Tiger’s Out of His Own Event. (Other Updates)

Joke's on you Chevron.

Tiger has officially pulled out of his own golf tournament this weekend, citing injuries suffered in his one-car pile up.  I feel for Chevron.  Oh, you want to title sponsor Tiger’s event?  Great, too bad he never plays it in it.  This is the second straight year Woods will miss the event that benefits his Tiger Woods Foundation, and if he wants to keep this thing afloat, perhaps he should start playing.  The field without Tiger, is a little lacking.  I assume the chilly relationship between Tiger and Phil keeps Mickelson away every year, and now the limited field is being headlined by the likes of Steve Stricker and Vijay Singh.  Camillo Villegas and Anthony Kim provide some flair, but this has basically turned into a must-miss event.  Sorry Chevron.  Better luck in 2010. 

It looks like the Charlie Weis experiment at Notre Dame has ended.  I guess it wasn’t really an experiment, more like a huge investment that went titanically wrong.  Weis was given the keys to the kingdom after one successful year, and now Notre Dame is going to be feasting on a big buy-out sandwich.  Weis failed at Notre Dame, there’s no doubt, and there wasn’t really another option here.  You can’t fire the Willingham’s of the world and let Big Chuck get by with a 6-6 season.  The great thing about Notre Dame is that they won’t dial it down a notch.  They’ll just throw more money at this thing, and hope they finally get it right.  What they need in South Bend is a recruiter.  The NBC deal isn’t bringing the bodies that used to.  And, what about Weis?  What do you do if you’re Charlie?  I fade into the night with my buyout millions, but that’s just me.  I’m poorly motivated. 

I want to give a quick update on the glorious Nets.  They’re my new favorite basketball team (unless the Sixers bring back A.I.).  The Nets fired Lawrence Frank, and then got their nuts handed to them in a neat little package by the Lakers.  Wouldn’t you wait until after the Lakers game to fire Frank?   I mean, you can bring in Red Auerbach and a couple of Hall-of-Famers and you’re probably losing to LA.  Why not give the new guy a better chance to win his first outing?  Well, I guess there really isn’t a winnable game when you are the Nets.  They’ve matched the NBA’s all-time worst start, and on Wednesday morning, before they take a run at history against Dallas I’m planning on taking a little bit closer of a look at this stellar season they’ve put together. 

 

Saints Vs. Patriots.

For all the Marbles. (Not Really)

So, there’s finally a decent Monday Night game.  Whether it will live up to the hype remains to be seen.  Sometimes these games that project to shootouts (over/under 57) fizzle out.  I doubt that will be the case tonight.  Despite the fact that both of these teams have highly ranked pass defenses, I don’t think this will be a case of defense beating offense.  I think the ball is going to be slung around, and hopefully at the very least we’ll get an entertaining match-up.  It should be a revealing game in some other areas as well. 

It could shed some light on the whole NFC/AFC thing.  I have been of the mind all season that the AFC is the vastly superior conference, and that may well be the case.  The NFC has the Saints, though, who are undefeated, and the Vikings who are playing great football.  From there it gets a little bleak.  The AFC has a top echelon as well with Indy, New England and San Diego.  Their top-tier seemed much deeper as recently as a month ago, but the Steelers/Broncos/Ravens and Bengals aren’t really looking like world beaters at this juncture.  If the Patriots can go into what’s going to be a frenzied environment, and handle the Saints, then we’ll know that the NFC is probably a second-class league or at best ridiculously top-heavy.  If the Saints beat the Pats, well…the NFC is probably still top-heavy, but maybe deserves some respect. 

Speaking of respect, I don’t know how many 10-0 teams there have been in history, but I doubt many have been disregarded as much as the Saints.  Now, the Saints are certainly getting credit, but we hear a lot of things.  They haven’t played anyone.   They’re just a dome team with a good offense.  Is there anyone out there, anyone outside of New Orleans that thinks the Saints are going to win the Super Bowl?   This is an undefeated team that opened as a 3 point favorite at home, and the line has dropped to 1.5.  That’s pretty remarkable.  Flip the roles here.  If the Pats were 10-0, at home, and facing a top-three NFC opponent who was 7-3…what do we think the line would be?  7?  And it certainly wouldn’t move like this one has. 

And, that leads to what I think is the best thing about this game.  The Saints probably need it more.  The Patriots could use a win to keep themselves in the first round bye discussion, but that’s all they really gain from beating New Orleans.  Afterall, everyone is expecting them to take the game.  The Saints on the other hand like I said before can almost play the “No one Believes in Us” card, and not only that, they’re in a dogfight with the Vikings for home field in the NFC.  The Saints need those home games.  Not all domes are created equal. 

So, I picked the Saints on Wednesday, and that is awfully early to pick a Monday Night game, but of course I am sticking to my guns.  The fact that the line is moving in the Pats direction just reaffirms my instinct on this game.  I’m going with the “Public is Never Right” theory on this game.  And, while they are right some of the time, I’m going to have to ride the wave against them tonight.  Win or lose, it should be a good one.

The NFL…the Week that Was.

Calmed before the game by News that, "Kraft Picked Baltimore."

Well, I thought Dennis Dixon was going to do it.  Fearless handicapper Mr. Kraft was on the verge of his first winning week in months, and all that stood in his way was Dennis Dixon.  Kraft even had the benefit of the early week line when it looked like Roethlis-hump might actually play.  Dixon gave them a late lead with a TD scramble, but threw the tell-tale young QB pick in overtime that set up the eventual Ravens win.  The week muddled the AFC playoff picture as a handful of teams in the hunt for the last wild-card spot congregate around .500.  With Pittsburgh so banged up, it could be a case of who gives it away the least.    What developed…

Two teams stayed hot, and continued a push toward the top of their respective conferences.  You know, I try not to watch too much Favre, but he was on today, and like it or not, the Vikings are serious.  I wouldn’t want any part of them in Minnestoa.  Say what you want about the Bears, that’s a divisional rivalry game, and the Vikes just gutted Chicago.  It wasn’t nearly as close as the score.  This is probably the most complete team I’ve seen this year. 

In the AFC, the Chargers dismantled Kansas City and moved to 8-3.  Well, the Chargers should kill Kansas City.  That’s the point.  The Chargers are playing like they are supposed to.   Earlier in the year, or in years past you wondered if the Chargers were going to show.  They’ve been putting in solid weeks for a while now, and look leaps and bounds better than anyone in their division.  I don’t think they are the class of the AFC, but certainly a team gaining momentum and confidence. 

For the hometown faithful, the Birds played a miserably painful game against the Redskins.  It started with Andy Reid calling for an onside kick on the opening kickoff.  The Redskins were caught off guard, but it didn’t stop them from returning the kick well into Eagles territory.  Why you’d want to risk giving the Redskins any kind of field position, any kind of momentum…I don’t know.  The resulting 7-0 deficit changed the flow of the game. 

Washington, who has a defense that always comes to play, hung tough, and held a lead much of the second half.  The Eagles had to overcome an atrocious game by Brent Celek, and an injury to DeSean Jackson, but still scored on two late possessions to seal a much-needed victory.  The decisions of Reid/Morning-glory continue to stupefy.  The use of Michael Vick continues to produce nothing but a lack of tempo, and I think they still need to realize that “out-trick” isn’t a synonym for “out-coach.” 

They’ll get a chance to put a strangle hold on the NFC wild-card with a win next week in Atlanta.  The Falcons lost Matt Ryan and Michael Turner in a close win over the Bucs.  It remains to be seen which stars will be missing from next Sunday’s contest.  This week, of course, far from over with the Saints and Pats meeting Monday night.  The Derek Anderson on the other hand is likely over…but we’ll hand that out tomorrow night with the weekly Pick ‘Em Wrap.  As is usually the case….they’re all tied together.