Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday Musings on Tuesday

As I sit here in the WAD Palace (a/k/a Hans’ House), we have an amazing night of television in front of us. We are going to kick things off with a little “How I Met Your Mother”, followed by “Prison Break”, “Justice”, “Friday Night Lights”, and “What About Brian”. Not to mention, we’ve got the Golden Boy and the Pats on the road against the Vikes on Big Screen #2. As if that wasn’t all the makings for a great night, we just gorged ourselves on Jalisco take out. Why am I telling you this? Because, this is just about as good as it gets, and I felt like I should share that with you.

Now, as to why it’s taken until Tuesday for me to give you the “Monday Musings”, let me just say that I have a good excuse. I didn’t get out of bed until about 8 P.M. last night. Why, you ask? Well, I honestly can’t tell you, but if you ask Shalls, Devo, Kuhn, Moreland, Scott, and Smitty, and they would probably say it had something to do with the bottle of Beam, the multiple tequila shots, and the rounds of drinks I bought for total strangers on Saturday night. But, that’s just one theory. You know, I haven’t had a night anywhere close to that since…well…the night the Jackets beat Miami last year. I guess the ‘Canes just bring out the best in me. Or, the worst if you are one of the unfortunate folks that has to endure me at 4 a.m. So, I offer many thanks to my good friends for getting me home in one piece Saturday night, and let’s get on to my thoughts from the weekend gone by, or at least what I can remember from it:

  • I don’t have to tell you how huge Saturday’s win was for the Jackets. I mean, after the debacle at Clemson, I don’t think anybody had any idea what to expect. And, when Reggie Ball pulled a classic Reggie Ball moment on the opening play of the game, things looked pretty bleak. But, this team responded and showed us why they are different than any other Chan Gailey team we’ve seen to this point. They kept battling and good things started to happen. And, as the sun started to set and the crowd went down right insane, the ACC Coastal Division Championship became a very real possibility. In fact, it became a near certainty. Saturday was a very good day to be a Tech fan, and I only hope there are more to come in the near future.

  • USC’s loss certainly threw the BCS picture into complete chaos. Now, we’ve got the very real possibility that a one loss team could end up playing for the National Title over an undefeated Louisville or WVU team, or Rutgers for that matter (man, that was strange to write). Now, if this does happen, most people are going to rant and rave that this is why we need a playoff. Me, on the other hand, am just going to sit back and enjoy all the bickering and controversy. Because, that my friends, is why I love college football…everybody is going to have an argument. Isn’t that more fun than a boring playoff system?

  • By the way, from the bold prediction department, I firmly believe that Saturday’s loss by USC is going to be the reason they win the National Championship next season. Just like their last Pac-10 loss at Cal catapulted the Trojans to extended dominance, I think this loss is going to do the same thing, because in the midst of their furious attempt to come back on Saturday, the Trojans found something they have been missing all season: an offense! In that fourth quarter, they found a way to get J.D. Booty in the groove. That’s going to go a long way to raising that 2007 Championship banner.

  • Everybody seems so enamored with Urban Meyer and Florida’s offense, but I’m not exactly sure why. In their four biggest games of the year, they have scored 21 points at UT, 23 at home against LSU despite the fact LSU turned the ball over 5 times, 17 points at Auburn, and 21 points Saturday against UGA. Call me nuts, but that’s not exactly the makings of an offensive juggernaut.

  • On the other hand, Michael Vick and the Falcons are starting to look eerily similar to an offensive juggernaut. For all the haters out there, Bill Simmons and Fite included, how are you feeling about the most electrifying man in football after his nearly 600 yards and 7 touchdowns in the past 2 weeks. I don’t know about you, but he looks a lot like a great quarterback to me right now.

  • If you were a Colts fan on Sunday, were you concerned for even one minute that they were going to lose that game? I didn’t think so.

  • Last week on The WAD we had a very spirited discussion about Tiki Barber’s Hall of Fame chances. It was a great debate, but not as great as the one I think I’m going to spark with this comment: Brad Johnson is a Hall of Famer. Yea, I said it. Now, just as I was writing this, he threw his second pick of the night against the Pats, so it looks like my timing isn’t exactly impeccable, but I’ve never let that stop me before. So, here’s the argument, do with it what you will:

    I’m going give some stats to consider. In the modern era (1946 – present), 23 quarterbacks have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of these 23, 10 are without a doubt deserving of their induction and in a class above Johnson (Elway, Fouts, Jurgensen, Kelly, Marino, Montana, Moon, Tarkenton, Unitas, and Young). The other 13, however, are not such an open and shut case. Don’t believe me, check out their stats:

1) Troy Aikman: 165 games played, 32,942 yards passing, 165 passing touchdowns, 141 interceptions, 1016 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns.

2) Terry Bradshaw: 168 games played, 27,989 yards passing, 212 passing touchdowns, 210 interceptions, 2,257 rushing yards, and 32 rushing touchdowns

3) Joe Namath: 140 games played, 27,663 yards passing, 173 passing touchdowns, 220 interceptions, 140 rushing yards, and 7 rushing touchdowns.

4) Bob Griese: 161 games played, 25,092 yards passing, 192 passing touchdowns, 172 interceptions, 994 rushing yards, and 7 rushing touchdowns.

5) Roger Staubach: 131 games played, 22,700 yards passing, 153 passing touchdowns, 109 interceptions, 2,264 rushing yards, and 20 rushing touchdowns.

6) Bart Starr: 198 games played, 24,718 yards passing, 152 passing touchdowns, 138 interceptions, 1,308 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns.

7) George Blanda: 342 games played, 26,920 yards passing, 236 passing touchdowns, 277 interceptions, 344 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns.

8) Len Dawson: 211 games played, 28,711 yards passing, 239 passing touchdowns, 183 interceptions, 1293 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns.

9) Otto Graham: 72 games played, 13,499 yards passing, 88 passing touchdowns, 94 interceptions, 682 rushing yards, and 33 rushing touchdowns (and he was a WWII vet)

10) Bobby Layne: 175 games played, 26,768 yards passing, 196 passing touchdowns, 243 interceptions, 2,451 rushing yards, and 25 rushing touchdowns.

11) Y.A. Tittle: 178 games played, 28,339 yards passing, 212 passing touchdowns, 221 interceptions, 999 rushing yards, and 33 rushing touchdowns.

12) Norm Van Brocklin: 140 games played, 23,611 yards passing, 173 passing touchdowns, 178 interceptions, 40 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdowns.

13) Bob Waterfield: 91 games played, 11,849 yards passing, 97 passing touchdowns, 128 interceptions, 21 rushing yards, and 13 rushing touchdowns.

Now, I want you to consider my man, Brad Johnson. He has played 136 games, thrown for 27,097 yards, 159 touchdowns, and 106 interceptions. In addition, he has 603 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns. Now, throw in the fact that Brad won a ring with one of the most traditionally horrible franchises in all of professional sports, and I think he stacks up more than favorably with the rest of these 13 guys. I mean, look at his numbers and the teams he has played for and compare them to Aikman’s numbers and consider the teams Aikman had the good fortune of playing for! And yes, as I just wrote this, Brad threw into triple coverage and nearly threw his third pick of the night, but, Brad Johnson has a great Hall of Fame argument and that is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

For Informational Purposes Only

This is the week we turn the college picks around and take the NFL picks to the next level. Or, this could be the week where the bottom falls out completely. Either way, it should be entertaining!


1) UTEP +14 @ Tulsa – Here’s your obscure stat of the week: the road team is 7-3 against the spread in the last ten meetings in this series. With a stat like that, how can you not take 14 points? Roll Tide….(Have I mentioned that I find Mike Price tremendously entertaining?)

2) MSU -7 @ Indiana – The only thing more infuriating than being a Georgia Tech fan would be being a Michigan St. fan. That being said, you’ve got to believe that their dramatic comeback last week will give them some kind of momentum. And, you can’t forget that Indiana is awful. Then again, I said the same thing before the Iowa game.

3) N.C. State +2 @ UVA – I know N.C. State has been atrocious this year, but they have talent. I mean, they have athletes all over the field. UVA, on the other hand, is one of the worst teams I’ve seen in recent memories. I understand they have gotten better over the past few weeks, but I just can’t erase the memories of what I saw in person earlier this season. So, when faced with two bad teams, why not take the one with better athletes that also happens to be getting points? How can you go wrong?

4) Northwestern +30 @ Michigan – Michigan hasn’t beaten anybody by 30 all season and they’ve played worse teams than Northwestern. For Michigan to win this game by 30, they would have to hold N.W. to less than 10, and I just don’t think that will happen. Look for a nice 41 – 17 win by the Wolverines.

5) Vandy -9 @ Duke – Vandy won in Athens two weeks ago, so you know they aren’t horrible. You just can’t say the same for Duke. (By the way, you have to totally disregard last week’s performance by Duke. I mean, Miami left nearly 20% of their scholarship players at home last week.)

6) Colorado +2 @ Kansas – Colorado is 1-7, and they have lost 9 of their last 10 games as a program. But, they have been getting better as the season has progressed, including a 30-6 beat down of Texas Tech two weeks ago. Kansas, on the other hand, has lost four in a row and shows no signs of getting better. I’m giving the Buffs the benefit of the doubt in this one.

7) Miami +5 @ Georgia Tech - Who the hell knows what is going to happen in this game? I for one, however, would never in a million years lay these points, so I’m going the other way by default. (Just as an aside, if Tech loses this game, watch the wheels come flying off and watch Chan Gailey start circulating his resume quickly.)

8) Wake -8.5 @ UNC - UNC is the worst team in America. Do I really need to say any more?

9) USC -11 @ Oregon St. – One of these weeks USC is going to explode and I’m not going to be on the wrong end of it when they do.

10) Florida -13.5 v. UGA – The thought of those UGA quarterbacks facing this Florida defenses gives me a tingly feeling. Seriously, UGA may not have 50 yards passing in this game.

11) Maryland +4.5 v. FSU – Don’t look now, but Round Ralph might just have things cooking again in College Park. They have two losses, but one is to W.V.U. and the other was a heartbreaker in Atlanta. Granted, they are just now getting to the heart of their schedule (FSU, Clemson, Miami, B.C., and Wake), but they seem to be coming together now, and they’ve got a chance to win 7 or 8 games. In other words, they might be going places. FSU, on the other hand, is going nowhere. And, I couldn’t be happier about that.

12) Texas Tech +10.5 v. Texas – I’ve got a gut feeling that Mike Leach pulls off something special this weekend.

13) Texas Tech v. Texas OVER 56

14) Tennessee -3 @ South Carolina – This has sucker bet written all over it, but how can you not bite? Seriously, you are essentially picking the Vols to win against a seriously inferior team.

15) UConn +19.5 @ Rutgers – Listen, I’m loving the Rutgers story just as much as the next guy, but I’m long way away from being willing to take them giving 19.5 points to anybody.


1) Arizona +4 @ Green Bay - Arizona is coming off their worst moment of the season and Green Bay is coming off their best. So, Arizona should win this game. Isn’t that how it works in the NFL.

2) Cincy -3.5 v. Atlanta – I’m not feeling good at all about the Falcons defense, and now that Ocho Cinco has declared war on D. Hall, I’m feeling even worse. I just have a feeling that Ocho Cinco is going to explode.

3) Houston +3 @ Tennessee – Two horrible teams…take the points.

4) Jacksonville +6.5 @ Philly – Two teams desperate for a win…this has close game written all over it.

5) Seattle @ K.C. OVER 38.5 – This number just seems really low to me. How’s that for insight.

6) Tampa + 9 @ N.Y.G. – Both teams are coming off two straight big wins, and I think the Giants will win the game, but with Tampa coming together and the Giants coming off a short week, I think it’s going to be closer than the experts think.

7) St. Louis +9.5 @ San Diego – I just can’t turn down 9.5 points for a 4-2 team.

8) Indy +3 @ Denver – And, I can’t turn down an unbeaten team getting any points.

9) N.Y.J. +1.5 @ Cleveland – Cleveland sucks. That’s all I’ve got.

10) Dallas @ Carolina OVER 41 – Ladies and Gentlemen, Tony Romo vs. Jake Delhomme…set your DVR now! In all sincerity, I think the Cowboys are going to be so relieved not to have Bledsoe under center that they might throw up 30 on their own.

11) New England -2 @ Minnesota – The Patriots and Tom Brady in Prime Time…pick against them at your own risk!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

WAD Rankings #2

Is it a bad sign when you maintain a predominately sports related blog and you ask your roommate a question like, “hey dude, who’s winning the World Series?” Yeah, don’t answer that. Don’t get me wrong, my lack of knowledge of the battle waging between the Tigers and Cards isn’t for lack of interest, it’s more of a product of the fact that I just can’t keep up with everything on t.v. right now. Not too long ago somebody asked me why I haven’t been writing a “Television Tuesday” column recently, and the short answer is that I just can’t keep up with everything on t.v. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a transcendent season for television. I mean, we’ve got the old standards like “The Office”, “Boston Legal”, “Prison Break”, “Lost”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, and, of course, 12 hours of football on Saturdays and Sunday. Then, you throw into the mix all the great new shows like “Studio 60”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Shark”, “Justice”, and “30 Rock”, just to name a few, and I feel like I’m running uphill to keep up. So, in case you were wondering, I think there is a lot of great television out there right now, and there is a lot of great material to write about, but I just can’t narrow the field enough to write anything worthwhile. Not to worry, however, once “The O.C.” debuts on November 2nd and “24” comes roaring back in January, I’ll have plenty to say.

Now that you can all rest easy equipped with the knowledge that I haven’t lost my love of television, let’s talk some sports. Specifically, it’s time to debut the second edition of The WAD Rankings. Remember, these are the only rankings you will find that are actually intended to reflect who the best ten teams in America are at this very moment. We don’t care where they started the season; we only care about how good they are right now:

1) Ohio State (#1 AP, #1 USA Today, Previously #1 WAD) - They just keep on keeping on. They were dominant against Indiana, a team that was coming off its biggest win since Lee Corso was the coach. And, in the process, Troy Smith was nothing short of phenomenal. Honestly, I just haven’t seen any weaknesses yet.

2) Michigan (#2 AP, #3 USA Today, Previously #2 WAD) - They were efficient and workmanlike in a relatively easy win over an extremely talented and desperate Iowa team. Plus, they are getting healthier.

3) West Virginia (#4 AP, # 4 USA Today, Previously #3 WAD) - Again, they were dominant last week on the road at UConn. I’m still not sure there is a team in America that can slow down their rushing attack.

4) Tennessee (#8 AP, #9 USA Today, Previously #5 WAD) - As I talked about last week, no team has more impressive wins than the Vols, and even though last week’s win wasn’t pretty, it was against a quality opponent in a huge rivalry game. After all, there is a reason that everybody knows that the Tennessee/Alabama game takes place on the third Saturday in October every year. The Vols are as complete a football team as there is in America.

5) Auburn (#7 AP, #7 USA Today, Previously #6 WAD) - They followed the huge win over Florida with a dominating win over Tulane. Sure, Tulane sucks, but the Tigers did what they were supposed to do, so I’m going to jump them over Florida for now.

6) Florida (#9 AP, #8 USA Today, Previously #4 WAD) - Yes, I am dropping them in the rankings solely because they didn’t play, but that’s the facts of life. Tennessee and Auburn both played and were impressive, so right now, I’ve got to rank them higher. That being said, the Gators have a chance to make a statement this weekend against the Dawgs, and if they do, they will move back up.

7) Clemson (#10 AP, #11 USA Today, Previously Unranked by the WAD) - John Tenuta doesn’t get embarrassed often, but what the Tigers rushing attack did to the Jackets and their defensive coordinator last Saturday night was nothing short of humiliating. Clemson’s destruction of the Jackets was as dominant a performance I’ve seen all season. Sure, a lot of that had to do with the ineptitude of Reggie Ball and Chan Gailey, but you’ve got to give Clemson a lot of credit too. Hell, they are a missed extra point at B.C. away from vying for a spot in the National Title game.

8) Texas (#5 AP, #5 USA Today, Previously #7 WAD) - The Horns win at Nebraska was a solid win considering the fact that Nebraska is a pretty good team, the weather conditions were horrible, and their kicking game is atrocious. But the fact remains that if that kid from Nebraska doesn’t fumble after picking up that last first down, the Horns would have lost. So, I’m punishing them by dropping them one spot, but I can’t punish them too much because they managed to win. Honestly, I think this is the perfect spot for them.

9) USC (#3 AP, #@ USA Today, Previously #9 WAD) - They didn’t play last week, but there are no teams behind them I can justify moving ahead of them. So, the long and the short is that I’ve got no reason to move them up or down, so they stay put. Is this the week that they finally explode? If so, you can expect them to soar up this list. I’m just giving you fair warning.

10) Arkansas (#13 AP, #14 USA Today, Previously unranked by the WAD) – This team is 6-1, went into Auburn and laid the wood to the Tigers, and last week they put an un-holy beat down on an Ole Miss team that nearly beat UGA and Bama in the previous two weeks. They’ve still got huge tests coming up against Tennessee and LSU, but for now, they are one of the best ten teams in America.

Teams dropping out of the WAD Rankings:

Cal - I still like the Bears, but when you have to go to overtime to beat a mediocre Washington team at home, you can’t be one of the best ten teams in America. You just can’t. The Bears, however, have plenty of opportunity to impress in their next two games against UCLA and at Arizona before the game that will define their season in the Coliseum on November 3rd.

Louisville - Sure, the Cards are undefeated, but they have looked like crap the past two weeks against sub-par teams (Cincinnati and Syracuse). They, however, have their chance over the next two weeks against West Virginia and the State University of New Jersey to make their impression. Two wins in the next two weeks, and the Cards could go from unranked to near the top of the WAD rankings.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Return of the Caption Contest

Courtesy of Stats.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday Musings

  • I guess there is no way around talking about the Jackets’ embarrassment Saturday night. So, here it is: Reggie Ball sucks, Chan Gailey sucks (although, he does seem like a great guy and gives a solid halftime interview), and I now fully expect us to go 7-5. This time last week, I was convinced we were going 11-1, winning the ACC Championship, and going to the Orange Bowl. You know me, I like to keep things on an even keel (by the way, can somebody explain to me the meaning of the word “keel”? I use the expression all the time, but I have no idea what a keel is. Hell, I don’t even know if I’m spelling it right.)

  • On a brighter note, the Falcons offensive looked tremendous this weekend. Their defense, of course, was abysmal (When you get shredded by not only Big Stiff, but Chaz Batch, in the same game…you’ve got major issues in your secondary!) But, at the end of the day, we got a huge win over the defending Super Bowl champs, and we FINALLY got to see Mike Vick at his most explosive. It was like we turned the clock back to the 2000 Sugar Bowl when America first realized Vick could be the most explosive force in football. Look, I don’t want to overstate it, but it felt really good to see Mike Vick playing football Sunday, and I only hope that Jim Mora and Greg Knapp felt the same way.

  • In case you haven’t checked the standings, Florida State is in last place in the ACC Atlantic Division. And yes, that felt very good to write. In fact, let me write it again: Florida State is in last place in the ACC Atlantic Division.

  • So, Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardja connected for an approximately $15 million pass on Saturday. I think it’s only fair that the University split it equally between them and Karl Dorell. I’m not going to say anything else about this game. I’m just hoping that Vines, my law school roommate and UCLA that was in attendance in South Bend on Saturday, decides to chime in today and provide some insight. I would share the content of his text messages following the game, but I don’t want to alert the FCC or anything.

  • Hey, the Colts are 6-0, should we start talking about 16-0? Of course not! I made that mistake about this same time last year. Fool me once... (fill in your President Bush joke here)

  • After all of last week’s Hall of Fame/retirement talk surrounding Tikki Barber, his twin brother Ronde came up huge with two pick 6’s against my least favorite player, D.F. McNabb. So, based on my unabashed man crush on Tikki, and my appreciation for what Ronde did this weekend, I’d like to propose that they be the first twins to be inducted into the Hall of Fame together. Who’s with me?

  • I don’t know if I’m more shocked that Chester Taylor had a 95 yard touchdown run on Sunday or if there is a grown man that actually goes by the name Chester? I’ll let you know when I sort this out.

  • Congratulations to Art Shell and the Raiders. I’m still picking against you every week, but at least you can go to bed tonight knowing there is one worse team in the NFL.

  • So, I joined some good friends Saturday night to watch the Tech/Clemson game, and I took my computer along in the hopes that I would keep a very entertaining running diary of the game. I’ve loved doing every running diary that I have done to this point, but one thing I didn’t account for is that I’ve never done a diary for a Tech game. Well, let’s just say that after a few minutes (27 to be exact) I realized that there was no way I could possibly control my emotions enough to keep a diary. And, in retrospect, based on the outcome of the game, it’s probably a good thing I abandoned the diary. That being said, before I called it quits, I did manage to capture some amusing moments, so I figured I’d go ahead and share with you as far as I got:

    7:42 - We are coming to you live from the Fisher Compound in Alpharetta, Georgia. We, of course, have convened to watch the most important Georgia Tech football game since three weeks ago. Big game!

    7:43 - Oh crap, I totally forgot that Mike Patrick is the play by play game for this one. Needless to say, I’d rather be molested by a priest than listen to Patrick. He used to be a great announcer, but he lost his fastball around four years ago. I’m not sure if it was all those years of being in the box with Joe Theisman that made him dumb or if it was the stroke (actually, I think it was like an octuple bypass or something)? Either way, he sucks!

    7:44 - Here come the Tigers. They are in all purple for the first time ever, apparently. Obviously, the same people making decisions on the announcing crews for ESPN are making the uniform decisions for Clemson. Just gross.

    7:47 - Holly Rowe must be phenomenal at her job. That’s all I’m saying about this.

    7:47 - This crowd is insane. Then again, 70% of the Clemson fans are a product of an insidious sexual relationship between first cousins, so what do you expect? (The great thing about being a Tech alum is that we can make redneck/in-bred jokes about every other major state university in the Deep South because we are the only one that is not located in some middle of nowhere cow town that is infested by redneck fans that have never actually stepped foot on the campus for any purpose other than a football game. Those fans, of course, are what make games at places like Clemson, Auburn, FSU, Bama, UGA, UT, etc... so much fun. But, it doesn't change who they are. And yes, I am a huge snob.)

    7:48 - It appears that Coach Chan has totally abandoned the idea of trying to teach our team how to cover kickoffs. Instead, we are just going to pooch the ball to the 30. That makes sense. I mean, everybody else in America can cover kickoffs, we wouldn’t want to be conformist!

    7:48 - Fisher makes his first smart ass comment of the night to Bracey. The over/under is 114.

    7:50 - Clemson converts their first third and long of the night, but they appear to have lost one of their starting offensive linemen, which leads to Robbie explaining that all of Clemson’s offensive linemen are big boys. He apparently is determined to be the next Mike Patrick.

    7:53 - By the way, our cast of characters are Fisher, Ball and his fiancĂ© Kim, Bracey and his wife Erin, and sporadic appearances by Fisher’s wife, Kelli, and two and a half year old son, Wilson. Okay, I just felt like I needed to explain that.

    7:55 - The Jackets finally stymie Clemson’s opening drive, and Wilson just makes his first appearance. I’m actually not allowed to speak while he’s in the room, because I say the “f” word a lot…a lot. Trust me.

    7:57 - The ticker reveals that Columbia lost again today, and I make my obligatory, “Dang it, I can’t believe Columbia lost again!” comment as sarcastically as possible. And yes, I did say “dang”. See, I can be trusted around children.

    7:58 - I spoke too soon, Clemson is going for it….and….he’s running….he’s throwing….and yes SIRRR, interception. We, of course, lost 10 yards of field position by actually catching the ball instead of just batting it down, but beggars can’t be choosers!

    7:59 - We go deep to Calvin Johnson on the first play, he gets interfered with, and we get a long explanation from Blackledge and Patrick of how pass interference in college is only a 15 yard penalty! Thank God these guys are here, because I’m sure some dude in Topeka just sat down to watch a random ACC game and was wondering what the penalty for pass interference was. How do these guys get these great jobs?

    8:02 - Direct quote from Blackledge: “Reggie Ball is not really a tall quarterback.” Thanks, Todd. That's about the equivalent of saying, "Todd Blackledge is not really a good announcer." Some things should just go without saying.

    8:04 - Kelli just asked if anybody needed anything from upstairs, and I was less than a split second from making my obligatory, “unless you can find me a....(fill in your own crass/perverse/profane/wildly inappropriate comment here).... up there, I’m good”, when I realized Wilson was sitting at my feet. Again, my restraint is remarkable. I'm showing will power that I never knew I possessed. This night has the potential to be a real turning point in my life...well...at least until Wilson goes to bed.

    8:04 – So, we are lining up for a 42 yard field goal, which we had less than 25% chance of making, and Clemson jumps offsides. That’s a well coached football team. In fact, this game could shape up to be the equivalent of an academic decathalon between Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton.

    8:07 - Calvin Johnson just had what Ball described as the greatest four yard loss in history, and I think he’s right. Anybody who doesn’t understand that he’s the best college football player in America is dumb.

    8:09 - Travis Bell misses a 39 yard field goal. Awesome. Bracey immediately turns to Dave and asks, “do we have another kicker?” Not exactly the type of question that you want to have to be asking yourself when you are supposed to be a top 15 team.

    Of course, as you know by now, Bell’s missed field goal was just the beginning of a series of disasters for the Jackets that ultimately concluded with the aforementioned best college football player in America catching 0 passes for 0 yards and only having three balls thrown in his vicinity all night (notice I didn't say at him. Reggie Ball doesn't throw at any one, he only throws near them, if he's lucky). If you will excuse me, I’m now going to finally find out if a jump from my office window would kill me or just break my legs!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lucky 300!

For those of you keeping score at home, today is the 300th edition of The WAD. Now, if I only had 1/3 of that number as readers, we'd be going places! Let me first say thanks again to HUGE for his great piece yesterday. I just saw on ESPN.com that it will be the Tigers and Cards in the Series. Two of the great baseball towns in America. That's something I can get excited about.

Okay, it's 1:15 a.m., and I'm still at work, so please forgive me this week for my lack of analysis, I'm just going to give you the goods. Here's this week's picks:


1) UVA -7 vs. UNC

2) West Virginia -22.5 @ UConn

3) N.C. State +1.5 @ Maryland

4) Texas -5 @ Nebraska

5) Northwestern +7.5 v. Michigan St.

6) Illinois +17.5 @ Penn State

7) Miami -17.5 @ Duke

8) N.D. -13 v. UCLA

9) Washington +23 @ Cal

10) Texas Tech @ Iowa St. OVER 53

11) Iowa +13 @ Michigan

12) UCF -5.5 v. Rice

13) Colorado +14 @ Oklahoma

14) Georgia Tech +7.5 @ Clemson

15) Hawaii @ N.M. State OVER Whatever number they want to put out there!


1) Cincy -3 v. Carolina

2) New York -3.5 v. Detroit (I don't even know which N.Y.)

3) Buffalo +5.5 v. New England

4) Tampa +5.5 v. Philly

5) Atlanta +2.5 v. Pittsburgh

6) San Diego -5.5 @ K.C.

7) Denver - 4.5 @ Cleveland

8) Arizona -3 @ Oakland

9) N.Y. +3 @ Dallas ( I just figured out which N.Y. is playing Detroit)

Everybody have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Motown Musings

Today, I've called on a very special pinch hitter. I've called on a man that I met five years ago wearing a University of Michigan t-shirt and a Detroit Tigers cap. A man that grew up in the city of Detroit, went to college in Ann Arbor, has now returned his ever growing family back to Detroit after a five year stint in the Big Apple, and most of all, a man that personifies the term "fan". He lives and dies with his teams like nobody else I've ever known. In fact, he's the only person I know that could name every starter of the 2003 Detroit Tigers and tell you how many receiving yards Desmond Howard had in his Heisman Campaign. Not to mention, I'm positive he could run down the list of Vinny Johnson's career achievements at a moments notice. I am, of course, talking about my good friend and former law school cohort, HUGE. I must admit, as gay as it sounds, I've taken great pleasure in the Tigers magical run this season, because I knew what it meant to HUGE. Sure, the Pistons have been great recently, and his Wolverines are always tough, but as long as I've known him, the Tigers and Lions have brought him nothing but pain. So, this run by the Tigers is different, and I am happy for him, and I'm happy that I have a team to care about this late into October...even if it's not my own.

At any rate, because I am so happy for HUGE and the Tigers, and because I knew I would butcher any attempt to explain why this is such a big deal for guys like HUGE, I went straight to the man himself and asked him to explain why we should all be pulling for the Tigers next week. And, because he's a great friend, and because he can never pass up the opportunity to talk about Detroit, regardless of the topic, he obliged. So, without further adieu, here's a 1,700 word essay on what the summer and fall of 2006 have meant to a true Tigers fan (by the way, it's really good and worth your time to read):

The WAD asked me to take time out of my busy day (effectively taking food out of the mouths of my ravenous two little wolverines) to let you all in on the best story in sports this year – the 2006 American League Champion Detroit Tigers.

Now you probably have heard a bunch of crap about how this is lifting up a city that is down on hard times, pushing up the downtrodden spirits of an ageing rustbelt metropolis. Or how this is so great because it is small market scouting winning out over big market free agent spending. BS. That’s just FOX Sports trying to make up for the fact that McCarver and Buck make watching baseball on TV painful.

The truth is, Detroit is in the middle of a pretty good sports run. It was just a few years ago that Michigan was National Champion in football, MSU has been a perennial power come March Madness, the Pistons have been through two championship periods, and the Wings’ success coined the term, “Hockeytown.” The more recent history has been even more incredible – the best records in the NHL and the NBA, nearly the best record in baseball, an undefeated Michigan football team – especially when you consider Detroit was chosen to host the Super Bowl, the All-Star game and a near future Final Four.

Sports-wise, Detroit has been just fine, thank you very much. But is has not been perfect. There has been something missing. Basketball is great, but purists find much to fault with the pro game. Hockey is fun, but in the USA – even in Hockeytown – it is still the game of our pacifistic neighbors to the north. U-M and MSU are great – but their successes inevitably divide the community because you are either a Spartan or a Wolverine. And football, well, suffice it to say that Gary Moeller’s interim run as head coach left him as the only Lion coach in recent memory to be above .500 (Even the Big Buck, Cocaine Wayne himself, finished one game below .500 in his (too)long and (not so)illustrious career as the main man in the Silverdome. (That said, everything I am about to say about the Tigers would likely be magnified by 10 if the Lions ever won anything – this is a great sports town, but it is a football town. The UAW locals, the Knights of Columbus halls, the bowling alleys in Hamtramck – they will all rock like they have never rocked before if the Honolulu Blue ever gets its act together.)

But the Tigers, and baseball, are something special. It is the game of summer. When spring training rolls around in Detroit, everybody gets excited because it isn’t just the start of a new sports season; it is the end of a long, hard, cold winter. Baseball is about rituals – the daily checking of the box score at breakfast, Sparky Anderson never stepping on a baseline, Mickey Tettleton eating his fruit loops, Kirk Gibson and Dave Rozema dating strippers – and those rituals are what keep it in the forefront of our hearts even when a team is not doing so well. Baseball is a game that you put on the radio while you are reading a book, or that Grandmas listen to while they are knitting. Baseball is pickup trucks, apple pie, Americana, Dominican shortstops, peanuts for a dollar outside the stadium (and five bucks inside the stadium), and a malt cup during the seventh inning stretch.

That’s to say that baseball always matters. But sometimes it matters more than others. And right now in Detroit, in the midst of our first playoff appearance in 19 years and our first World Series appearance in 22 years, it matters an awful lot. 1984 was a long time ago, but to many of us around here, it is how we measure time. I had just turned 8 years old right before the beginning of the 1984 season, and those were, and always will be, my Tigers. That was when I started the habit of racing to beat my father to the morning newspaper so that I could read about the previous night’s game. That was when I first remember heading down to the baseball cathedral that stood at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. My brothers and neighborhood friends used to get into fights when we would play baseball over who got to be Chet Lemon or Kirk Gibson or Lance Parrish. My best friend and I used to practice over and over turning two just like Tram and Sweet Lou The ’84 Tigers – Bless You Boys! - had a great team from top to bottom, brought to you night in and night out by the voice of Ernie Harwell (the finest Georgia export since Tyrus Raymond Cobb). I remember that they started up the middle (Catcher, Pitcher, SS, 2B, and CF) in the All Star Game that summer. And Sparky – well, suffice it to say that Sparky held (and will always hold) a warm place in the hearts of all Detroiters. Detroit is the kind of town where you may go over to the home of your friend’s grandma and not understand a word she is saying because she only speaks Polish, but where you always felt comfortable because the food was always good and there was always a picture of Sparky Anderson (usually next to a picture of John Paul II) in the living room.

But it has been a long time since 1984. With the exception of a run in 1987 (yes, all you Brave fans in WAD’land, you can thank us later for giving you John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander), it was pretty bleak around here for a long time. We still went to the games, we still talked baseball, but we did not breathe it. And nothing serves as the oxygen tank of baseball quite like playoff baseball in the north - the high stakes, low temperatures, and national spotlight. And nothing could have served as a bigger wake up call to this community than having the hated Yankees in town (this has nothing to do with the Tigers, but how dare they steal Drew Henson and then abandon him in Columbus, Ohio).

And we needed a wakeup call. The one thing about playoff baseball that this town had forgotten is just how intense it is. Baseball is the only sport that features three-hour games 5-6 days every week. To really appreciate baseball, you have to be tuned in to every pitch so that you can really appreciate the way a pitcher is working a strike zone, or what kind of action he is getting on his breaking pitches, or if a hitter is on his game and able to use all fields. For baseball to really grab you, it is not just about winning. It is about being able to stand up to this level of scrutiny and captivate the fans. And this year’s Tigers have been a complete joy to watch from this level.

Maybe they have been unheralded, maybe they are just all coming of age at the right time, maybe they have just been toiling in obscurity in a baseball backwater stung by the stigma of the 2003 season. Who knows? But there is no denying the fact that upon close evaluation, this team is a team for the ages. Hitting, pitching, fielding, base running, managing - you name it, this Tiger team stands up to the scrutiny. We’ve got hitters (look at all the guys at or near .300), batters (the guys at or near 25 homeruns, including the 7-8-9 spots in the lineup), the young pitching (you understand why they call it heat when you see Joel Zumaya in person – you feel that he is throwing 100+ mph), the old pitching (the Gambler, and even Todd Jones!!!, chucking aside their reputations as chokers), the amazing defense (Pudge had just two errors all season while throwing out nearly 50% of all base stealers while Brandon Inge has become the most exciting infielder in the major leagues with his spectacular plays – although in fairness, it would be nice if he cut down on the errors), the classic National League style small-ball on the base paths, and of course the genius of Jim Leyland. To say that this team is just an exciting team because the city of Detroit has not had a good baseball team in twenty years is to miss the point. This team is not just good for the city of Detroit; it is good for the game of baseball. They are not just winning, they are winning the right way – good pitching, young prospects mixed with grizzled veterans, products from the farm system mixed in with one free agent star (Pudge) and a bunch of free agent castaways (Gambler, Mags) who Detroit took a chance on, and who took a chance on Detroit. The big ballpark. The classic uniforms (the day the Tigers wear one of those softball style colored jerseys is the day I turn in my fan card). The crisp autumn weather. The baseball team that is coming back to its roots.

It has been a magical ride. And its not over yet. The big stage awaits our Boys of Summer. There are still questions to be answered: How will Thames and Monroe hit in the fall classic? Will the Gambler’s luck run out? Does Leyland have any more Marlboro Red-stained rabbits to pull out of his hat? We will know if a few days.

May the end of the journey be as exciting as the ride thus far. Is this the year of the Tiger? We won’t have an answer to that for another week, but I wouldn’t bet against this team.

Go Tigers. Bless You Boys!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Great Debate

Sunday, Chris Collinsworth and Jerome Bettis (between acts of oral man love on one another) both argued vehemently that the Steelers would definitely make the playoffs. Personally, I think they are on crack, and I refuse to let one stellar performance against a Huard brother on the road convince me otherwise. So, what do you think? Will Big Stiff and the defending Super Bowl Thieves make the playoffs? Also, just for the hell of it, who do you think is the best team in the NFL right now?

That's a two parter...hope you UGA grads don't get confused! (Sorry, how could I not?)

Also, as you could probably tell from yesterday's lack of a column and today's brief work, the real job BLOWS right now. But, not to worry, we've got a special guest appearance on the WAD tomorrow to discuss the Tigers and their improbable World Series run, and I will be back trying to recover the past two disastrous weeks of prognostications on Friday.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The WAD Rankings

I’ll admit it…I usually look forward to Monday Musings because it allows me to talk about a wide array of topics with very little effort or preparation. In other words, it’s a fun and easy column to write. Well, this week, I plan on still having some fun, but I want to put a little more effort into the Musings. In fact, this really isn’t going to be a Musings at all. Instead, I want to do one thing….I want to reveal this year’s first edition of the WAD Rankings. Really, these are just like the BCS rankings… without any real significance or meaning. So, some of you might actually consider them to be exactly like the BCS rankings, but that is neither here nor there.

Before unveiling the rankings, however, I want to give you a brief background on how I came up with the idea to put together the WAD Rankings. Saturday night, about the same time Florida began imploding against Auburn, I had a long conversation with a very depressed and distraught Fite. He, of course, was still trying to come to grips with the fact that Adrian Peterson’s career at Oklahoma is, in all likelihood, over. In the midst of this conversation, where I spent the majority of the time trying to talk Fite off the ledge, Fite said something I thought was very interesting and profound. He said, “if I was an AP Voter, the first thing I would do is remove OU from the rankings. I mean, without Peterson, there is no way they are one of the Top 25 teams in the country.” Well, my initial reaction was “man, you can’t do that…they only have two losses.” Then, after thinking about what he said, I started to see the wisdom in what he was saying. In short, what Fite was ultimately saying was that no matter where a team was ranked the week before, no matter where they started the season, no matter what you expect to happen in the weeks to come, you should evaluate and rank each team simply by using one criteria: This week, where do they stack up against the other teams in the country.

At first glance, this seems like a very simple concept, and most of you are probably saying, “No shit man. That’s what the pollsters do anyway!” But, I submit to you that this is not what the pollsters do. For example, if you applied my rationale and just evaluated each team based on how good you think they are at this very moment in time, there is no way that you could rank USC above Michigan, West Virginia, Texas, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, or even Cal. Sure, USC is undefeated and five of those other teams have one loss, but if you’ve watched them all play, you can’t honestly tell me that you think USC is better, at this very moment in time, than any of them. And, don’t get me wrong, the point of this column is not just to pick on USC, there are plenty of other examples. But, instead of detailing them all right here, I will just go ahead and give you the WAD Rankings with a few explanations below, and you can be the judge of whether you like my logic or the present logic of the coaches and writers.

1) OHIO STATE - (#1 AP & #1 USA Today) - This one is easy. They go out every week and take care of their business. They have had two showcase games, at Texas and Iowa, and they weren’t challenged in either. And, this past weekend they looked like they could have hung 60 on Michigan State if they wanted. I don’t think anybody can argue with the Buckeyes at #1.

2) MICHIGAN – (#2 AP & #3 USA Today) – They were more than impressive against N.D., and this past weekend they went into an incredibly hostile environment against a talented Penn State team and walked away with the most dominant 7 point win I’ve seen in years. Not to mention, they were playing without their biggest playmaker at Happy Valley. Only a reeling Iowa team stands between the first Game of the 21st Century at the Horseshoe the third weekend in November.

3) WEST VIRGINIA – (#4 AP & #4 USA Today) – Sure, they haven’t faced any competition yet, but they have beat the piss out of every team they have played. And, I’m just not sure I’ve seen anybody that can match their speed in the backfield. Pat White and Steve Slaton make the Mountaineers a legitimate national championship contender.

4) FLORIDA – (#9 AP & #10 USA Today) – This is where this gets tricky. I want you to think about this for a minute: Florida went on the road to Knoxville and got a win, beat LSU handily at home, and then they went to Auburn and in the face of the loudest crowd I’ve EVER heard on television, they caught some atrocious breaks and dropped a game to a top 10 Auburn team. If that game was played in The Swamp, do you think they would have lost? How about a neutral field? I’m sorry, but losing a game the way they did at Jordan Hare is not enough for me to knock them out of the Top 5, or for me to say that Auburn is definitively better than Florida.

5) TENNESSEE – (#7 AP & #9 USA Today) - The Vols own two of the most impressive wins of the season, at home against Cal and between the hedges against UGA, and their only blemish is a one point loss to the Gators. The didn’t play this past weekend, so the last glimpse we had of the Vols was their 37 point second half outburst in Athens. Do you really think there are five other teams in America that could have done that?

6) AUBURN – (#8 AP & #7 USA Today) - They had a huge win against LSU earlier in the year, and we’ve already discussed their huge win Saturday night. But, for all the reasons I discussed above (raucous and legendary crowd advantage, not to mention a more than suspect replay ruling), I’m not ready to say they are better than Florida, and I’m certainly not ready to forgive the atrocious showing against Arkansas.

7) TEXAS – (#5 AP & #5 USA Today) – They looked great against OU two weeks ago, and the offense looked great against Baylor this past weekend. But, you can’t give up 31 points to Baylor and be ranked ahead of the teams above.

8) CAL - (#11 AP & #11 USA Today) - Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was a bigger Cal basher than me after their season opening debacle in Knoxville. Since then, however, I’ve had a chance to see them play a few times, and the Bears have been trouncing their opponents. Most significantly, they embarrassed Oregon. Believe it or not, the Bears defense is just as impressive as their offense. They tackle well (post Knoxville), and they rush the passer with reckless abandon. Depending on how they handle their business in weeks to come, this ranking could soar.

9) USC – (#3 AP & #2 USA Today) - Okay, here’s the big controversy. With the exception of their season opening pounding of Arkansas, USC has not been impressive in any of their six wins. The fact of the matter is that the Trojans seem like a ticking time bomb. Every week that goes by you keep expecting them to explode and be the dominant team they have been over the past four years, but until that happens, I simply don’t think they are better than any of the teams I have ranked above them. And, isn’t that what this is really all about?

10) LOUISVILLE – (#6 AP & #6 USA Today) – Honestly, I was shocked that Brian Brohm’s return coincided with Louisville’s worst performance of the season, but it did and there is no way around that. Against Cincinnati, the Cardinals looked more than a little vulnerable. In fact, they looked imminently beatable. And, I’m quite certain that any of the nine teams I have ranked above them would handle the Cardinals right now.

So, there you have it. One man’s opinion on who the best ten teams in America are right now. And yes, I’m confident this is the only place in America you will find five one loss teams ranked ahead of USC and Louisville. But, maybe it shouldn’t be.

Friday, October 13, 2006

For Informational Purposes Only

First off, thanks to Fite for keeping things chugging along this week. I’ve had a long one at the office and it is, quite frankly, not going to get much better for the next couple of weeks. So, please bear with me, and I will do my best to write as much as possible, and I’m sure Fite will keep pitching in, and we’ll keep trucking along. Oh, one more thing: I just finished watching the second episode of “Friday Night Lights”, and ladies and gentlemen, I am confident in saying that we have a certifiable future Hall of Famer on our hands. I will write more about it later, but for now just trust me when I say that all my fears after episode 1 have been dispelled in a hurry. This show is something special, and you better go ahead and jump on the bandwagon before it fills up.

Enough of the intro, here are this week’s gems:


1) UCF +10.5 vs. Pitt - It doesn’t take a Master’s Degree from NYU to whoop the Weinstaches’ ass.

2) Iowa -19.5 @ Indiana - Drew Tate and the Hawkeyes are tuning up for their chance at redemption against the Wolverines.

3) N.C. State -3 vs. Wake - Wake is going to be devastated after last week’s heartbreaker against Clemson, and N.C. State appears to be launching their annual Save the Chest drive.

4) WVU -25 vs. Syracuse – Good team/bad team. It worked last week for the Mountaineers at Mississippi St. Why mess with a good thing?

5) Vandy +13.5 @ UGA - Hey, if Colorado and Ole Miss can hang with the Dawgs, and if UT can score 112 points in a half, why not back Vandy in this one? Plus, I can’t pass up a chance to send my buddy Zach into a homicidal rage.

6) Texas Tech @ Colorado OVER 48.5 – any explanation needed?

7) Ohio St. -14 @ Michigan St. - The Spartans are an absolute disaster. And, OSU is the number 1 team in the nation for God’s sake!

8) Maryland -3 @ UVA – I’ve seen them both in person, and Maryland is a lot better than UVA…a lot!

9) Missouri -2 @ Tx. A&M - Seriously, what the hell was Dennis Franchione thinking when he left Bama? By the way, was Brad Smith a big enough star for the whole “Ewing Theory” thing to be at play here?

10) UCLA @ Oregon OVER 52 - It’s the Pac-10, isn’t it?

11) Arizona @ Stanford OVER 38.5 - See #10 above.

12) Cal -8.5 @ WSU - Did you see Cal devour Oregon last week? I did, and I’m a believer.

13) Texas -27.5 vs. Baylor - Doesn’t Texas always win games like this by 50? Am I missing something?

14) Auburn +2 vs. Florida - Call it a gut feeling, but one team is riding high and feeling pretty good about itself, and the other team is embarrassed and angry. And, by the way, the angry team happens to be pretty damn good.

15) UTEP -12.5 vs. Tulane - Roll Tide! I’m sorry, I just love Mike Price.

Yes, I just picked nine favorites…five of them on the road. And, you wonder why I’m under .500 picking college games?


1) Detroit +1 vs. Buffalo - Seems like as good as time as any to back a team from Detroit.

2) Carolina +3 @ Baltimore - Last time I checked you need to score points to win a football game.

3) Cincy -5.5 @ Tampa - Good team/Bad team. Just can’t lay off.

4) NYG +3 @ Atlanta – My two favorite teams. I hate it when they play. My allegiance, of course, is clearly with the Falcons, but I just think the Giants are a better team.

5) Kansas City +7 @ Pittsburgh – taking 7 points against Big Stiff. I feel a little tingly inside.

6) Seattle -3 @ St. Louis – Sure, the Rams have played well this season, but the Seahawks are possibly the best team in the NFC, and they are coming off a bye week. Sounds like a recipe for success.

7) Denver -15 vs. Oakland – At this point, how can you not?

8) Chicago -10.5 @ Arizona - I don’t think the Bears defense is exactly who you want to see when you are making your second career start at quarterback? Not to mention, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the next Brett Favre is now starting at quarterback for the Bears. And yes, I am now officially the President of the Rex Grossman fan club.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tasteless Thursday

If you're learning to fly do it in upstate NY, not Manhattan. Pick a nice area with nothing around, and fly to your heart's content. I can't believe I'm saying this, but be responsible like Kellen Winslow: he was doing bike tricks in a parking lot where the only person he could hurt was himself.

Nobody knows what was going on in Lidle's plane. Maybe there were mechanical problems. Maybe he's a shitty pilot. Whatever happened, it should have happened far from one of the most densely populated cities on earth. But no, Lidle decided to learn to fly by circling high rise buildings.

If it's not obvious by now, I don't feel sorry for him at all. If you engage in risky activities in poorly chosen locations then you get what you get. Steve Irwin welcomed Lidle at the Pearly Gates (if Yankees are allowed in) and congratulated him on joining the "I found a stupid way to kill myself" club.

What can we do at the WAD? I suggest using these deaths to bring joy to the world. I'm putting out a call for the most tasteless comments on these two morons. I'll lead off with a few:

Lidle pitched well early, but he's definitely hit the wall this postseason.

Lidle was a bit concerned that his classes at the Flight Academy Training White Americans (FATWA) flight school never discussed landing.

Those of you that think I'm going to hell for this are wrong: I'm going to hell for other things. This just puts me in the express lane.

Have a nice day,


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WADless Wednesday

It's only a matter of time before The Longest Yard 3 comes out. I expect they'll start production once they transfer Larry Phillips to Big Mo's prison.

So who would we have starting for the convicts?

QB: Marcus Vick (it's only a matter of time)
RB: Phillips and Clarett
WR: Rae Carruth
WR: Koren Robinson
OL: Nate Newton
OL: Barret Robbins
OL: Don Vito

I'm sure you're wondering "Fite, why have you only listed offensive players." Simple. After a few nights in jail all these guys learned to go both ways.

Post comments of who I forgot. My list is only those players currently in the slammer (or those like Phillips and Robinson, who will be in the pokey soon enough).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


There's nothing like costing your team a game, and knowing that you did it. I was guilty on Saturday. With OU leading 10-7 at half, I thought "I need to wash my OU shirt so I can wear it to work on Monday." The second I thought it, I knew I had made a mistake. Texas scored 21 unanswered in the second half (thank you Paul Thompson) and that was that. My desire to parade around Austin in an OU shirt cost us the game. Not even Bob Stoops and Adrian Peterson can overcome idiotic fans.

You'd think that I learned a lesson, not so. Sunday I did the same damn thing. I was watching the Cowboys/Eagles with my Machi fantasy team pulled up online. On Dallas' last drive I turned off the computer, the fantasy win was in the bag. I was in the lead and Julius Jones is on my team. I figured if anything, my win would get bigger if Jones scored. The worst scenario I could imagine was Philly stopping the drive and then kneeling out the clock (Dallas had no timeouts). Of course we all know what happened: Bledsoe (my starting linebacker, as I was playing the Dallas D) threw a pick six. Then Akers, my opponent's kicker, adds a PAT. The combination of Dallas D allowing 7 more points and Akers' PAT snatched a tie from the jaws of victory.

As if all that wasn't bad enough, we get this terrible news. That's one bad weekend.

Have a nice day,


Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Musings

Another weekend fades to black, and as we start the new week, here's what's on my mind:

  • I'm angry that the Jackets did everything they possibly could to lose to Maryland on Saturday. I think their performance at times (i.e. the kickoff return for a touchdown, the inexplicable and horrendous fake field goal, and the decision to go for 2 up 4 with 10 minutes left) was a highlight reel of Chan Gailey's ineptitudes. That being said, my anger is far outweighed by my relief. This was a game we would have lost each of the past four years, but not this time around. As bad as it was it times...we found a way to win. And, that my friends, is why I just can't shake the feeling that this team is different and quite possibly special. Only time will tell. With huge road obstacles remaining at Clemson, N.C. State, and UGA, as well as a home battle with an improving Miami team, 7-5 is still a distinct possibility, but for the first time under Chan Gailey, it is not a probability.

  • Sure, I'm biased, but I'm not sure if I've ever seen a more dominate half of football than Tennessee's second half in Athens Saturday night. I was astounded at the ease with which they moved the football. I refuse to believe that UGA's defense is that bad. Instead, I am convinced that Tennessee's offense is that good. In turn, I have no choice but to believe that Florida might just be the best team in the country.

  • Coach Tubberville, are you still worried about getting hosed by the BCS?

  • At the same time Tennesse was putting on their show in Athens, the Cal Bears were putting on equally impressive show against Oregon. Now, I've seen Cal play, and I've seen USC play. And, I have very little doubt that, at this moment in time, Cal is the best team in the PAC - 10. I doubt anybody cares, but I figured I'd mention it.

  • Joe Buck and Troy Aikman should be severely reprimanded by Fox. Sure, it's no secret that I hate Joe Buck, but I have legitimate reasons for my anger. Listen, I know that T.O. is a nut job, and I know that he makes it easy for people to make him out to be the bad guy. But, that is no reason for Buck and Aikman to go out of their way on Sunday to somehow blame T.O. for every stupid decision or mistake Bledsoe made. Their most egregious transgression came when T.O. got behind the Eagle defense and Bledsoe proceeded to under throw him by six yards resulting in a pick. Instead of simply pointing out that Bledsoe is a huge stiff, Buck and Aikman spent the better part of five minutes trying to pin the interception on the fact that T.O. didn't come off the line at full speed. Never mind that he ended up being open by five yards, somehow it was T.O.' s fault. In short, their analysis was wrong and it was unprofessional. And, the fact that this seems to be increasingly the norm for Buck, it is time that Fox did something about it.

  • It took five games, but Reggie Bush was finally cleared for lift off on Sunday. I, for one, am very excited about this.

  • Just when I thought this weekend couldn't get any better (Tech wins, UGA loses, the Yankees lose, Reggie Bush scores his first NFL touchdown), Big Stiff goes off and tosses two picks en route to the Steelers' third straight loss. The good times keep on rolling.

  • Finally, Hans and I took in the late showing of "The Departed" last night. I won't give anything away about the movie, but I will say that it was fantastic. Lucky Leo gave his best performance since "Basketball Diaries", Damon was solid, Baldwin was entertaining, Nicholson carried the show, Wahlberg was a Chief saying and doing Chief things, and Sheen was the lovable father figure type he has mastered in his old age. On the whole, I would give it a solid 9, and I would encourage you to go invest the 2.5 hours and go see this movie.

Friday, October 06, 2006

For Informational Purposes Only

The President may have made it harder for you to gamble, but I know you will still find a way. So, I figure it’s still my obligation to give you the much coveted WAD Weekend Picks:


1) Louisville -30 @ MTSU - Unless it’s Southern California, it’s always a good idea to pick against a directional school.

2) Wake Forest +17 vs. Clemson - Sure, they may have lost their starting quarterback and tailback, but the Deacons are 5-0, and Jim Grobe is one of the best game day coaches in America. I’d be tempted to take the points even if this was your typical Wake team, and this is not your typical Wake team.

3) Syracuse +7 vs. Pitt - Syracuse in the Dome against Weinstache? Yes please.

4) Miami -19 vs. UNC - Let’s get one thing straight: If Miami can’t beat this team by more than 19 at home, we can officially pronounce them dead. Is that a reason to lay the points? Probably not, but who really needs a reason?

5) Indiana +8 @ Illinois – Illinois wins their first game against a I-A team since Nicole Ritchie was fat and all of the sudden they are laying more than a touchdown? I’m not buying it.

6) West Virginia -21 @ Mississippi State - The old good team/bad team rule applies here. You just have to lay the points and hope for the best.

7) USC -19 vs. Washington – Sorry Ty, it’s been a nice start to the season, but Wazzou didn’t do you any favors last weekend by waking up the Trojans. Unless the Huskies plan on trotting out Mario Bailey, Marcus Tuasidfoadffsfupo, and Steve Entman, this one should be ugly early.

8) LSU +2 @ Florida - The Tigers can’t afford to lose this game.

9) Maryland +14 @ Georgia Tech - Tech is coming off a big win with the Fridge coming into town…yea, I’m scared…very scared. That being said, the team we saw last weekend was something we’ve never seen under Gailey. We played with confidence, attitude, and purpose for 60 minutes. If we do that again this week, we’ll cover this spread. I just won’t believe we can do that until I see it. But, just like last week, I will be very happy to be wrong.

10) Oklahoma +4 vs. Texas – This line is literally all over the place. People can’t seem to make up their mind what they think is going to happen in this game. One minute Texas is a 5.5 point favorite, and the next minute they are a 4 point favorite. By the time this thing kicks off it could be anywhere. All that tells me is that nobody has a clue what is going to happen. So, I’m going with the team that wants revenge for last year, revenge for Oregon, and has Stoops on the sideline.

11) Tennessee -2.5 @ UGA - Georgia has to score to win this game. Based on the last two weeks, I’m just not sure that is going to happen. I mean, a combined 28 points against Colorado and Ole Miss doesn’t exactly instill confidence.

12) Texas Tech vs. Missouri Over 55.5 - Every week boys.

13) Oregon +4.5 @ California - Oregon is going to piss on Cal. How’s that for analysis?


1) Chicago -10 vs. Buffalo - J.P. Losman against the Bears defense in Soldier Field? Yes Sirrrrrrr!

2) Carolina -8.5 vs. Cleveland – The Panthers have to break out some time, right?

3) New England -10 vs. Miami – It’s amazing how quickly things can change. A few years ago, the idea of laying 10 points against Culpepper would have scared me to death. Now? Let’s just say that I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing up in public.

4) New Orleans -6.5 vs. Tampa – Sure, it won’t be the same intensity as the first game back in the Dome, but the Saints are going to have the biggest home field advantage in the NFL all season. And, it doesn’t hurt that I have NO idea who this guy is playing quarterback for the Bucs.

5) Kansas City -3 @ Arizona - The Chiefs could have scored 60 last weekend, and the Cardinals looked AWFUL against the Falcons. This has sucker bet written all over it. What can I say? I’m a sucker.

6) Oakland @ San Francisco Under 40 - Brace yourselves kids, we could have the first 0-0 tie since the 40’s. I for one am loving the Art Shell era.

7) Dallas +3 @ Philly - T.O., T.O., T.O., T.O., T.O.!!!!!! That's right, the Captain of the All-WAD All Stars is headed back to the most vile city on the East Coast. I never thought I’d see the day that I would be rooting for the Cowboys under any circumstances, but that day has arrived.

8) San Diego -3 vs. Pittsburgh – You know that I can’t pass up a chance to bet against Big Stiff on the road. He may single handedly win this game for the Chargers. One of these days, and it may not be far off, you are all going to have to admit that I was right about this guy! And, I will expect those admissions in writing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The WAD One Year Later

It all started one year ago today. It was October 5, 2005, the Braves were embarking on another playoff heartbreak and I was embarking on what has become one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Writing this blog over the past year has served as a great stress release, a source for a lot of laughs, a source for a little introspection, and yes, even sometimes a source for stress. In short, it is has been what I intended it to be: a look into my life and the way I think. For better or worse, one year ago, I decided to give the world a peak inside my head. Obviously, some articles have been better than others. In fact, I think some have been very good, and I’m quite certain that some have been very bad. But, almost without exception, they have been fun to write. All that being said, as a means to celebrate the one year anniversary of this great ride, I decided it would be best to take a look back. And, to do so, I’ve decided to give out, in no particular order, some awards and superlatives. And, just for fun, I’m going to call them the First Annual WADS:


1) It’s only right that on the first anniversary we give a special commemorative award to the first post in WAD history: Atlanta: Sports Town or Not:


2) The award for the article with the best comments, of course, goes to this entry from February 1, 2006:


Let me just say thanks to everybody for all your kind words. Really, it means a lot.

3) The award for the article that I most enjoyed writing goes to this recap of one of the greatest college football games I’ve ever seen: One that Lived Up to the Hype


I loved writing this article not only because the game was phenomenal, but the comedy provided by Dave and Hans was transcendent at times.

4) The award for the most difficult article to write goes to another one of my personal favorites: And The Winner Is (NFL Postseason Awards)


These movie quote articles take a lot of time to write and require a ton of research, but in the end, they have always been a lot of fun. I’d love to do more of them, but I’m pretty lazy.

5) The award for best television/entertainment article of the year goes to: Television Tuesday from February 28, 2006 (Bachelor Season Finale)


Say what you will, but “The Bachelor” is entertaining as hell. Not to mention, it makes for very easy writing.

6) The award for best NBA related article goes to: Game 3: A view from the Sunporch ( A running diary of what turned out to be a legendary performance by D. Wade).


I am so thankful that I kept this running diary so I can look back years from now and remember how phenomenal D. Wade was that night. It was truly one of the great performance of our lifetimes.

7) The award for best guest appearance on The WAD undoubtedly goes to good friend of The WAD Drew Barry for his NCAA Tournament Preview:


As I mentioned at the outset of this article, Drew is one of the funniest guys and best conversationalists you will ever meet. And, he was a brilliant basketball player and has a brilliant basketball mind. It was truly a pleasure to have him chime in on the NCAA Tourney, and to later chime in on the NBA Draft. Many thanks go to him for taking the time out of his schedule to give us one of our best articles.

8) The “Readers Choice Award” goes to the article that received the most positive feedback from my readers: The Kid (Ken Griffey article)


This was truly a great article to write. Jr. is one of my favorite athletes of all time and I received more complimentary emails and phone calls following this article than any other I have written. In fact, at the prodding of a few friends, I actually submitted this article to the major newspapers in Seattle and Cincinnati, but I never heard back from any of them. Assholes!

9) The WAD Athlete of the Year Award undoubtedly goes to 5 time Man of the Week Award Winner, Tiger Woods.

It seems like every time we think we’ve seen it all, Tiger finds a new way to amaze us. With two Major wins this year, 8 tour victories, 6 straight wins, all in the midst of dealing with personal loss, I can’t think of many athletes, if any, that have ever had a better year.

10) The WAD Television Character of the Year goes to Jack Bauer. Tony Soprano and Ari Gold certainly got consideration, but at the end of the day, I was scared of what Jack might do to me if he didn’t get the award!

11) And, finally, The WAD Man of the Year goes to Jason Collier. As you all know, we lost Jason nearly one year ago. He was a tremendous college basketball player, he had established himself in the NBA, he was a husband, a father, and he was a tremendous friend. His death came as a shock to all of those that knew him, and it was a very difficult thing for us to deal with. Even in death, however, he still serves as a source of laughter and smiles for his friends. Just these past two nights I have had the good fortune of spending time with my good friend and Jason’s old Georgia Tech teammate, Jon Babul, and in the very short time we spent together, we mentioned Jason numerous times. We told stories, we shared laughs, but we always came back to the same thing: we just still can’t believe he’s gone. As clichĂ© as it sounds, however, he is certainly not forgotten. If you like, you can read the words I wrote about Jason the day after he left us, as well as some wonderful comments by Matt Judy:


So, let me just extend my sincere thanks to all of you for reading this year. I hope that you all have enjoyed reading and participating on The WAD half as much as I have enjoyed writing the articles. Also, I would be remissed if I didn't offer a special thanks to Fisher for not only providing all the technical support for The WAD, but also for being the person that originally encouraged me to do this. And, special thanks go to Stats for being a huge supporter and tremendous commentor on a daily basis. Finally, a huge "Boomer" goes out to Fite for always being willing to step in and pinch hit for me when I needed a break or got too caught up in that distraction called work. I'd be lying if I said that I ever envisioned The WAD becoming as big a part of my life as it has, but I'm grateful that it has, and I owe you all a debt of gratitude for making that happen.

Now, before I sign off, on this one year anniversary, I figure I owe you some comedy. Well fortunately for you and me, Fite has been hard at work compiling links over the past few days to some of the most entertaining stuff on the internet. So, as an anniversary present to you, I give you Fite's Links of the Week:

Let's start with a preview of the Screech sex tape. Don't worry, it's safe for work. His nakedness is covered by a bubble bath, and his language is bleeped. Just enough to prove the tape exists. Nice.

On to a complete meltdown submitted by Big Ern. You have to listen to the whole thing. Priceless.

Big Ern's second contribution is this great video. Sounds like a cross between the Waterboy's coach and a boar.

What happens in conservative communities where you can't put Jackass Number Two on a billboard?

Is a Tech grad more likely to recognize this, or these? Clearly it's the first.

Anybody wonder what Biff is up to these days?

The Great Debate

Today's Great Debate brings together a combination of two of the staples of The WAD: sports and television. Last night marked the debut of "Friday Night Lights". It gave us the perfect combination of "Varsity Blues" and the original "Friday Night Lights". We have the new coach faced with the task of not screwing up the best team in Texas. We have the football obsessed small West Texas town that cares as much about Friday night as it does Sunday morning. We had 26 year old actresses playing really hot jail bait. We had the star quarterback going down to a devastating injury. And, we had the little known backup coming in and leading the team to the improbable last second comeback victory. In short, we had an incredibly predictable and over done story line. Yet, I found myself thoroughly enjoying every second. So, it begs the question:

Does this show have a chance? Is there any way it can come up with enough story lines to sustain a television series, or did it shoot its load in Episode 1. Since I know you all watched the show, I feel confident that everybody should have something to say about this. So, let's have it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Favre, McNabb, and Hans!

Last night, I was stuck at the office until long after the start of the epic MNF clash between the Has Been (Favre) and the Never Was (McNabb). But, being the great roommate that he is, Hans decided to step up and keep me up to date on the game with frequent email updates. Much to my delight, however, these weren't just your average run of the mill updates. No sir, Hans decided to take a shot at a running diary, and here is what ensued (the parts in red are my responses to his pearls of wisdom, some at the time and some in retrospect):

I have decided to give you a running diary of what i am doing right now...you know, being the good friend that i am

8:41 just started Prison Break. I was thinking that this is one of the few shows out there without a really hot chick that is a mainstay. I guess the doctor, but she is not even that hot. (To insinuate that she is not hot is simply absurd. This chick, along with the chick that plays Cameron on "House" are the two top ranked "attainable hot chicks" in Hollywood right now. Well, that is if you don't count O'Malley's girlfriend on "Grey's", and I don't think she's hot. Amazingly though, some people think she's hot. Then again, some people think voting democrat makes sense! It's a crazy world we live in).

8:43 Brett Favre just got the ball and is going to start. he's got 6 td's in the last two games. and to think you think he should just hang it up...

8:45 3 and out. typical...

8:46 aforementioned doctor is on. she is hotter than I remember. (That's better. I was actually legitimately worried for a few minutes.)

8:47 I hope donovan breaks his face. (I couldn't agree more. McNabb is one of my ten least favorite athletes. He's the real life NFL version of Big Ern McCracken. And, if you thing for one minute that McNabb isn't the type of guy that would put sugar in your gas tank and then leave you behind to get your hand mangled in a ball returner, you are flat out kidding yourself. He's to blame for what happened in Philly last year, not T.O. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.)

8:47 donovan sacked on 3rd and 9. The pack is BRINGIN' it, playa!

8:48 The pack has the ball at midfield. The eagles' top two corners are out. I think Brett is going to go off. What is the spread in this game? F it...who cares...what's the money line? the pack is going to win this outright.

8:49 The FBI agent that is trying to run down these guys is a good actor, I guess. But I am pretty sure that i would whoop his ass (Not only is he a pretty good actor, but he and Billy Bob Thornton have both proved that it is possibe to become a star in Hollywood even if you once suffered from horrible acne.)

8:51 Brett Favre is slinging it..two completions in a row. down to the philly 25. would you ever bet against Brett Favre on Monday night? not if you like money (Right now, I would bet against Brett Favre in a punt, pass, and kick contest against my six year old nephew.)

8:53 Looks as if the eagles are sensing the same thing as me as they just drew a personal foul for roughing the passer. cheaters. Favre completed the pass anyway.

8:54 The pretty doctor is now officially hot. Where are all the super hot, drug addict doctors, that are easily manipulated, and whose dad is the governor, anyway? oops, said governor just hung himself because his VP nomination was pulled. p ** sy. (If you want suicide done right in Hollywood, you call this guy. Remember when he was the crooked cop that killed himself on the way home from the whorehouse in Season 1 of "The Sopranos"? He's definitely got a gift. I guess you've got to play to your strengths.)

8:56 Donald Driver just caught a TD pass but couldn't get his foot down. And it's a wonder that Brett keeps throwing TD's with these retards as his targets. How come waste aways like kurt warner get ridiculous offensive teammates.

8:57 FG Green Bay!! What's up? (There was more to this particular entry, but it has been removed for all our sakes. It was hilarious, but we are all better off that it's not in print. Trust me.)

8:59. Prison Break is not a good show. i have realized this. Oh well. (it's not that Prison Break isn't a good show, it's that it will be impossible to end it in a satisfying way, and it can't go on forever. It just can't. But, that runs contrary to what t.v. is all about. They want to find a hit and milk it for every episode and advertising dollar they can. It just can't end well. It would have been a much better movie. You know, a Godfather style, three and a half hour epic. I'd pay $50 to see that movie.)

9:11 running diaries suck (I don't think he's going to make it much longer).

9:13 Brett Favre is has guided the pack from their 3 yardline to midfield. it's probably good that you are not here. You would probably be annoyed. (Yes, I believe having to watch my roommate give fellatio to another man through our television screen would be annoying).

9:15 They found the money, but the cops are on the way!! I am so nervous (Nobody tell me a dman thing. I haven't watched it yet).

9:15. Damn it. there I go talking shit about the pack and they have to punt. typical

And, that is where it stopped. Sure, if this had been a marathon, Hans would have only made it to the 5 mile mark before stopping, but he ran his ass off for those five miles. And, just think about this: Joe Theisman gets paid tons of cash to offer less insight in an entire game than Hans offered in 45 minutes, and Theisman doesn't have to tell you about "Prison Break" at the same time! The Lesson? I'd rather read what Hans has to say than listen to what Theisman. Therfore, Hans has joined the ranks of every other human being in America not named Paul McGuire or Mike Patrick. Congratulations buddy, that's quite an accomplishment.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Musings

  • What can I say about the Jackets huge win Saturday in Blacksburg? I mean, it was just an absolute thing of beauty. I didn’t think I’d ever see us play better than we did in the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter against Troy, but the first ten minutes of Saturday’s game were as good as it gets. Then, when Va. Tech pulled back within 8 points near the end of the first half, we mounted an impressive drive to put three points up before halftime. That drive was not only crucial because it stymied the Hokies’ momentum, but it was representative of a major change in philosophy for the Chan Gailey led Jackets. Normally, in situations like that, we would have sat on the ball, hoped the clock ran out, and went into the half trying to find a way to cling to a one possession lead. But, not Saturday. On Saturday, we actually played to win. And, guess what? The more we played to win, the more good things kept happening. We caused fumbles, we capitalized on mistakes, and we kept scoring. It’s an amazing concept. And, it provides a tremendous example of why I was ready to choke Gailey after so many of our disappointments in the past five years, including the season opener to Notre Dame. If we had only kept the foot on the gas in those games, like we did on Saturday, we could have logged some very important victories over the past five years.

    Well, the past is the past, so it’s time to take stock of the present. First, there is no doubt we should be 5-0 right now. But we are not, so we have to frame our goals based on where we are. And, where we are is poised to win the ACC Coastal Division. With a win on the road at Blacksburg, and with Miami looking more like Duke every week, nothing short of an appearance in the ACC Championship Game is acceptable at this point. No questions asked. Not to mention, with what we keep seeing coming from the UGA offense, it seems pretty clear that Georgia Tech is the best football team in the state of Georgia right now. For this to be a successful season, however, that must continue through the last weekend in November. So, there you have it Coach Gailey. Success is a funny thing. The more you win, the higher the bar gets. So, Coach Gailey, that bar now stands at an ACC Coastal division championship and a win over UGA. Now, you need to go clear it. Any thing less is unacceptable.

  • Aside from the Jackets’ stunner in Blacksburg, the chalk seemed to hold on Saturday. Probably the most impressive performance of the day was Ohio State. Many people, myself included, thought the time was right for the Hawkeyes to sneak around the chicken coupe and steal one. Troy Smith and the Buckeyes, however, weren’t having any of it. This one coupled with their earlier win at Texas leaves little doubt that they are truly deserving of their #1 ranking and the prohibitive favorite to win the national title. Other than Michigan in the last week of the season, there just isn’t anybody left on their schedule that should give them any problems.

  • Did USC really almost lose at Washington State? I still can’t get my arms around that concept.

  • The Falcons looked like a well oiled machine on Sunday. The way Vick is running and throwing, the way Norwood explodes through the hole, and the way the defense seems to make huge play after huge play, and the way Deion Sanders seems to have inhabited DeAngelo Hall’s body, leaves very little not to love. With the exception of the charitable contribution last Monday night in New Orleans, the Falcons have looked close to perfect in the first month of the season.

  • Just when you thought my preseason prediction of the Redskins winning the Super Bowl was laughable, they went out and hooked Mark Brunell up to the juvenation machine. He’s thrown for nearly 600 yards and 4 touchdowns with only 1 pick in the past two weeks, and he led the Skins to a riveting OT win against a high quality Jags team on Sunday. Things have turned around nicely for the Skins. Now, if they can navigate themselves to their bye week at 4-3 (their next three games are @ the Giants, at home against Tennessee, and @ Indy), things loosen up after the bye, and the Skins should be in good shape to get to at least 10 wins and make the playoffs. Once they get in the playoffs, they have the benefit of the greatest NFL coach of our lifetime on their sidelines, so I like their chances to make me look good.

  • I’m officially off the 49er’s bandwagon. I thought you should know.

  • The Pats are amazing. Just when you think it’s safe to write them off, they go on the road and beat the crap out of one of the best teams in football. I guess the lesson is that we can never count out Belichick and Brady.

  • I thought you would all be excited to know that “The Bachelor: Rome” starts tonight. I hope you are as excited as I am.

  • Finally, don’t forget to send me your questions for this week’s WAD press conference. There are a lot of tough questions to be asked and answered this week.