questions

11) Miami over Buffalo - Ricky is running well...maybe its the...never mind. Bills haven't won on the road...Saban won't let his team lose at home to a kid like Losman

10) Chicago over Green Bay - I hate this game...back in my gambling days, I would have called this a trap game - this might Favre's Super Bowl this year...grudge match - I'll take Chicago, but I wouldn't be surprised if they lost.

09) Carolina over Atlanta - Ron Mexico doesn't play well against the the Panthers are tough at home

08) Washington over St. Louis - The clock strikes twelve for Fitz...The Skins' aren't great, but they are a hell of a lot better than Houston.

07) Baltimore over Houston - Another trap game. I can't NOT take Baltimore...but after last week's embarrassing meltdown against St. Louis...Capers might have them ready...but then again, Ed Reed is back - he's good for a TD. I hope.

06) Tampa Bay over New Orleans - Not sure how much I trust Lil' Simms away from home...but I'll take Bucs D.

05) Kansas City over Denver - No I'm not sucking up to Hazel...well...maybe a little; but the Chiefs are something crazy like 18-1 at home in December over the last few years. Ok...I'm sucking up to Hazel..but I'm not starting Green or Gonzo this week - though I will reconsider if Hazel says to.

04) Jacksonville over Cleveland - I like David Garrard...just not sure how much - especially with Taylor out.

03) Detroit over Minnesota - Going for the guilt game...after Mariucci's canning (should it have been a caning?)...Garcia might get it done...but I'm putting my three points down on the Detroit D.

02) Dallas over NY Giants - yes I guaranteed a win earlier this week...yes. two points is still two's not like they were my least favourite pick. Here's hoping Hazel sends some good karma Bledsoe's way.

01) Cincinnati over Pittsburgh - Hunch pick...Palmer has a big game for Hazel's Cowboys and keeps Trent Green firmly implanted on the sidelines. T.J. Houshmanzadeh gets a TD this week.

There you have it...picks vs the Spread to follow tonight.

Ok, before I go on this one - I am going to apologize to Hazel in advance. Saw an article by NESN Bruin's Play by Play announcer Jack Edwards talking about how Joe Thornton had to go. I know that being the play by play man (away games) for the team means you have to put a positive spin on things...even colossal mistakes like the one O'Connell (ya ya...I was spelling it O'Connoll before...but hey, I'm a freakin know how many times English people have misspelled my name?). Getting back to the article...

Edwards questioned Thornton's leadership and his desire to be a physical force...these being the principle reasons on why Thornton had to be moved. In Edwards' opinion Thornton should have never been the captain - saying that his refusal to call guys out makes him an ineffective leader...leading by example, playing hurt like Thornton did vs. Montreal is not being a leader I guess...

I guess in Edwards eyes, being a leader is being the kind of Captain that calls guys out - like Joe Sakic of the Avalanche who is notorious for doing that (tongue firmly implanted in cheek), or how about that Yzerman in Detroit - how many times did he call guys out? Don't forget one of the great Captians of that quarter century Mark Messier...Jack, these guys lead quietly...they lead by example...and they lead by shouldering most of the heat. But Jack didn't stop was bad enough that he criticized Thornton unfairly...after what - 25 games? He got all that? Because as he went on to say in his article...he spent five years as ESPN's play by play guy for the Pacific Division...and he is still an expert on Thornton? I don't get it.

Edwards goes on to laud Stuart, Sturm and Primeau as great additions who are going to make the Bruins so much better than Thornton could. He calls Stuart "the read deal", lauding him for his excellent passing skills and skating ability - funny, most of the astute and informed hockey observers in Canada have referred to Stuart as a good player who has yet to fulfill his potential as a first round pick - a number 4 defencemen; but hey, what do they know compared to Jack? I mean, some of these guys only coached in the NHL...they weren't ESPN's Pacific Division Play by Play guy.

Marco Sturm is a paradox...he is so good, but his numbers don't reflect it. Not sure what that means...What I do know is that Thornton put up the numbers when teams were all focused on him...he was the guy teams tried to shut down...Marco Sturm has never been that guy...he may very well be now - we'll see how he responds.

Wayne Primeau - Jack loves this guy because he hates losing...he hates it, and he is going to do anything he can not to lose - I would argue that Travis Green is like that...and a better player than Primeau. Where was Primeau during the Sharks 10 game losing streak? Primeau is a serviceable player...but certainly not a guy who deserves mention as part of a trade involving Joe Thornton...come on now Jack - get real.

Joe Thornton was used as a scapegoat for a bunch of awful moves by the Bruins. Mike O'Connell is trying to save his skin by putting this on Thornton...O'Connell let Knuble and other serviceable players (Lapointe, Nylander) go...and replaced them by bringing in guys like Zhamnov (way overpaid). There was a reference the other day, someone "in the know" in the Bruins organization leaked that the Bruins off-season moves were made with Thornton's approval...that he ok'd all of the signings and releases... I don't believe it for a second - and if it was proven to be true...that would be enough to can O'Connell right there.

Boston fans, don't buy the garbarge the Bruins and guys like Jack Edwards are trying to peddle - the man who was arguably the best GM the NHL has ever seen, Sam Pollock of the Canadiens (god that hurts saying that) once said the winner of a trade is determined by who got the best player - there is no question that Joe Thornton is the best player in the deal...he made a very ordinary Bruin team look better than they were - expect Glen Murray and Samsonov to suffer...then we'll see what Jack Edwards is saying about "the real deal" , "the paradox" (the enigma?) and "the buy who hates losing"... watch what Thornton does in San Jose...Hazel, you should have guided him to Toronto - hahahaha. He'll be there in two years when Mats is ready to hang them up.

Again...apologies to Hazel for not supporting NESN on this one.

Ok, that is it for this afternoon...I have to go damn running buddy is picking me up in 15 minutes...cuz we "don't want to go running when it gets really cold after dark". Damn her.

Avoid doing things related to work if you can help it. You need a break. Focus on having fun and doing things that will enhance your looks or your outlook. Take your mind off your everyday worries. 2 stars

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - because I didn't post an entry yesterday (was celebrating great news at work...a promotion) for a favourite of Hazelspeeps' girl Nelly Furtado...

Happy Birthday - Traditional

For today...with what the Bruins have to look forward to the rest of the way...

Oye Mi Canto - N.O.R.E (if you read this know that that song makes me think of Big Papi and Manny...Baseball season cometh!). BORICUA...MORENA...

Peesth out.


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