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Michael ConVick’s Statement from U.S. District Court….Huh?

Text of a statement by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, as read outside U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday by lawyer Billy Martin:

“Today in court I pleaded innocent to the allegations made against me. I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name. I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown. Above all I would like to say to my mom I’m sorry for what she has had to go through in this most trying of times. It has caused pain to my family and I apologize to my family. I also want to apologize to my Falcon teammates for not being with them at the beginning of spring training.”

Well well well. Does anybody really think these are Michael ConVick’s words. Give me a break!!!! He did not plead innocent, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Next thing…he apologized to his mom and family. Why did he do this and what was he apologizing for? Innocent people do not apologize to anybody when they are charged with bogus crimes. Did the Duke lacrosse kids apologize? Hell no, they came out swinging publicly in an effort to defend their names. Vick has not spoken himself since the NFL draft, why? Michael Convick… your fans want to hear from you and the public wants to know what is going on. He apologized to his teamates but not to the Falcons organization, owner Arthur Blank or coach Bobby Petrino. I bet Petrino wishes he never left Louisville and Blank wishes he never signed ConVick to a $130 million contract. Then to wrap up ConVick’s brilliant statement, he says he is not with his teamates at the beginning of Spring Training. Say what? ConVick is now the pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and not the QB for the Atlanta Falcons. He is not attending Camp!!! Who the heck wrote this bogus statement? What a joke. Now everybody knows ConVick did not say these words and these are not his words. Way to start out strong Mr. Attorney Billy Martin. Nice work.

Flash Flash

July 27, 2007 Posted by | Atlanta Falcons, Michael Vick, Michael Vick Dog Fighting, Petrino, Sports, Vick | Leave a comment

More Vick Stuff: 7-1 He Stays Out of Jail

Vick is in serious trouble. There are two glaring things about this that should make Vick want to dig-up Johnny Cochrane immediately:

1). As Flash noted, these are Federals charges. I’m assuming the Feds are involved because of the interstate nature of the facts. I would think this would be something that the state of VA would and could handle on their own. Which does shine a light a little bit on discriminatory treatment. However, the 84 counts are insane. I’ve not read the indictment. I’m relying on what I read and hear in the press. But, 84 is A LOT and I believe they have over 5 corroborating witnesses as well as video. If true, that is nuts! No way the feds bring that type of indictment out if ther wasn’t a high degree of truth to it. That is a tough hill for any legal team to climb. However, I believe his indicment is conspiracy only, so maybe the witnesses and video are circumstantial. I have to believe that if they have 5 people that can put Vick at the scene of even one of the dog fights, the idictment would have consisted of more than conspriacy charges. I have to look into this more. If the witnesses can only give circumastanital evidence, Vick’s team has a much better chance.

2). The venue. The venue is known as a “rocket docket” and the judge is known to be a hardass. Fair, but a hardass who pushes cases through quickly. I think Vick’s celebrity can only hurt him in this case. It should be over fast.

That said, until I read more, I predict Vick gets off with a very strict probation.  I think the NFL will fold in the pressure of having to suspend one of their stars, and Goodell has already screwed this up. Cudos to the sponsors that are running far, far away from Vick. However, they are not doing enough. Nike’s suspension of his new shoe release is a joke.

Vick could lose over $300 mil by this indictment, regardless of the outcome. He could be the dumbest person on the planet. Seriously. The dumbest person on the planet. My feelings have nothing to do with his innocence or guilt. I’m actually presuming he is innocent and that his legal team will keep his dumbass from going to jail. However, I’m not dumb and anyone who gets an 84 count federal indictment had to be involved somehow. Vick is dumb because he put himself even remotely close to that situation. Completely dumb. Even worse than Pacman going near a strip club (especially with $81 large in cake on him) or any athlete/celebrity not hiring someone to drive their drunkasses around after a night on the town.

I betcha the Falcons and Arthur Blank are cursing the day they decided to trade Matt Schaub. They should have known better than to give up on a kid from northwest Indiana.

I start the line that Vick stays out of jail at 7-1. 


July 21, 2007 Posted by | Atlanta Falcons, Betting, Matt Schaub, Michael Vick, Michael Vick Dog Fighting, NFL, Roger Goodell | Leave a comment

Michael ConVick and the NFL Hypocrisy

It has taken me a solid day to wrap myself around the Michael Vick indictment. I was originally outraged and wanted Vick kicked out of the league but then I thought I would be a hypocrite for how I handled the Duke lacrosse player accused rape scandal saying we needed to wait until we hear all of the facts and that people in this country are innocent until proven guilty. After one day I think I can break down what is happening in this situation and am comfortable with my opinion. My opinion is that Michael Vick is a low life criminal and he should be immediately suspended from the league without pay and dropped from every sponsor he has. Here is why:

Duke vs. Vick The Facts – In the Duke lacrosse case, the story of what actually happened in that house was under dispute from Day 1. Each stripper had a different story, some of the accused had proof that they were not at the party when the now bogus crime took place, the DA was a local guy in an election year taking advantage of a touchey race situation for his own benefit. Also, I have first hand experience and knowledge of what it is like to be an athlete at a top caliber school where you play division one sports and the stripper stories just were not believeable. D-1 lax players at schools like Duke, Hopkins and Princeton are close to Gods on campus and can get and do whatever they want so they are not going to rape some low class stripper when they can have instant sex at the snap of a finger from eager freshmen girls looking to hang with the lax guys. They are called laxtitutes at princeton and this is fact. Now why this is different than the Vick case is simple…Vick is facing an indictment from the FEDS, not some local clown. 95% of cases that are brought to trial in Vick’s district see the prosecutor win. Here are the Vick facts that can not be disputed:

– Vick bought the house on June 29, 2001 for $34,000
– Vick started buying pit bulls after he bought the house and they know from where including locations in NC, NY and Richmond, VA
– Sept. 2001 he bought more pit bulls
– Early 2002 he bought more dogs
– Early 2002 Vick started Bad Newz Kennels and made shirts and headbands representing this business
– Between 2002 and 2005 Vick built a fence to shield the rear portion of the house from public view, built multiple sheds that housed training equipment commonly used by dogfighter, built kennels, buried car axles with chains for the pit bulls
– Vick “rolled” some of the put bulls in Virginia Beach. Rolled means placing the dog in a short fight to see how it does.
– In 2002, Vick rolled lots of dogs at his property
– Vick hosted a fight for his dog Zebro against a dog named Maniac that had a $2,000 purse. Zebro lost.
– Late 2002, Vick’s dog Chico won a $2,000 fight at his house against a dog from alabama
– Spring of 2003, Vick travelled with his dog Jane to NC for a $3,00 fight and won
– Late 2003, Vick took Jane to NJ to fight for $10,000 and Jane won
– Spring of 2003, Vick travelled to SC with his pit Big Boy and won a $2,000 fight
– Late 2003, Vick goes back to SC with Big Boy and wins a $7,200 fight
– Spring 2004, Vick fights Big Boy at his home against a pit from NJ and wins $3,000
– March 2003, Vick hosts $26,000 fight with a female pit fight and loses
– March 2003, at same fight, Vick has his male dog fight in a $20,000 fight and his dog loses
– March 2003, Vick takes female pit to fight in a $6,000 fight in Surry County, Virginia. Fight was a scratch when Vick’s dog jumped out of the ring
– March 2003 – Vick loses the rematch
– Fall of 2003, Vick takes pit bull named Magic to South Carolina for a $6,000 fight. Magic wins

AND the list goes on for Vick and his cohorts.

Hers ia a crazy one and comes during the same month Vick met with the NFL Commissioner and said he was not invloved with this in any way.

– April 2007 – Vick rolls dogs at his house
– Vick was part of executing the dogs that did not roll well
– Vick was part of killing the dogs by means of hanging, drowning and body slamming
– On April 25, 2007, at Vick’s property, he possessed 54 pit bulls, a rape stand, a break/parting stick used to pry open dog’s mouths during fighting, treadmills and slat mills used to condition dogs

There are 84 items in the indictment, 84 freakin items that pinpoints Vick and who he was with and when. The FEDS do not put together a case willy nilly, this is some serious stuff. When I read this I am disgusted. I do not know how Vick disputes 84 line items on this indictment. In order for the FEDS to put all of this information in the indictment they need to have a lot of facts, witnesses and need to have an airtight case. This is the same court that tried and convicted Scooter Libby. This is not some small rinky dink Court.

Now when I look at all of the things I nkow about Vick I see the following, the Ron Mexico incident, refusing to hand over a water bottle at the airport, flipping off fans at games and now this. He uses bad judgement and always has. In the court of public opinion this is far different than the Duke lax case. This is very real and serious, the FEDS are backing up their case with a ton of information and witnesses that span over 4 years. They have Vick involved in dog fighting not just 1-2 times but numerous times over multiple years. Vick will be tried in the Court of law and will likely be found guilty. I do believe everybody deserves a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty but this is one case where I know Vick is guilty and is going to jail and paying a large fine. I think Vick should be suspended, should never play football again and should lose all of his endorsments, which brings me to my next point….the hypocrisy of the NFL.

The NFL came out already and said that they are not taking any actions against Vick at this time and are waiting to let this pay out. Excuse me, are you kidding me? Goodell sent Pac Man Jones packing before his case went to trial and reserves the right to increase Pac Man Jones’ suspension. What gives? Vick should be gone immediately and suspended indefinitely until his case closes. If he is guilty, which I know he will be, he deserves jail and to never play again. there are simply too many stories, witnesses of Vick’s involvement in dog fighting and when you couple that with the fact the Prosecutors in the Court where Vick is going to be tried win 95% of the time, you know this case is for real and Vick is going down. The NFL suspended Pac Man, Tank, Chris Henry, Jared Allen and needs to step strong against Vick. There is no need to wait until this case plays out….Suspend him now!!!!!!

Flash Flash

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Atlanta Falcons, Duke, Michael Vick, NFL, Vick | 11 Comments

Torre Needs to Go

The All Star break came and went. With its passing brings hope for a lot of teams that they can make it to the post season. My Yanks are no different. Right after the All Star game itself, Jeter was quoted as saying that he believes the Yanks can catch the Sox before season’s end. Coming from Jeter, I’d believe anything. Unfortunately for Jeter and the rest of the Yanks, he has two things going against him: he has a leper playing to his right that fields balls hit to him like they are wrapped in poo and has emptied his tank in April and June, and he has a manager that is begging to be fired at the helm. Sorry Jeter, the Yanks’ shipping is going down faster than any of the strippers in the harem of the guy that plays to your right.

I despise #13 and have game 7 of the World Series marked on my caldendars at home and at work (even in my Outlook) as the glorious day when that clown can opt out of his deal. The Eric Duncan Era needs to begin tonight. Him leaving will make me happy beyond belief.  However, Torre is a different  story.

 It pains me to want Torre out. Unfortunately, his time passed during Game 7 of the ’01 Series. His managing since then has not been worthy of a AAA job. With Torre at the helm, there is no way this team can make it to the post season and win. No way. Look at yesterday’s game against the Rays as recent proof. Moose struggled early, but scraped to keep them in the game. The Yanks need to win damn near every game at this point, but rather than approaching every game like that (like Jeter does), Torre turns the ball over the Ron Villone, Luis Vizcaino and Kyle Farnsworth. What?!?!?!? Villone has no business even being on this team, and are there two better players than Vizcaino and Farnsworth to be the poster boys for how much of a disappointment this team has been? Villone of course sucked it, Vizcaino was surprisingly good, and Farnsworth, of course, was his typical terrible self. Has there been any inning this year (or even since he has been a Yankee) that he has not given up either a walk or a hit (or lots of both)?!?!? I can’t think of any. This is the same clown who showed up his manager and his teammates when he was pulled for being terrible. How is he even still on the team?!?!?!

Torre continues to make moves that put the Yanks in positions to lose. Granted, I know Torre can’t make Damon and Myers lose their vaginas and stop being a Red Sox homerspies. Or be Abreu’s therapist to make his mental boo-boo’s go away when he comes to the plate (could there be a worse walk year performance in the history of sport-probably guarantees that the Yanks will give him $15 mil per year for 10 years next year though). But, he can still make moves to put them in better positions to win. Whay not send runners? Why not manufacture runs? What the hell was that line-up you pout out for the Saturday game against the Rays?!?!?! Why not TELL your pitchers to pitch inside. When Sheffield and Lofton come up again against the Yanks, the Yanks pitchers should not have to be told to throw up and in. However, they won’t because Torre has created a culture of losing where sallyness is accepted. The Yanks have become the Cubs and “Wait ‘Til Next Year” is probably posted in the Yanks clubhouse somewhere.  Disgusting.

Torre needs to go. Yanks need to install Girardi or Larry Bowa as manager and give Paulie O whatever he wants to be bench coach. Seriously. Do you think Abreu would come back to the dugout after one of his typical at bats knowing that Paulie O would be waiting for him? No way.  Cashman needs to give Joe an endless supply of green tea, a new pillow to rest his head during games and send him on his way. If not, the Yanks might as well start making Fall tee times now.


July 16, 2007 Posted by | Derek Jeter, Jeter, Joe Girardi, Joe Torre, Kyle Farnsworth, Larry Bowa, MLB, New York, Paul O'Neil, Red Sox, World Series, Yankees | 2 Comments

Phillies Listed in the Dictionary Under LOSER!!!!

I live in Philly and am just amazed at the level of excitement the Philadelphia Phillies are generating around town right now. in case you did not hear the Phillies are one game away from suffering their 10,000 loss in team history. Yes that is right…10,000th loss. The players are clearly annoyed by this type of attention but the fans are into it. Check out this article: Phillies One Away From Milestone 10,000th Loss. Some other things going around town are a scheduled parade fomr the original site of Connie Mack statue to a local sports bar and another promotion where you can write a story about your most tragic Philadelphia sports LOSERS moment where the winner gets 2008 Phillies season tickets. One of the craziest stats is that the next closest team as far as historic losses in MLB is 1,000 losses away. That is more than a decade of losses behind the Phils. Another favorite stat, in the Phils 125 year history they have only won one World Series. That is right…..a big fat ONE!!!! One fan even put together a website devoted to the 10,000th loss at www.celebrate10000.com.

So good luck Phightin Phils. You already are the biggest losers in the history of sports and 10,000 will be a great accomplishment. Rejoice fans in your loveable losers, you have nothing else to look forward to but the imminent Donovan McNabb injury and the start of the Kevin Kolb era so might as well enjoy your 10,000th losing moment in Phils history.

Flash Flash

July 13, 2007 Posted by | Eagles, Kolb, MLB, Philadelphia, Phillies, Philly, Sports, thoughts, World Series | 2 Comments

A message to Arod: Demand a Trade now or Opt Out!!!!

With the All-star break, Home Run Derby and All-Star game generating lower than expected ratings (The HR Derby was down 10% form last year) the baseball writer’s of America turned to the one place they know they will get headlines and create discussions…..Where will Arod play next year? So this week we have seen reporters write about and provide their insight as to where Arod will end up at the end of the year:

Cubs – Piniella is his second dad and Piniella’s wife is his second mom
Angels – Artie Moreno loves him
Dodgers – They have the money and are low key
Giants – They have the money and need a big name draw once they elect not to resign Barry next year
Red Sox – They would love to stick it to the Yanks
Mariners – A coming home party
White Sox – Kenny Williams needs a big name after he deals some veterans this trading deadline

As a life long Yankee fan, I do not care. All I want is for him to opt out of his contract. He was a loser in Seattle, a loser in Texas and is clearly a loser in New York. It is fitting that he is having his best season as a Yankee and the Yanks are not competitive and having one of their worst seasons in a long time. A lot of Arod supporters say he is not to blame, that Cashman signed bad pitchers, or the team is not hitting around him or the bullpen is weak. These are excuses that some can point to and Arod is certainly not responsible for Luis Vizcaino’s horrible year. Here is fact, plain and simple, Arod is not a winner, never has been and never will. I wish I could provide more insight as to why this is or explain how the Yankees clubhouse is different since he showed up. I follow and pay attention to facts and the fact is a very simple one in my eyes….Arod is a loser and his team loses when he plays for them.

So I want Arod to opt out. I want that money freed up to pursue the moster free agents that will be available in 2009, not even next year but in 2009 like Texeira, Johan, Miguel Cabrera. I would rather see any one of these players than Arod and I might just see all three. Cashman has said he will not negotiate with Arod if he opts out and I hope he sticks to his guns. It was rumoured today that Cashman was willing to negotiate during the season to try and sign Arod to an extension, something he has been unwilling to do with Bernie, Rivera, Posada, etc… I do not know if this was rumor or not but Boras already said he will not negotiate with the Yanks during the season. I love it. I love hearing this. It pretty much assures me that Arod will opt out and the Yanks can reverse their recent cycle of losing.

Arod..we will never forget that you were part of the largest collapse in the history of sports when the Yanks choked their 3 game lead to the Red Sox and you were absolutely terrible. We also remember how bad and messed up you were when Torre had to drop you to 8th in the lineup.

So please opt out when you are eligible. I found out that he can opt out 10 days after the World Series ends and I am counting down the days. I will likely set up a counter once I find out when the baseball playoffs are scheduled. Please please please opt out. I will send your classy wife as many F*** You shirts as she wants if you opt out and leave the Bronx forever. The Yanks fans deserve better than you.

***7/13/2007 Update*** Looks like the Yanks were also reaching out to Mo and Posada. Smart move on their part. the Yanks need these players especially now more than ever. Check out the article.

This is a great sign also. Cashman is the man. Yankees opt to give A-Rod an ultimatum. I love that the Yanks are drawing a line in the sand right now saying that it is all up to Arod. They will negotiate a new contract EXTENSION now, not a new contract and if, or more likely when he opts out they will not negotiate with him at all. If the Yanks are not in the market for Arod in the offseason than Boras will not have any leverage in the open market. Boras needs the Yanks involved. It will be great to see Cashman say that he wanted Arod to stay and had a contract letting him do so and Arod chose to opt so it is all on Arod’s shoulders. He never really wanted to win in NY, he could not stomach the pressure, he really wanted more money and the list goes on and on. Bye Bye Arod, you will forever remain the player who played to Jeter’s right in the field.

July 12, 2007 Posted by | Cubs, Giambi, Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera, MLB, Red Sox, Sports, State of the Yankees, World Series, Yankees | 3 Comments

Great American Road Trip 2007

Greetings. The Summer is upon us and the weather couldn’t be better. That said, I’m on the verge of fulfilling a dream of mine I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I’m going to take the Summer off and drive across the great United States. Still in the planning phase, but my goal is to see as many MLB stadiums, National parks, large balls of rubberbands, blocks of cheese and sketchy people as I can see in a little over 30 days.  That said, I worked out my itinerary and wanted to pass it along for any feedback or suggestions anyone can give.

Here is the breakdown so far:

  • Thursday, 7/26/07: St. Louis for the Cubs-Cards. I live in Chicago,
  • Friday, 7/27/07: Budweiser Brewery Tour, The Arch, STL sites, drive to KC.
  • Saturday, 7/28/07: Negro League Hall of Fame, Get ribs at Arthur’s, Royals-Rangers game.
  • Sunday, 7/29/07: Drive to Denver/Boulder;
  • Monday, 7/30/07: Drive to Jackson, WY. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park and Tetan National Park on the way.
  • Tueaday, 7/31/07: Drive to Missoula, MT. Do whatever it is they do in Montana. Is Sam Hoffman still up there?!?!
  • Wednesday, 8/1/07: Drive to Seattle. Mariners-Angels game.
  • Thursday, 8/2/07: Begin drive to San Fran. Stop somewhere in OR or WA.
  • Friday, 8/3/07: Arrive in San Fran./Oaktown. See the sites. Track down Al Davis and MC Hammer. A’s-Angels game (I’m going to try and get Vlad Guerrero to ride with me from Seattle to Oakland between games).
  • Saturday, 8/4/07: Tour SF.
  • Sunday, 8/5/07: Napa.
  • Monday, 8/6/07: Monterray, Big Sur and Giants-Nationals game.
  • Tuesday, 8/7/07: Drive to LA. Angels-Red Sox game.
  • Wednesday, 8/8/07: Drive to Phoenix. D’Backs-Bucks game.
  • Thursday, 8/9/07: Drive to Santa Fe.
  • Friday, 8/10/07: Drive to Denver. Rockies-Cubs game.
  • Saturday, 8/11/07: Drive to Arlington/Dallas. Stop in OK City. See the Bombing Monument. Hangout with Nate Newton, Michael Irvin and TO. Hopefully avoid any stabbings. Rangers-Royals game.
  • Sunday, 8/12/07: Drive to Houston. Astros-Brewers game.
  • Monday, 8/13/07: Drive to San Antonio. See the sites.
  • Tuesday, 8/14/07: Drive to Jackson, MI. Take the Civil Rights tour. Listen to some Blues.
  • Wednesday, 8/15/07: Drive to Hotlanta. Enter Peanut in Michael Vick’s next dog fighting match. He will represent. Braves-Giants game.
  • Thursday, 8/16/07: Drive to Orlando. Possibly hit Disney. Or, head to Ft. Lauderdale to hit the beach.
  • Friday, 8/17/07: Drive to Miami. Hit South Beach.
  • Saturday, 8/18/07: South Beach. Marlins-Giants game.
  • Sunday, 8/19/07: Drive to Tampa Bay. D’Ray-Indians game.
  • Monday, 8/20/07: Hangout in FLA.
  • Tuesday, 8/21/07: Drive to NC. Hit Outter Banks.
  • Wednesday, 8/22/07: Outter Banks.
  • Thursday, 8/23/07: Outter Banks.
  • Friday, 8/24/07: Drive to Baltimore. Orioles-Twins game.
  • Saturday, 8/25/07: Drive to Philly/S. Jersey. Phillies-Padres game.
  • Sunday, 8/26/07: Drive to NYC. Mets-Dodgers game.
  • Monday, 8/27/07: Drive to Philly. See the sites.
  • Tuesday, 8/28/07: Drive to NYC. Yanks-Red Sox game!!!!
  • Wednesday, 8/29/07: Head to Upstate. Do a massive amount of laundry.
  • Thursday, 8/30/07: Upstate.
  • Friday, 8/31/07: Drive to Toronto. Blue Jays-Mariners game.
  • Saturday, 9/1/07: Drive back to Chitown.
  • Sunday, 9/2/07: Cubs-Astros game.

 That’s the plan for now. Feel free to give feedback and suggestions.


July 9, 2007 Posted by | Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Michael Vick Dog Fighting, National Parks, NC, Philly, Royals, S. Jersey, Seal Beach, Seattle | Leave a comment

Les Miles Update – Miles Needed an Excuse

I just read a brilliant article on sportsillustrated.com written by Stewart Mandel….Check it out… Better Les unsaid: LSU’s Miles called out USC; now Tigers must deliver

Lets go through some of Stewart’s points on what Les Miles had to say:

“I would like nothing better than to play USC for the [national] title,” Miles reportedly said in a speech to a heavily pro-LSU gathering in New Orleans. “I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel. They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title [game]. “I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition.”

And then Mandel’s repsonse:

“Forget for a moment the numerous, logical flaws in Miles’ diatribe (i.e., the fact the team he’s bashing beat SEC West champion Arkansas 50-14 last season). Forget for a moment the seemingly arbitrary shots at innocent bystanders Washington and Stanford. (Is Pete Carroll out there dissing Vanderbilt and Mississippi State at his booster functions?). The real question is, why is Miles so worked up in the first place about a school 2,000 miles away? The answer: because his fans are.”

– We all know Pete Carroll is 4-0 against the SEC during his tenure at USC so we can throw numerous points at how easy or hard the Pac-10 and SEC are. The last sentence is really where the poison gets stung. LSU’s fans have nothing better to do than to think about LSU and the other power teams in the nation. Louisiana is a disaster state, literally speaking..Katrina wiped them out; their beloved New Orleans has not returned to its glory days (trust me, I have been there), the Saints are a side story, there is no baseball and the list ca go on and on. LSU fans have nothing going on right now so all they can think about is LSU football and this upcoming season and that means Les Miles is biggerthan the President right now. He is expected to take his talented team to an undefeated season and a national title that would be a home game in the Super Dome.

From Mandel: “The preseason mags have hit the newsstands, and the Trojans — for the third time in four years — appear to be a lock for No. 1. While there appears to be no consensus on No. 2, the most common choice — including this writer’s — seems to be the Tigers. It makes sense. No two programs have recruited more pure talent over the past five years (at least according to the recruiting rankings) than USC and LSU. Both went 11-2 and won BCS games last year. Both have playmakers up the wazoo on offense. Both return most of the starters from their already dominant defenses.”

– As a USC fan, yes I am one, I personally will be extremely disappointed if USC does not go undefeated and win the national title. They return 10 players on defense and that is before they add some super froshes like the E-Freak and Chris Galippo and you combine this with an always lethal offense that will be led by Booty time following an impressive first season under center; this team is ready to roll. Now, If I was an LSU fan, which I am not, I would have the same expectations on this upcoming season. LSU returns a ton of talent and recruited great players (minus Joe McKnight of course)….the pressure is on them! LSU should be in the title game. Plain and simple…NO EXCUSES.

From Mandel: “Now, LSU’s coach has gone so far as to insert himself into a war of words previously waged solely in cyberspace (or on billboards). That’s sure to work followers on both sides into a lather. But it still doesn’t explain why he’s mocking USC’s schedule. In a follow-up conversation with reporters several days after his initial comments, Miles harped on a theme that’s become almost nauseatingly redundant among SEC coaches over the past year: Why their league is so tough. Miles’ view may just be the most zealous yet. If college football were to go to an eight-team playoff, he said, “there’d probably be at least four SEC teams in the top eight.”

– I will let Mandel tackle this issue because he states it perfectly and loud and clear. “But it’s not like the league is indisputably head and shoulders above everyone else. Perhaps Miles needs a reminder that two of his league’s best teams last year, Arkansas and Tennessee, lost to the third- (Wisconsin) and fourth-place (Penn State) teams from the Big Ten in their bowl games. Or that the year before that, the SEC’s champion (Georgia) lost its bowl game to the Big East’s champion (West Virginia).”
– Lets look at the top 4 teams in the SEC last year:
Florida won the title so they would be in a playoff
Tennessee lost in their bowl game to a weak Penn St. team
Arkansas was destroyed by USC at home and lost their bowl game
LSU lost to Auburn, which was not a top 4 team in the SEC and lost to Florida and beat a terrible Notre Dame team in their bowl game.
These teams are not amongst the 8 best in the country by any means and their record and post season records prove it.

This Mandel point speaks for itself: USC’s easy “path” last year included a BCS team (Notre Dame) and two major-conference division champions (Nebraska and Arkansas). LSU’s non-conference schedule, meanwhile, consisted of Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, Fresno State and Arizona. Under the BCS’ old strength-of-schedule formula — the one that shined so favorably upon the Tigers in ’03 prior to its removal from the standings, the Trojans played the nation’s toughest schedule; LSU’s was 11th.

Man these points are easy to make!!!

And here is Mandel’s final point: “So what, then, was the motivation behind his unexpected boisterousness? Here’s a guess: He’s covering his butt. Yep. That’s right. Miles’ comments were one big excuse-in-the-making. He’s seen the prognostications. He knows the experts are projecting a USC-LSU matchup. He knows his fans are foaming at the mouth for just such an outcome. And he’s trying to diffuse those expectations — and temper the possible letdown — by saying, “Hey, I’d love to play USC, too, but if they get there and we don’t, it’s because we had to play Florida while they got to play Stanford.” You can read it between the lines in this follow-up comment to the Baton Rouge Advocate: “To say that the only achievement and the only positive ending is with one game and one game’s ending, that’s near-sighted, and that’s a long way away.” Well, here’s one person who’s not letting you off the hook so easily, Les. You and your people have laid down the gauntlet, so now, you better make this thing happen. If the Trojans hold up their end of the bargain and reach the Superdome, we better see some purple and gold on that other sideline. You worked up the crowd, coach — now give ’em what they want.”

Mandel says it all. Miles is simply trying to cover his butt. He is afraid of the upcoming season and needs an excuse. If I were the AD of LSU, I would fire him on the spot for making these excuses for his team this early in the season. If USC loses a game, they do not deserve a shot at the national title and if they go undefeated they absolutely do. Les Miles should hold his team up to these same standards….Take care of the matter at hand, win all of your games and you certainly will be playing in the BCS title game. Lose a game and you can go play Notre Dame again in the side game. Be afraid Les Miles, excuses will not save you this season and all of Trojan Nation wants a piece of the team you are making excuses for already. Actually, USC wants a piece of the team that wants to live up to their potential, go undefeated and have a shot at an undisputed national title. Mr. Miles…. your excuses will only carry you so far!!!!!

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July 7, 2007 Posted by | BCS, Les Miles, LSU, LSU Tigers, NCAA, ncaa football, Notre Dame, Pac-10, Pete Carroll, SEC, Sports, Stewart Mandel, thoughts, USC, USC Trojans | 12 Comments

UFC 73: Stacked Preview

Compared to the relatively boring UFC 72 card, the UFC 73 fight card is stacked – literally speaking – compared to 72. There are some easy money making opportunities lined up for UFC 73 and I think it is important to throw them into a parlay if some of the odds move more in the right direction. Also, just to throw it out there, I am 3-3 overall for my UFC picks and was 2-0 the last time I predicted.

The two easiest fights to pick:

1) Sherk (-280) vs. Franca (+210) – This is a title fight and I am expecting a solid beatdown. Sherk is one big muscle, hence his nickname (Muscle Shark), and when you take his body/muscle against Franca, a jujitsu fighter and submission guy you have one fighter who is completely neutralized. Franca has no chance of submitting Sherk, maybe by choke, but not likely. Franca will not put him in any type of arm or leg locks. Sherk is far too strong. Sherk also has shown that he can take a beating and keep on ticking (if you do not believe me check out the fight when he won the belt; he was a bloody mess). Also, Franca does not have a good striking style; he tends to throw wild haymakers and will leave himself completely open to controlled jabs and take downs. I would be surprised if this lasts two rounds. Also, you need to listen to Sherk’s interviews; he is very proud and is fighting to get paid to support his family. He has waited a long time to get some respect and fame and now that he has some he wants to build on it and continue to get paid more and more. He will roll in this fight. Also, Sherk is the reason BJ penn does not want to fight at 155 and Pulver wants to drop to 145. Sherk is an animal.

2) Antonio Minotauro Nogueira (-700) vs. Heath Herring (+500) – This one is not really worth discussing and I am expecting a solid Minotauro beat down. I am guessing he wins by choke. I have not been impressed with Herring’s two UFC fights (one was a loss) and I think he is vulnerable to a choke out. I consider Randy Couture to be one of the foremost authorities on MMA fighting and he thinks Minotauro is one of the best submission artists in the world. He had zero opinion on Herring. Enough said. Chalk up an easy win for Minotauro.

There is always a big upset on a UFC card and this week’s upset is:

Rashad Evans (+105) over Tito Ortiz (-135) (This line is moving, last check was -115, -115)- This fight is really hard for me to predict but I am going with Rashad Evans. My one fear is that Tito is a smart man and knows that if he loses this fight he has little to no future left in UFC. However, Tito is very business like. In the past he has hired a publicist, he likes to be seen out in public with his girlfriend, he has acted, he is into selling his clothes. I feel like he is more of a personality that talks a big game but does not have the full compliment of skills that today’s MMA superstars have. In his last 4 fights he beat Forest Griffin by decision in a fight I thought and Forest thought he won, beat Shamrock twice who is an old man and did not pose a challenge and got knocked out by Chuck Liddell. Not so impressive. That brings us to Rashad. Rashad s 15-0 and has been very impressive in his last three fights over Stephan Bonnar, Jason Lambert, and Sean Salmon. Rashad is getting better in each fight and adding something new each time. Just check out this awesome knockout of Salmon.

Take Rashad in this one and get the benefit of him as the underdog (hopefully if you can still find him as the underdog, I think we are starting to move lines here). I think Tito has a chance to win but I think he will go for broke in the first round, not get it done and then Rashad will systematically take him apart. This one might go to decision.

Anderson Silva (-165) vs. Nate Marquardt (+135) – Gonna stay with the favorite on this one and I am picking Silva. The only reason I am not making this an easy money fight is because of Nate Marquardt’s history of fighting boring fights where he takes an opponent down and holds him down and tries to pass guard without inflicting any damage. So in one scenario, and the only scenario where I see Nate winning, is the scenario where he takes down Silva and stalls and holds him down and simply wins the fight on a decision cause he got points on take downs. What I hope happens and what I think really will happen is Silva will simply come out on the attack and will keep constant pressure on Nate just like he did against Rich Franklin. Silva wants to punish people and I think he will remain on the attack while standing or on the ground. Last reason but certainly not least, Marquardt credits his recent success to finding God…I am sure God does not support pounding ones face like a butcher pounds beef…don’t pick the choir boy in this one.

The throw in fight:

Stephan Bonnar (-500) over Mike Nickels (+350) – always take the guy who you know uses performance enhancing drugs. Bonnar is back from his steroid suspension but we know he had the juice running through him.

So this week I am giving you 5 fights. On betus.com right now a 5 fighter $100 parlay pays $458.86. Kaching!!!! Good luck this weekend and let me know what you think. I am confident in my picks this week and ready to continue my roll.

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July 6, 2007 Posted by | Betting, Chuck Liddell, Gambling, mma, Penn, Rashad Evans, Steroids, ufc, Ultimate Fighter | 5 Comments

“Les Miles is a Jackass” and other headlines from the over-hyped SEC

On July 1, 2007, Les Miles, esteemed coach of LSU, went on the attack and called out USC, the Pac-10 and the Big Ten. Refer to exhibit A – LSU coach rates SEC best. Lets take a closer look at some of his comments and then bring up some issues he clearly intentionally chose to ignore.

“I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel,” Miles said of the Trojans. “They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title (game). I would like that path for us.

What a funny guy you are Les. Last year you invited Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6 team out of the Sun Belt) , Fresno St. (4-8 out of the WAC) and Tulane (4-8 out of C-USA) for home games and you still got to play Miss St. (3-9) (a game you did not cover) and Mississippi (4-8). You lost to Auburn, a team that barely beat Nebraska 17-14; a team USC easily beat 28-10. LSU barely beat Tennessee, a team that a terrible Penn St. team beat, barely beat Mississippi and barely beat Arkansas, a team USC destroyed on the road 50-14 and who also lost their bowl game to a Big Ten team. So Les… lets take a look at the out of conference juggernauts you decided to play in 2007:

Middle Tennessee St.
Louisiana Tech
Virginia Tech – I will give props where they are due and this is a great non conference game but it is at home this year. The other three games are a total joke.

in conference you play:

Miss. St.

So before the season starts you know you have 5 blow out games that will not be close.

So now lets look at what USC does with their non-conference schedule. Last year they played:

Nebraska – road
Notre Dame

This year they play:

Nebraska – road
Notre Dame – road

USC looks to play big names. USC picks up Ohio St. in 2008 and is talking to BC about playing a series with them. They are not trolling the Sun Belt or Conf USA looking for beat on teams to come play in the Coliseum. You get what you deserve and if you play good teams and you beat them all your season will not be questioned and you go to the BCS. If you have a loss or two you do not deserve to be there.

More jibber jabber from Les Miles:

Miles said the subject of the SEC’s superiority came up at league meetings in May. The conference office compiled statistics showing 58 football players from SEC schools were invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where pro scouts and coaches evaluate players before the draft. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 Conference each had 43 players invited, NFL records show. The Pac-10 was fourth with 39 players invited. Eleven of the 32 players selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft came from SEC schools, including four LSU players. JaMarcus Russell, the No. 1 pick, played three seasons for the Tigers, two of them for Miles. Based on the above and two seasons of coaching in the SEC, Miles told his New Orleans audience the conference, from week to week, is the football league “most like the NFL” in America.

What does this have to do with anything? USC has 10 of 11 starters returning on Defense so how can their players go to the combine or get drafted. Are USC’s players less talented because they are young and not eligible for the NFL. USC is becoming the model in college football with a all positions are open for competition philosophy and if you are an 18 year old freshman or a 23 year old 5 year senior you will get the chance to play if you are the best player on the field. USC has ridiculous talent and this is evident from them having top 1 or 2 draft classes the last three years. These kids can not play in the NFL even if they wanted to because they are not eligible so who gets drafted means diddly poo in my book.

More from Les:

In nine seasons of the BCS, the SEC has three national champions: Tennessee in 1998, LSU in 2003 and Florida in 2006. Auburn was undefeated in 2004 but didn’t play in the BCS Championship Game, finishing third in the BCS standings behind eventual champion USC and runner-up Oklahoma. Miles said Auburn was the victim of an injustice and repeated his assertion that an unbeaten SEC champion should play for a national championship. Two SEC schools — LSU in 2003 and Florida in 2006 — proved a team doesn’t have to be undefeated to win a national title. Both were 13-1, the only teams in BCS history to win the championship without a perfect record.

Right Mr. Miles, Auburn not playing for a national title in 2004 was an injustice but a one loss USC team in 2003 was just and fair when LSU won the title. USC dismantled a favored Michigan squad when LSU barely made it past an Oklahoma squad. An undefeated SEC team means absolutely nothing when the entire conference schedules games against 1-AA schools, the WAC and Sun Belt conferences. In 2004, Auburn played Louisiana Monroe at home, Citadel at home and Louisiana Tech at home while USC played at Virginia Tech (a 24-13 win), Colorado St at home, at BYU and at home against Notre Dame. I think USC plays a significantly tougher schedule and deserved to be in this game. Going undefeated in the SEC playing powder puff schedules does not merit an instant pass through to the BCS title game if teams like USC are stepping up and playing ranked non-conference teams on the road every year.

So Mr. Miles I am calling you and the SEC out. Of course you want to knock down USC anyway you can, they are the model franchise and the team to beat year in and year out since Pete Carroll got through his first season as coach. They walked on down to Louisiana and stole Joe McKnight right out from under your nose, they go to Michigan and take top recruits from that stae and go to NJ and take them from there. They run an NFL style defense and offense. They have numerous coaches on their staff with NFL experience. They are plain and simple the team to beat. The only way to knock them down is to attack the Pac-10. Well the Pac-10 has only seen two undefeated teams run through that conference in the last 40 years and the SEC has seen 4 teams go undefeated. The SEC is hiring NFL coaches to take over some of the underperforming teams in the league or hiring a Ty Willingham who has always been successful and simply took a bad rap at Notre Dame. You saw what Weis did with Ty’s players. The Pac-10 is on the rise and the SEC is going to get passed much like the nation passed the Big 10 (reason for an entire other blog on why the Big Ten does not understand the new dynamics of college football).

I am begging and praying that USC faces the SEC winner in the BCS game and I am hoping it is LSU so we can go toe to toe, match up strength and speed and coaching and smash it out. I know what the outcome will be and nothing you face in the SEC or the Sun Belt or Conference USA will prepare you for the Trojans. Les…Thanks for the bulletin board material in July. I hope it comes back to haunt you.

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July 5, 2007 Posted by | BCS, Big Ten, Florida, Football, Les Miles, LSU, LSU Tigers, Mississippi, NCAA, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pac-10, Pete Carroll, SEC, Sports, USC, USC Trojans, Virginia Tech | Leave a comment