Tag:Detroit Red Wings
Posted on: December 31, 2008 12:15 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:00 pm
 

10 Things I learned the week of Dec. 29th

Well, I'm doing better with my bowl picks, although still around .500 overall, better than .333, though.  After starting off 2-4, it quickly became 2-6 going into Saturday.  Then I rattled off 7 straight winners before tanking both games last night and currently sit at 9-8.  I'll need some help down the stretch if I want to obtain my usual Meatloaf accuracy rating.  Anyway, here goes what I learned this week.

1) Opening up on the ice - As I will be doing this more and more after both football seasons wind down, I figured I'd open with a hockey take.  I'm really looking forward to the Wings Blackhawks game tomorrow at historic Wrigley Field.  Should be an interesting matchup.  I liked last year's edition between the Penguins and Sabres, especially since snow and wind were affecting the game and created for interesting conditions.  In fact, they changed the way the teams were skating half way through each period to make it equal.  This should be a fun contest.

2) Firing Squad - As usual, the NFL season closes with a flurry of head coaching changes.  Guess Mangini isn't "Mangenius" anymore.  Expect a couple more over the next few days, although not as many as usual since so many got dumped mid season.  I know a lot of people in Tampa are calling for Gruden's head, and he definitely has some culpability for what happened, but to me that's a very nearsighted view.  Besides, unless you have Cowher already lined up, who are you going to get in here that's better than Gruden.  Nobody in my book.

3) Late season choke jobs - Wow, how badly did the seasons end for my Bucs, the Broncos, the Jets, and the Cowboys (more on them in a sec).  The Bucs uncharacteristicly lost 4 games in which they either led or were tied at some point in the 4th quarter, the Jets couldn't win on the west coast, and the Broncos just needed 1 win or a Chargers loss in the last 3 weeks, and couldn't do it.  By the way, look for the Chargers Broncos to be cranked up a few notches next year.  With Jay Cutler's moronic rantings after the game (BTW, Jay, if the Chargers are as bad as you say they were, why did you just get smoked by them?  Keep your mouth shut next time.  This wasn't the first time Jay's said something completely asinine, either) and the Chargers sending out playoff notices for ticket sales BEFORE the game was officially over (yes, I know a comeback was unlikely, but still, would have it killed you to wait the extra ten or so minutes of real time?), things could get very ugly.

4) Putting the "Fun" in dysfunctional - Is there a more dysfunctional organization than the Cowboys?  I do know this for a fact.  There is definitely not one more undisciplined.  And Jerry Jones needs to realize A) this isn't fantasy football.  Throwing the best collection of talent at different positions almost NEVER equates into the best team and B) The best owners in football are the hands off owners, who allow football decisions to be made by football people.  And he wonders why he hasn't won squat since the people JJ put in place have gone.  In fact, this is the ninth year in a row that Dallas has lost it's final game of the season and 12th in a row without winning a single playoff game.  Cowboy fans, how long will this remain acceptable to you?

5) When Irish eyes are smiling - Notre Dame fans reminded me why I can't stand them again this week.  They're already proclaiming "they're back" after winning ONE GAME against a mediocre Hawaii team.  Even if this is a sign of things to come, and even if they do win 9 games to become BCS eligible as they should with THAT schedule that features Pac 10 powerhouses USC Washington AND Washington State, first off, put together SEVERAL 9+ win seasons and then get back to me and secondly, you do realize the reason you won your first bowl game in TEN tries is because you were matched up against a team with similar or slightly less talent, correct?  When you do become BCS eligible next year, you will once again be over matched and start your NEW bowl losing streak.  Congratumafrigginlations!!!!!

6) Remember when Jan. 1st was "Man Day" - I got this idea from a thread started by another community member on the NCAA page, but it got me thinking back to when there were like 10 bowl games on New Years Day, packed from morning to night on all the major networks, often with three different ones going on at the same time so you would have to get extra TV's or abuse your picture in picture.  I miss all that.  Maybe it's just me, but that was fun.  I realize they are trying to avoid the game's going on at the same time, but would it really kill them to compact the bowl schedule a little and put more games back on the 1st?  And what's with these minor bowls being played after the 1st?  Either move them before the 1st where they belong, or axe them all together.  Sheesh.

7) Weekly look ahead - The games I'm looking forward to this week are the aforementioned New Year's day outdoor NHL game, The Rose Bowl (which I believe will be closer than most people think), the Cotton Bowl (again, I believe will be closer than most think), and the NFL playoffs (more on these in a moment)

8) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Picks - Here's my picks for all the remaining games besides the BCS Championship game.  I'll have a whole big point or two on next week's edition.

Armed Forces Bowl - Air Force 41 Houston 27

Sun Bowl - Pitt 27 Oregon State 20

Music City Bowl - Boston College 23 Vanderbilt 20

Insight Bowl - Kansas 38 Minnesota 17

Chik-Fil-A Bowl - Georgia Tech 41 LSU 17 

Outback Bowl - South Carolina 17 Iowa 14 (don't know why I'm picking against Shonn Greene.  Just a gut feeling.  Only gave this game a 3 confidence)

Capital One - Georgia 28 Michigan State 20

Gator - Nebraska 20 Clemson 10

Rose Bowl - USC 20 PSU 17

Orange Bowl - Cincinnati 31 Virginia Tech 21

Cotton Bowl - Texas Tech 31 Mississippi 30

Liberty Bowl -Kentucky 20 ECU 13

Sugar Bowl - Alabama 27 Utah 13

International Bowl - UConn 24 Buffalo 21

Fiesta Bowl - Texas 34 tOSU 17

GMAC Bowl - Tulsa 38 Ball State 24

9) A Look Back - 8 weeks ago, I gave everyone my NFL postseason predictions, and I must say I was 9 for 12 on getting the participants correct, and even had some of the seeds correctly figured.  A local newspaper columnist asked who had Miami and Atlanta making the playoffs and if you raised your hand, you were lying.  My response was when.  Before the season, NO WAY would have I had Miami or Atlanta making the playoffs.  That's why I wait until after week 9 when everybody's played half their schedule.  By doing so, I had both Miami and Atlanta in the playoffs (although I had the wrong one as division champs).  The only picks I missed on were I had New England in instead of the Colts in the AFC (didn't see the Colts 9 game winning streak coming), and I had the Bucs over Carolina and the Packers over the Vikings in the NFC (don't know what I was thinking with that Pack pick, ugh).  See, if you wait to do it at the right time, you don't make stupid picks like the Cowboys running away with the NFC or the Browns making noise in the AFC (and I still curse the NFL for scheduling so many of their games on TV.  That was putrid).

10) A Look Ahead - Okay, time for my official NFL playoff predictions.  Back 8 weeks ago, I had the Giants facing the Steelers in my home town of Tampa on Feb. 1st, and I see no reason to back off that now.  Also see no reason to back off the high number of wild card teams winning in the first round.  I had three of four winning back then, I almost had four of four winning now.

Wild Card Round - Ravens 16 Dolphins 10, Colts 27 Chargers 20, Falcons 27 Cardinals 13, Vikings 24 Eagles 21 (I almost went Eagles, and would have if the game were in Philly)

Divisional Round - Titans 17 Ravens 13 (although I could see the Ravens winning), Steelers 24 Colts 20, Panthers 27 Vikings 14, Giants 24 Falcons 20

Championship Round - Steelers 17 Titans 10, Giants 27 Panthers 24

Super Bowl - Giants 24 Steelers 23

Posted on: December 24, 2008 11:20 am
Edited on: January 13, 2009 9:01 pm
 

10 Things I Learned the week of Dec. 22nd

WARNING: No. this isn't going to be like Yo's surgeon general warning, although I can have my moments of wit and humor if you read some of my other work on here.  In fact, this is probably my one serious release.  No, just giving everyone a heads up that for the second time I will be breaking my own cardinal rule about cutting off the week's events on a Monday.  Last night's game between Boise State and TCU was too good to wait until next week to comment on.  And while I'm breaking my cardinal rule, congrats to my Bolts, who played their best game of hockey in a LONG LONG time last night against the Pens.  They were forechecking like it was 2004, and their passing was the crispest I've seen all year, and was usually right on target.  Anyway, here goes.

And so this is Christmas.  And what have I learned?  Another week over.  A new one's just begun.

1) Feeling a little "Horn"y - Wow.  What a game last night.  TCU's defense, despite what the idiots logged into the four letter network were saying for most of the game, singlehandedly won that game for the Horned Frogs, and kept them in it while their offense was doing everything they could to lose it for most of the first half.  Anyway, this game was one of those rare one's that lived up to the expectations, and quite honestly deserved a better date and venue than what they got.  This was a great matchup between two great teams.  Boise State fans, you should still be very proud of what your team accomplished this year, but if you want a reminder as to why tOSU is in the Fiesta Bowl (which I told you a couple weeks ago your venom was improperly directed in the first place), look no further than the stands.  University of Phoenix Stadium will be PACKED.  Trust me, I know.  In 2007, it was about 70% Buckeye fans.

2) A Giant Victory - Speaking of great games, I predicted the SNF game between the Giants and Panthers would be a classic and it did not disappoint. Have to give huge props to the Giants not only being able to come back the way they did in that game, but just absolutely decimating the Panthers run D much the same way the Panthers decimated my Bucs run D a couple weeks ago.  Thank you to Brandon Jacobs for helping me win my autodraft league here on CBS.

3) A "Titan"ic victory - In the same line, congrats to the Tennesse Titans who won a huge game against the Steelers and locked up home field advatage on the AFC side.  I'm still not quite sold that it won't be the Steelers or Ravens coming out of the AFC, but the Titans are a solid team who would represent well here in Tampa in February.

4) The resurrection of the Dirty Birds - Even though Minnesota outplayed the Falcons for pretty much the entire game, the Falcons did what they had to to come away with the W and secure a playoff birth.  What an amazing turnaround this year, a turnaround that should scare the bajesus out of (no, not the rest of the NFC, although they could make some noise, especially if they somehow win the division) the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Yes, you had a huge win over LSU at the end of the year, but your current head coach, that you ousted the better Houston Nutt for (good luck to him in the Cotton Bowl.  See Razorback fans, the COTTON BOWL) was the same head coach who divided and held back this Falcon team last year.  Bobby Petrino sucks, there's just no other way of saying that.

5) A "Bull"ish victory - I haven't been doing too well with my bowl picks so far this year.  2-4 right now, although I'd be doing a lot better if the games would have ended at the 28 minute mark.  I did score 32 points in my bowl pool with the USF Bulls, however.  This team showed flashes of the team they should have been.  One playing in a much better bowl than the St. Pete bowl.  If only they could have cut out some of the turnovers, especially the ones in the red zone.  What a different year this could have been for them.

6) A sinking ship - Boy, it looked for a moment like Navy was going to be up 20-0 at halftime, but one replay (where the correct ruling was clearly made), and all of a sudden, momentum shifted dramatically.  Navy goes on to allow a last minute TD drive, and go into halftime only up 13-7.  Then it was all over from there.  Still you have to be proud of the way this team played this year and has played in recent years.  They've become a perennial bowl team now.

7) So much for my Western Conference dream match - I still want to see Sharks Wings in a seven game series that means a trip to the Stanley Cup finals.  But shortly after I posted last week's edition, Diva's Wings DESTROYED the Sharks 6-0.  Huge win for them, and it pains me ever so to write that.

8) Let's see if anybody whines this year - Well, we arrive to the Christmastime tradition of the NBA on Christmas day, with some pretty good games scheduled.  I'm just more interested to see if some of the players whine about having to play on Christmas day instead of being with their families as some have done in the past (I want to say Shaq).  News Flash!!!!  You make Millions of dollars every year.  Sorry for the minor inconvenience.  Coming from someone who used to regularly have to work Christmas day despite having a 25K a year job, stop crying and work around it.  Usually when that happened, I had Christmas Eve off, so I'd just make that Christmas.  Or, I'd just go see the family when I got off.  If I could make it work, you can!

9) Weekly look ahead - Kind of a light week.  The two NFL games that mean the most (and should be good games) are the Cowboys Eagles and the Panthers Saints.  It kind of sucks knowing if the Bucs win, Philly is eliminated, but the Bucs would need Philly to beat Dallas to make it.  Oh well.  And unfortunately, the only bowl games that looks decent before the Dec. 31st ones are Northwestern and Missouri in the Alamo Bowl (which is a stretch) and Oklahoma State Oregon in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30th (which should be a good game)

10) Buccingator's continuing Bowl Predicitions - Let's see if I can start to do better than 2-4.

Hawaii Bowl (which I predicted last week, but will post again) - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17

Motor City - Central Michigan 31 Florida Atlantic 10

Meineke Car Care - West Virginia 20 UNC 14

Champs Sports Bowl - FSU 28 Wisconsin 10

Emerald Bowl - Cal 23 Miami 21

Independence Bowl - La Tech 24 Northern Illinois 20

Papa Johns - Rutgers 31 NC State 13

Alamo Bowl - Missouri 38 Northwestern 17

Humanitarian - Maryland 21 Nevada 20

Texas Bowl - Western Michigan 28 Rice 27

Holiday Bowl - Oklahoma State 34 Oregon 27

To all my friends, have a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.  See you next week.  I'm thinking about doing a year in review.

Posted on: December 17, 2008 9:56 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2009 8:34 pm
 

10 Things I learned the Week of Dec. 15th

Ugh!  I just got done Christmas shopping, and it gets harder and harder every year.  I remember when I was 10, I had harder times coming up with gift ideas for myself, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the same thing is happening now that my son is 10.  His big wish for this year was a microscope, and both sets of grandparents got him one (actually, one set got him a telescope, so he was really happy), so he'll be able to play whenever he wants.  Not sure what his fascination is.  Guess something in Science at school tweaked his interest.  Didn't post on time yesterday because it was my work's sports banquet (yes, we have recreational sports leagues at my work).  I'm not nearly as spry (or as light) as I used to be 10 years ago, so now I ump/ref instead of play for the most part.  I hope I can come up with ten things this light week in sports.  If Diva's reading, she'll be happy that I'll throw in at least one hockey take.  And special thanks to yo, who lobbed me two softballs (well, one softball, the other was a heater I sent screaming anyway).  Instead of Meatloafing my predictions as I had been accustomed to recently, I nailed every one!!!  Yea!

1) The best Heisman class - Well, I kind of lucked out in picking Bradford to win the Heisman (and hopefully lucked into my Gators being the recipient of the Heisman curse), but I couldn't believe some Texas/Florida/Oklahoma fans were bashing some of these kids.  Bradford's coach runs up the score.  They don't play defense in the Big 12.  Tebow's just a runner.  Everybody, please SHUT UP!  All three kids are class acts and outstanding leaders of the three best football teams in the country.  I honestly would not have had a problem had ANY of the three won, and definitely would not try to make an arguement AGAINST any of them.  Argue for them all you want.  All three are terrific.  Anyway, it was interesting, as somebody pointed out, Bradford won the Heisman, Tebow won the Maxwell, and McCoy the Walter Camp.  All three were the best player, depending on who you asked.  And frankly, that's the way it should have been.

2) "Buc"ed by the Dirty Birds - Ugh, my Bucs lost another huge division road test this week, and lost a couple defensive players to boot.  I didn't think an injury to our D tackle position would hurt us this bad, but I guess it did, as we seem to have lost the ability to stop the run.  I thought for sure the Bucs would be able to ice it when they blocked that punt late in the game, but alas, a critical penalty and the inability to overcome it sealed their fate.  Then when Griese was sacked on a horrible play on his part, I knew it was over.  Thing is, Atlanta almost had a critical penalty of their own, but Michael Turner (who is having an outstanding year, and might be one of the best free agent acquisitions this year) was able to get back pretty much every yard, and Atlanta needed it to, as Elam barely snuck the winning FG inside the offensive left upright.  Had they been the 8 or 9 yards further back, it either would have clanked, or been barely pushed wide.  My only solice is that if the Bucs win out, they'll still make the playoffs.  But unless they face the Cardinals (who are a joke), they will be one and done.

3) Panther roar - Remember when there was speculation of a subway Super Bowl and talk of the Giants being the best team in the NFL.  Well, if Carolina can beat New York in New York this weekend, they will be the number one seed in the NFC, and it's hard to see any team beating Carolina in Carolina right now.

4) Steel Curtain - The Steelers (benefeciaries of a questionable replay call) took a huge step toward possibly establishing themselves as the number one contender in the AFC.  My friend thinks that the Ravens would win a rematch, which they might do, as the Steelers will have trouble running the ball against that D, but on the flip side, I brought up to him that unless the Ravens can start getting TD's, kicking FG's won't cut it, especially in Heinz Field in January where it will be next to impossible.  Still, it would have been interesting to see Tomlin's call on a 4th and goal from the 1 foot line.  Does he go for the win?  Or does he kick the tying FG?  We'll never know, now.

5) A Hockey take - Well, not much has changed since the last time I talked ice on my blog.  My Bolts stick suck eggs.  The Pens, my second favorite team, are decent, but are playing in what looks like the best division in hockey (well, if you kick out the Islanders).  But how about the San Jose Sharks (sorry, Diva)???  I don't get to see them much here in Tampa, but I don't think I've seen a team play this impressive of hockey to start a season, possibly ever.  If they can keep it up, I'd love to see the Sharks play Diva's Wings in the Western Conference finals.  That looks right now like it'd be a helluva series.

6) A Pittsburgh Fleury - Of course, now that the Penguins have Marc-Andre Fleury back between the pipes after being out a month with an injury, maybe they can make a push to get a higher seed in the playoffs, and maybe even push for the division since the Rangers are returning to earth a little bit (sorry Diva, but you'll have to deal with my Pen takes, especially since you have that rat bastard Hossa).

7) Dropping like Flies - I heard an unbelievable statistic the other day.  I believe I heard it on the four letter network, or possibly read it in one of the local papers, but since Jerry Sloan started coaching the Jazz in 1998, there have been an AVERAGE of TWENTY TWO head coaching changes in the NBA PER YEAR!!!!!  This in a league with 30 teams.  That's ludicrous!!!  And people wonder why I consider college to be the better brand of basketball.  This may be a symptom more than a cause, but still!  Sheesh!!!!!  (BTW, there has already been 6 midseason this year alone).

8) As much as I love college basketball - Is there anything more useless than a pre-February RPI?  Looking at the current RPI, Florida State (who owns my Gators in basketball the same way we own them in football, but you can guess which is more important to us in the state of Florida) is number 9, while the Tarheels of UNC are 15th.  Yeah, okay.  Let's see it stay that way when they get into conference play.

9) Weekly Look Ahead - The games I'm looking forward to are Pittsburgh Tennesse in a showdown for the #1 seed in the AFC, Atlanta Minnesota in a HUGE game for both teams (congrats to Yo's Vikes, who now hold a strangle lock on the #3 seed in a game I accurately predicted {pats himself on the back}), and the SNF game of the year for the #1 seed in the NFC between Carolina and the Giants.  Whoever wins that game will lock up the number 1 seed being a game up and the tie break with one left.  Also, I look forward to the Poinsettia Bowl between Boise State and TCU.  How is this game being played on Dec. 23rd???  This is the type of matchup you usually see no earlier than Dec. 31st, and could be better than some of the BCS games.

10) Buccingator's Bowl Predictions - Let's see if I can keep my hot streak going.  I'll give the picks on all the games through the 24th, in case I'm late in posting again.

Eagle Bank Bowl - Navy 21 Wake Forest 17

New Mexico Bowl - Fresno State 31 Colorado State 20

St. Petersburgh (Florida, not Russia) Bowl - USF 34 Memphis 20

Las Vegas Bowl - BYU 24 Arizona 13

New Orleans Bowl - Troy 35 Southern Miss 21

Poinsettia Bowl - TCU 20 Boise State 14 (Boise has not seen a defense like these Horned Frogs have)

Hawaii Bowl - Hawaii 20 Notre Dame 17

 

 
 
 
 
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