Ah, The NFL Preseason

Ramblings, Sports

The Denver Broncos do realize this is the NFL preseason, right?

They should save this energy for the real actual games against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

Trolling aside, TJ Ward and Demarcus Ware look like great additions for this team so far. Especially TJ Ward. Getting rid of Chump Bailey was a wise move too, that guy looked like an idiot in the last two postseasons for the Broncos.

The 49ers are also 0-2 and Phil Dawson missed two field goals apparently. I thought what? Phil Dawson always gets on my nerves. Without him kicking in his chip shots to bail out Kaepernick the 49ers would have been 7-9 last year. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and the 49ers are really in trouble. Good team, just can’t stand them and their constant whining.

Who Will Be the Best 2014 NFL Draft Pick This Season?

Sports

The NFL draft this year was one of the deepest it has been in years. There was a lot of talent. It wasn’t like the draft where Andrew Luck and RG3 were the top two picks, but it was a deep draft. The one in 2013 was a joke quite honestly compared to it.

Greg Robinson would have easily been taken as a tackle over Eric Fisher. The list goes on. Kelvin Benjamin who looks like he could be a gem on the Carolina Panthers was taken around 29th overall. Teddy “baby hands” Bridgewater who people claimed would be first overall nearly went to the second round.

Therefore many people have the question…who will be the best draft pick from this year?

This is a severely tough question. Gun to my head, I will say it will be Blake Bortles the third overall pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I’m not playing around.

He has that “it” factor. He plays like a quarterback. He’s big, he’s tough, he’s accurate, he can throw it. I really do think the Jaguars have found their man and made the right choice. He should have been first overall. I am not the one who likes to compare prospects to proven greats but Blake Bortles really does remind me of Big Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He can take a hit or two and he can be clutch.

Let’s be honest now, Gus Bradley and the Jaguars saying how they will put him on the bench this season is all a facade to motivate him. Chad Henne can’t lead this team to a better record than 4-12 like last year. He’s simply not good enough. Blake Bortles will come in eventually an he will open up some eyes. It’s crazy to say he will take the team to the playoffs or postseason, no way in hell does he do that. But he will open some eyes and people will say, “man this guy can play”. I would take him 10/10 times over Johnny Football and Teddy Bridgewater without thinking twice. Teddy Bridgewater has the word “bust” tattooed on his forehead while Johnny Football has skills, he looks like he is a hit or two away from getting killed. Derek Carr was concussed last week. This isn’t college football. A lot of the defensive players in the regular season are going to lick their chops at the thought of welcoming the arrogant Johnny football to the league.

After choosing Bortles, I will choose my second runner up pick who plays on the defensive side of the ball: Khalil Mack. There is no pressure on this guy at all to perform being on the pitiful Oakland Raiders team. He was said to be the most NFL ready prospect and a mean prick with skills. There is pressure on Jadeveon Clowney. He was the first overall pick and they said he could be a great. People also say Mack could be good but not as many eyes will be on him as Clowney. I think this may be the one move that the Oakland Raiders will have finally gotten right on draft day. This guy is NFL ready, he can play, he can do it all on defense. He is no doubt my lock for defensive rookie of the year.

What’s Up With the Detroit Tigers?

Sports

For a team that is ranked fifth in payrolls by team (probably much higher now that they took on David Price’s contract) and with such a star studded lineup, you’d think they would have not only won a few world series already but also be a no brainer to make the postseason this year. Anything short of the world series is a bust for this team.

But they aren’t even in place to be a wild card team (yet). They are second in their division behind the Kansas City Royals and now behind the Seattle Mariners in a wild card spot.

Quite embarrassing for a team with that payroll and star power. The Yankees and Phillies have higher payrolls and aren’t in the playoff picture really but let’s be honest, they don’t have the talent the Detroit Tigers do.

Miggy Cabrera who is an MVP candidate every year, Martinez, Hunter, the list goes on. They just picked up David Price to make their pitching rotation scary for the post season yet it isn’t.

I still say this team makes the playoffs, they are too talented not to. If they don’t I will gladly point and laugh at them. Like I said, this team should have won a few world series already by now.

Everyone Eventually Falls

Sports

ken-holland-2011-5-13-1-10-38

This has been on my mind for a while.

I constantly see people (mostly Detroit Red Wings fans) getting upset or in an uproar over Ken Holland’s moves or lack of production lately. The same can be said for general manager Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey. They haven’t seen the playoffs in a few years. At least Detroit has. As an eighth seed.

The case here is that everyone eventually goes down. It does not matter who you are or what you do. Everyone has to fall.

Ken Holland made Detroit years ago the place every top free agent wanted to play in a cap-less environment. They were like Chicago and Los Angeles are now. Even after the cap was put in around the 2005 lockout, they were still a powerhouse. Pavel Datsyuk was chosen in what round? Oh yeah, around the sixth round. Henrik Zetterberg was a seventh round pick. If you ask me those are probably the two best ever sixth and seventh round picks you will ever see.

Since then though the game has changed. His players have gotten older. Detroit is simply not the powerhouse it used to be and he’s clinging on to Zetterberg and Datsyuk really. Along with coach Babcock. I would say the move that crippled Holland’s team the most was Lidstrom retiring. He still had a few years left in him. They were around a fifth place team in the west with him there. Now they would be lucky to even be in eighth in the eastern conference. A player like Lidstrom is simply irreplaceable. Picture the Los Angeles Kings without Drew Doughty in the playoffs or Chicago without Duncan Keith. They would lose that fire on the blue line. It doesn’t matter who plays up front when you lose an anchor like that.

The same can be said for Lou Lamoriello. He was the best general manager in hockey in the late 90s along with Ken Holland. Brian Burke once claimed the Devils were the most well run organization in hockey. Now look at them. They cling on to more past their prime players than the Detroit Red Wings do. They passed the torch to Los Angeles and Chicago as well. They have no prospect pool or depth to speak of and the only thing going for them is getting Cory Schneider. I will admit as a Vancouver fan that that guy can play his ass off in net. He will be a top five goalie in the league soon enough. Getting rid of him was hard to take. But outside of him their roster is puke worthy.

This all shows no one stays on top forever. Coaches come and go and so do general managers. In ten years from now we may be complaining about Peter Chiarelli (Boston’s general manager) hanging on to past their prime players.

NFL Preseason Brings Out the Idiocy In Referees

Sports, Ramblings

So I tuned in to watch the Seattle Seahawks-San Diego Chargers meaningless preseason game that took place yesterday.

It’s always interesting to tune in to see how your team is doing before the real season starts. See what young players or depth players could step up.

But man, was it ever tough to watch.

In the third quarter one of the referees tried his best to get himself “killed” in Seattle rather than being sleepless there. Thank goodness it was preseason though.

The Seahawks cornerbacks barely freaking touched the Chargers receivers yet he called it twice. Barely touched, I kid you not. It was outrageous. I believe it was Tharold Simon (who has looked not bad I must admit) picked off a Chargers receiver for a touchdown yet it was called back to the red zone due to “incidental contact”. Yet replays show he hardly touched the receiver.

I can see this new rule having people up in arms come season time if the referee’s don’t tone it down. You have to know Roger Goodell will get them to call this even more if he doesn’t want to see teams like Seattle be the champions again.

Many people have brought up how people like Matt Stafford are setting records in the league due to the direction. That couldn’t be more true. If Goodell keeps getting referee’s to call the game this way you may as well have no defense out there to be honest.

Cleveland Cavaliers are Treating Andrew Wiggins Like Shit

Ramblings, Sports

The title speaks for itself.

Apparently Andrew Wiggins said in an interview he has yet to speak to Lebron James. Probably because “the queen” does not want to waste his time of day to welcome the new kid to his team and his only. That’s right, he’s calling the shots since coming back home to Cleveland.

Of course Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is not a role model himself. Apparently it was said he has plans to get Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves on August 23rd. That’s when Wiggins is eligible to be treated.

I feel bad for the kid. First overall pick and he gets treated like pure shit by the Cavaliers. I’m definitely a fan of his now and hope he becomes a decent player. Just stick it to those donkeys in Cleveland.

This is the same Queen James that whined for Larry Hughes to come to Cleveland and then fled the city to become a ring chaser. The same Dan Gilbert also sent a letter to fans denouncing him but is now letting him call the shots.

Lebron is a big baby, no question about it. He’s the easiest to hate athlete in any big sport. Kevin Love is a great player don’t get me wrong but why not see if first overall pick Andrew Wiggins has anything to offer?

Here’s to Cleveland staying cursed and never winning a ring with the queen there. He barely got two with the best supporting cast in NBA history while on the Miami Heat. One during a lockout shortened season, the next was won by Ray Allen in game six. That team they barely beat in seven games kicked their asses the next year to prove they got lucky. So he really has one ring and he knows it. 2-3 in NBA finals history while Tim Duncan is 5-1 and the list goes on and on.

Andrew, you deserve better.

Predicting the 2014-2015 NHL Standings

Sports

Season starts in October. Of course these will most likely not be perfect or right. As John Tortorella would say, I am just throwing shit on a wall and hoping it sticks.

Atlantic Division (Eastern Conference)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Florida Panthers
8. Buffalo Sabres

A bit of a bold prediction here. I think the Lightning step up from the previous year. Coach Jon Cooper is a great coach. They have Stamkos coming back for a full year this time (most likely, let’s hope he doesn’t get injured as he’s great to watch). If Ben Bishop performs well and they step up from last year (which I think they will), they could take over the division. The Bruins are still a good team but I just think they will regress eventually. Montreal definitely has a playoff team on paper and with Price in net they are a no brainer. Detroit and Toronto will be interesting. Both are quite evenly matched. Detroit however was faced with huge, huge injuries last season and they have been trending downwards. I think they will battle Toronto for around a seventh-eighth seed spot. The bottom three teams are easy to predict. Buffalo is looking like a lottery team and their fans know it. If Ron Rolston was there for the whole season last year as coach they may have had the worst record for an NHL team since the 1995 lockout. The Florida Panthers made all these high picks and signed a bunch of guys but it’s not good enough to overtake the six teams I have ranked ahead of them. They suck and will continue to suck. Poor Luongo. The Senators have an awful roster on paper and could be a lottery team too. But with Karlsson still there, decent goaltending, and a great coach in Paul MacLean will make them not a lottery team but short of a playoff spot.

Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference)

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. New York Rangers
3. Philadelphia Flyers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Washington Capitals
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is actually quite a tough division to predict. When taking a look at things no doubt the Penguins, Rangers, and Flyers are the three best teams in the division. After them you can rotate the bottom five teams. When looking at last year the Devils lost thirteen shootouts. I highly doubt that happens again. Their roster looks quite awful but I think with Cory Schneider in net as the starter and no Brodeur they can be a playoff team or fall just short. Columbus has not impressed me much. I don’t think they repeat what they did last year. They played with a lot of heart and energy in the post season and to get there. I just don’t see it happening again this year. They might make me eat my words, who knows. I believe you could rotate them with the Devils but I’m going with the Devils this year. The Washington Capitals are a team I could see becoming a disaster by hiring Barry Trotz as a coach. He does not fit as a coach for that offensive styled team. He coaches an awful style. I see him lasting not long at all there. He coached some of the most boring hockey I have ever seen when he was in Nashville. As for Carolina, I’m not really sure if they will finish last in the division. I admittedly don’t follow them much to make a solid prediction. But I really don’t see them cracking the top eight in the conference either. They should realistically finish ahead of teams such as the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, and maybe Senators but not good enough to get into the postseason.

Central Division (Western Conference)
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Minnesota Wild
4. Dallas Stars
5. Nashville Predators
6. Colorado Avalanche
7. Winnipeg Jets

Ah, the beauty as well as the hard times of being the western conference. Only 14 teams and 8 get to make it into the playoffs. But then most of those 14 teams are actually very good. Especially in the central division. That is going to be a tough division to play in. Perhaps the toughest in the league, tougher than the pacific division was last year. The Blues should remain as the top seed. They have been good in the regular season for years. They dumped Ryan Miller who was not working out for them and got Paul Statsny from Colorado, a solid addition to their team. Look for Tarasenko and Schwartz to be even better this year. The only problem is they have proven they can not win in the post season. That is outside the point. They will make it in as a high seed once again. The Blackhawks and Wild definitely will as well. As for the Dallas Stars, I really like what they are doing. They just added point per game player Jason Spezza to an already great offensive roster. They will be even better me thinks. Nashville has hired Peter Laviolette and left defensive minded loser Barry Trotz stranded in the desert. Great move. Laviolette has won everywhere he’s gone. He could make Nashville an exciting team to watch as well as a playoff team unlike doofus Trotz. He should go talk to John Tortorella in a steam bath about how to ruin a hockey team by playing dump and chase. End rant. The Avalanche were good last year but I just have a feeling they won’t be as good as the five teams I mentioned above them. There was a feeling as if they over achieved last year. They got off to a wickedly hot start and kept it up throughout the season. I just feel if there’s one team that won’t repeat what they did last year it is them. I hope they make me eat my words because they play an exciting brand of hockey and they are easy to root for. I just don’t have high hopes. The Jets as the worst team in this division is a no brainer. I’d be shocked if they get above seventh seed. Their roster lacks the talent the other teams in their division have.

Pacific Division (Western Conference)

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. San Jose Sharks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. Vancouver Canucks
5. Calgary Flames
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Edmonton Oilers

I said in a previous post on here of my most bold predictions for the year that the Canucks will make the playoffs. Of course I am sticking to that. I say they get in as a seventh or eighth seed. They will surprise people. The Kings are historically or lately not a dominant team in the season but they could care less. They’ve won two cups in three years, once as an eighth seed the other as a sixth seed. The Sharks were good in the regular season last year and have not really downgraded or anything like that. I think they could be in the same position they were in last year. They are a good team in the regular season but chokers in the post season. That’s again outside the point. They will make it to the playoffs. The Ducks are president trophy favourites this year and I think they will realistically win it. Getzlaf and Perry are still there and Boudreau is the right coach for this team…in the regular season that is. Not the playoffs where he’s never done anything. They also added Kesler and Clayton Stoner. They will be a good team in the season no question about it. Perhaps one of the most shocking picks one would see here is that I have Calgary ranked higher than Arizona. Arizona is well managed and coached but they do not have much talent at all to be a playoff team. I like what Calgary is doing. Hartley is a great coach and has them busting their asses off every game. This is coming from someone that hates Calgary as a whole. I think they will be rivals with Vancouver this season and both battling each other for that final playoff spot perhaps or a low seeded spot. The Oilers will never improve as long as Kevin Lowe is there, don’t think otherwise. Until he’s gone and out, they will continue to suck. A poorly managed organization from top to bottom.

To summarize the post season should look like:

Atlantic:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning .vs. 4. Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs/New York Islanders (dark horse pick)
2. Boston Bruins .vs. 3. Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins .vs. 4. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers .vs .3. Philadelphia Flyers

Central:
1. St. Louis Blues .vs. 4. Dallas Stars
2. Chicago Blackhawks .vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

Pacific:
1. Anaheim Ducks .vs. 4. Vancouver Canucks/Nashville Predators (dark horse picks)
2. San Jose Sharks .vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings