Go Into Debt.

We're About To Make A Winner out of Ya.

We’ve missed the picks, right?  Or you’ve at least missed the feeling of satisfaction you got when someone was wrong.  I know your story, finding joy in the downfall of others.  Regardless, we’re back.  Throw some NCAA Tournament selections your way.  No pools, just picking winners.  So far, I’ve got the regular cast of characters back.  I’m going to let Big Dub and Kraft lead off.  I will say they both have much more college basketball knowledge than I do, we’ll see if that makes any difference.

Big Dub H (Claim to Fame: Kennett Square Club Champ)

The NFL? Not so much. The NCAA? Not so much better. K.

Florida +5 vs. BYU.  It seems like every year people bitch and moan about the committee because they let team “X” into the tourney. After that team reaches the Sweet 16 we suddenly shut our mouths and realize we know nothing. Florida fits the criteria so why not take the five?  Florida 75, BYU 69

Old Dominion +2.5 vs. Notre Dame.  The public is filled with dopes and even though I am one of them I have to find the public and myself. The Monarchs snitches.  Old Dominion 62, Notre Dame 59

Sam Houston State +10.5 vs. Baylor.  See Grossy’s comment about Baylor. I liked the Bears right away and then so did everyone else. This is the kiss of death or when this happens, the f&*^ of death.  Baylor 80, Sam Houston State 77

UNLV -1 vs. Northern Iowa.  Northern Iowa struggled to beat anyone as the year closed out. The Runnin Rebs had their struggles as well, but at least they played legit teams. Oh, and everyone loves Northern Iowa.  UNLV 70, Northern Iowa 64

Washington +1.5 vs. Marquette.  The Golden Eagles can keep shooting threes, but if they don’t fall watch the Huskies get long boards and push the tempo for easy baskets. Ignore the Pac-10 hate. Washington can get to the Elite 8


UTEP +120 vs. Butler.  UTEP was a top-25 team and then they lost to Houston in the conference finals. If they win the game by a single point they are an 8 or 9 seed. Now Butler has to take the slow paced offense and try to keep up with superior athletes.  E-Z-MONEY!!! UTEP 78, Butler 65

San Dieo State +140 vs. Tennesee.  That’s not points. We talkin bout moneyline holmes. Why? Cause Bruce Pearl looks stupid in orange blazers.  San Diego State Padres 74, Tennessee Titans 65

KRAFT (Claim to Fame: D-III Buzzer Beaters)

I hope I know more about college bball, but who knows?

Kentucky -19.5 over E. Tenn St.
Old Dominion +2.5 over Notre Dame
Richmond -1.5 over St. Marys
Murray State +3 over Vanderbilt
Marquette -1.5 over Washington

GROSSY (Claim to Fame:  Hit 1.000 in T-Ball)

I like Kraft’s brevity.  He’s all business.  I’m going to try to find the perfect blend of overheard pundit speak and raw gut feelings.  Let’s see…

Vanderbilt (-3) vs. Murray State.  Are there upsets in the first round?  Yes.  Do most of the predicted upsets end up making the public look like fools?  Yes.  Go away Murray State.

BYU (-5) vs. Florida.  BYU has some white guy named Jimmer Fredette who scores 21 per and shoots 45% from downtown.  Sold.

Kentucky (-19.5) vs. East Tennessee State.  John Wall farewell Tour.  I also recently found out he has his own dance.  Kentucky will probably forfeit this win within 4 years, but for now, they cruise by 30.

St. Mary’s (+2) vs. Richmond.  The lil’ Gaels are only snagging a couple points?  Interesting.  Could win it outright.

Marquette (-1.5) vs. Washington.  Why not?  My whole bracket is going to rely on the Big East.  Apparently I’ve gotten into a time machine, and arrived at 1985.  I also love St. Johns whenever they play again.

DC (Claim to Fame: Created “The Patio Room”)

Old Dominion (+2) over Notre Dame.  It’s like picking Old Dominion to win outright (which I think is the right call) but you still win even if they lose by one at the buzzer.

Vanderbilt (-3) over Murray State.  Am I missing something here?  Murray State must be an awfully trendy upset pick for a 4/13 line to be this close. . . .

Marquette (-2) over Washington.  This game might not be a blowout, but I see this as a 7-10 point win for Marquette rather than a nail-biter.

Georgetown (-13.5) over Ohio.  I see Georgetown winning this one by 20.  This line should be closer to 16 or 17 I think.

Baylor (-11) over Sam Houston St.  Baylor needs to be 12 points better than Sam Houston State for the rest of my bracket to make very much sense.


Derek Anderson Signs for a Million Per TD.

He Wanted a Million Per Pick.

I saw the headline, and for a few blissful minutes while I searched Google, I thought it could be possible.  Do the Browns play the Cardinals in 2010?  I had fingers crossed, I called on 3 holy bodies, but it was all for naught.  The schedule makers were not in our corner this time.  The Browns will not play their former franchise QB and Arizona this coming year.  What could have been the greatest convergence of fate and interceptions in the history of the NFL will not happen.  Unless of course, these two face off in the Super Bowl.  Dare to dream.  The signing brings up some questions.

First, how did Derek Anderson get any guaranteed money, let alone over 3 million?  He couldn’t even score that kind of contract in baseball.  Maybe he’d get invited to Spring Training, lets check things out.  We could be talking post traumatic stress here.  I don’t know what the minimum contract for Anderson would be, but it’s certainly not 2 years and 7.5 million.  How bad do you have to be to be shuffled out of this league?  Do they give awards for agents?  Because, DA’s deserves whatever you’re handing out.  This guy is a miracle worker.  And, thank god for that.

Also, what are the Cardinals trying to do to their fan base?  Are expectations so low out there that they can make a couple trips to the playoffs, and then just pack it back in?  I know they are used to losing, but they could be a little more subtle about it.  Let’s shed defensive starters like mad, and make no serious attempt to replace a Pro Bowl quarterback.  Good stuff.  Is this another sign for me that Eagles are trying to rob some team in a deal for one of their 3 QB’s?  I think so, and the market is about dried up, so…mission accomplished.

Lastly, is this the worst QB controversy off all-time?  Leinart vs. Anderson?  Where does that rank against Anderson vs. Quinn?  Big shoes to fill.  I’m sure there have been some other good ones.  Heath Shuler vs. someone…or, I don’t know.  Condolences, Cardinals fans.

–Phils continue to wear out the Yankees in Spring Training (save some, please.)

–College Basketball picks probably won’t go up until late tonight some time, and they’ll ready for your perusal before the games start tomorrow.  Again, if you have picks, go ahead and pass them along.

The Frickin’ South Region.

The Old Dirty Dirrrrty.

I hate when the NCAA doesn’t put a single team I like in an entire bracket.  It happened this year with the South.  It’s likely going to ruin my entire pool.  Well, it at least falls somewhere in the top-ten things that are going to ruin my bracket.  Honestly, the whole right side of thing is going to be a nightmare.  Somehow, I keep ending up with West Virginia in the final game, and I think, “Really, West Virginia?”  Part of the problem is, I can’t produce any competition out of the damn South.  Every team I look at has a problem.  Every team I look at looks like they could lose in the second round.  My problems with the top-seeds are as follows:

1.  Duke.  Terrible year for the ACC.  Duke finished strong, but then again, don’t they always?  Who’d they play?  Their best non-conference win is Gonzaga?  Georgetown smoked them, they lost to Wisconsin, and all it takes is a bad shooting night and they are gone.  You’re telling me they couldn’t lose to Louisville.

2.  Villanova.  Put me down for a ticket on the ‘Nova bandwagon, but you can’t ignore the bad finish, the lack of defense, and the fact that everyone is convinced that they match up terribly with Baylor.  Much like Duke, they have to shoot well to win.  I want to believe in Scotty Reynolds, but 2 straight Final Fours?

3.  Baylor.  Way too trendy.  I mean, WAY too trendy.  Are we giving them credit for sweeping Texas?  Could Texas have won the play-in game last night?  If not for that, Baylor doesn’t exactly have eye-popping wins.  Couple tough games against Kansas State?  Eh, bottom line is, the hype is a little too far out in front of Baylor for my taste.

4.  Purdue.  They lost by 27 to Minnesota last week.  Should I continue?  Their best player is hurt?  There’s no way.

5.  Texas A&M.  Baylor Junior?  BYU’s cousin?  This is another team that people seem especially high on.  They’re penciled in to beat Duke on a lot of brackets, and I’d love to see Duke go down, but are we going to put everything we have behind Texas A&M?

I realize you could do this for every bracket to some extent, but it seems like I’m having a lot of trouble talking myself into anyone in the South.  The pessimist in me can’t help from seeing whoever I take losing in the second or third round.  Of course, I could be out of this thing Thursday, so who cares?   I’m open for suggestions, or strong theories, though.


I’m going to pick some Thursday games either later this afternoon or tonight.  A couple of people expressed interest in making some picks as well.  We’re going to use the spreads, probably do 4 or 5 a day for the first two days, and see how it goes from there.  If you are interested, you can just email your picks, with or without comments, and I’ll post away.  Email address is mggross21@gmail.com.

Also, really impressed with the turnout for the pool.  I think this is more people than I had freshmen year when I lived on a hallway with 40 guys.  Of course, 5 bucks was hard to come by back then.  But, you can join the esteemed geniuses in the 3-putt pool right here.  Also, it should be noted that joining this pool entitles you to round by round email summaries from me, which…are generally pretty good.  I’m just saying.


New “Between Two Fern with Zach Galifianakis” at Funny or Die.  Always one of my favorites.  Language warning…

Is Ed Wade Running the Eagles?

Unfortunately, It's Signed.

So, let me let you in on a little secret.  A glimpse into the dark underbelly of memorabilia and broken dreams.  I don’t know how many people know this, but here goes:  Every year, anyone on a Major League roster signs dozens of baseballs.  The teams uses them for giveaways, charities, it doesn’t really matter.  But, part of being in the Big Leagues is, you have to put your time in with the pen.  A few dozen will be sitting around, and you have to hit them with the pen before you hit the spread or rundown the clubhouse guy for a new pair of shower shoes.  Now, much like the discarded donuts at the end of a Wawa shift, not all these baseball get used.  In fact, the appeal of some balls drops quite quickly.

I’m trying to think of a recent example, and I’m coming up with Brandon Duckworth.  Remember the duck pond?  We were all excited about him.  Well, I’m sure when Duckworth arrived from Scranton he started signing, and probably didn’t stop until he fell off the face of the Earth.  Could you give away a Brandon Duckworth autograph at this point?  No, but the baseball it’s written on still has some value, and that’s the secret.  Someone on the club needs some balls to work with over the winter?  A coach teaches some private lessons in his spare time?  Just snag a few cases of those Duckworth balls, and knock yourself out.  It has to be one of sports’ most humiliating moments, having someone take BP with balls that have your signature.  Back in my day, we hit Tyler Greens around, and called them “autograph specials.”  Good times.  Anyway, the Wendell picture reminded me of that, but wasn’t really the point of this post.  Side-tracked again.

The point of the post is the Eagles traded for Seattle defensive end Darryl Tapp today.  Do I know Darryl Tapp?  No.  Never heard of him.  A few bigger football fans than I were consulted, and also…never heard of him.  The Eagles loved him back in the ’06 draft apparently, and tout him as a rising star.  That came from Roseman, you know, the guy will no football background whatsoever.  All I know is that rising stars don’t usually average 4.5 sacks for their first 4 seasons in the league.  It looks like more “put a band-aid on a gunshot wound” general managing from the Birds.  Impact player?  Nah, let’s fill the need with some guy we think has upside.  You know, kind of like Chris Clemons, who went the other way to Seattle in this deal.

And, this is what the Eagles have started to do.  Big problems, little solutions.  So, they get an end.  I’ll give them that, but don’t try to tell me the team is any better.  Looking at this latest move, I hate to say it, but it reminded me a little of Ed Wade.  We can blissfully forget this now, but back in the Wade/Bowa years the Phillies got pretty close to making they playoffs a couple times.  Was there ever a push?  There was a Wade style push, which was bring in someone at the position you need that isn’t any good.  Turk Wendell?  Dennis Cook?  Dan Plesac?  Jeremy Giambi?  It was almost like Wade was saying, “Well, at least I did something.”  And, we have to give him that.  But, hamstrung by a tighter budget and his own deficiencies, Wade never got the Phils where they needed to be.

Now, I’m seeing the same with the Birds.  In great cap shape, making moves for the sake of making moves, but not going anywhere.  The Phillies finally got rid of Wade.  Maybe there is hope.