Pages

Super Bowl 48 Pick/Best Picture Pick

Monday, January 27, 2014

Seattle +2.5 Denver

Seattle straight up.

The Seahawks are better in all 3 of the metric systems that I use to evaluate games over the course of the season; they add some version of Percy Harvin while the Broncos play for the second week without Chris Harris.  There's a bit of irresistible force against immovable object here with Manning against the Seattle pass defense. I'd expect Denver scores, but Manning's slow footed against an active Seattle front seven, and to whatever degree the weather is impactful it cuts against Peyton to some degree.  On the other side of the ball, I'm not sure how Denver, without Harris or Von Miller, stops Seattle.  This game looks to me like one where we leave believing that the NFC Championship was the real Super Bowl.

Seattle 31 Denver 21 (Over the total, which is 47)

A week ago, when I told you to take the Seahawks, I suggested parlaying it with 12 Years A Slave, which was then -240.  It's now -350.  If you want to invest, you need to do that now before the BAFTAs.


Athlete of the Month, January 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2013 is here.


Kevin Durant.  Runners-up: Rashad Greene,  LeGarrette Blount, Peyton Manning

This has been a football month for the nearly 25 years I've been doing the list, but Durant's just torn the sport down since New Year's Eve.  He's the first candidate for Athlete of the Year.  

2014 Royal Rumble Preview

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The best wrestling promo, in the go home week before the Royal Rumble, was cut at the NFC Championship game by Richard Sherman.
There is, perhaps you've noticed, a conversation about the feminization of the culture that has been occurring “why can’t men just be men anymore, daggumit” which, if you’re Brit Hume talking about Chris Christie closing a bridge as political retribution (like men do), you say as if it were a new talking point and not a slur your grandfather in 1979 would have made about Alan Alda or Phil Donahue.
Where that longing for real men swagger doesn't seem to extend to is to black men. It’s rare that the same people who think George Bush was a straight shooting, tough talking Texan also applauded Mike Tyson’s “I’m going to take his heart” – or this week’s version thereof, Richard Sherman after the NFC Championship game. It’s rare that the same people who see two armed “New Black Panthers” in a public space and want Congressional hearings are also looking to stop a group of armed tea partiers from attending an Obamacare town hall meeting.
So, when Richard Sherman’s called a thug and Johnny Manziel is called a fun loving Heisman trophy winning gunslinger, there’s racial animus at play.
On the other hand, Sherman could have waited until NaVorro Bowman’s leg had been scraped off the field before making the choke sign at the 49ers. That would have been cool with me. The problem with the “Richard Sherman as misunderstood hero” narrative is this wasn’t specific to Michael Crabtree (or else Tom Brady, Trent Williams, and Darrelle Revis presumably also challenged Sherman to fight at various charity functions to draw him into those feuds). Sherman’s an antagonist, his rushing up to Crabtree (or, in a prior game, Jim Harbaugh) in the throes of victory isn't “hey, we’re cool” it’s “hey, I kicked your ass again, shake my hand.” And everyone knows that. The chattering classes may have just dropped in on Richard Sherman this week, but football fans know he’s today’s Terrell Owens.
Which I’m cool with. I like antagonism. I like taunting and cocky and showboat. Attempts (really successful ones at the college level) to legislate against personality lessen my enjoyment. But it’s enjoyable because it can also be booed - It’s enjoyable because it’s polarizing – Richard Sherman takes delight in rubbing salt into the wounds of the opposition, and as a Niners fan, my Sunday wounds looked like the aftermath of a grease fire.  I hate that guy. I’m supposed to – and that’s the element of sports (and wrestling for that matter) that the commentaries which supported Sherman (I heard so many former players support Sherman this week I thought he had tortured some dogs) missed; when you beat an opponent, then make the choke sign and call him “sorry” – that’s a heel promo. I’m supposed to boo him. He shouldn’t be fined or worse, shouldn’t be racialized as a thug or worse, but he beat me and gloated about it – I’m supposed to boo as loudly as Seahawk fans are supposed to cheer. It’s my hatred of that guy which will sell his headphones or jerseys or whatever else he’s going to Fred Williamson his way into after Super Bowl 48.
Since last we spoke (in the preview for the Survivor Series) WWE decided to blow up its business model.
There’s a danger in overly believing your own narrative, particularly when, as WWE has, you live in a reality almost entirely of your own creation. The Vince McMahon hagiography presents the first Wrestlemania as a bold gamble of his entire company on a venture that no one else would have dared to attempt. The creation of pay per view and the turning of wrestling from a roller derby like niche pastime ignored by the broader culture into an entertainment forever interwoven through American society.
Vince keeps chasing that rush. World Bodybuilding Federation. XFL. A restaurant. A production company. A lot of money dumped in service of a story.
And now – a new network; one that will substitute monthly subscriptions for much of their PPV revenue.
It’s ballsy, I’ll give them that. It’s forward thinking, I’ll give them that. Were I a voice in the room, I would have been unwilling to give up so many of my PPV dollars, certainly for Wrestlemania, as part of the deal.
Let’s talk about the Rumble.
1. WWE Title: Randy Orton v. Yawn Cena
-There’s one world champion in the WWF now; they unified the belts in December – the build for which included a RAW where, with the ring filled with past champions like Bret, Shawn, and Hunter, all of the cheers were for Daniel Bryan, who had been moved out of the main event angle in favor of Orton and Cena.
Orton won that match; their program’s continued, with Cena’s dad getting the bad end of a physical encounter with Orton in a callback to a prior Orton/Cena feud. This rivalry isn’t exactly setting the world aflame. I’d suggest it never has, that the decision to make Hunter/Batista/Cena/Orton the centerpiece of the early 21st century limited the horizon of the promotion. This is a matchup that has never had much in-ring appeal, and Cena’s character, as I’ve mentioned, is really limited to children (also, as I’ve mentioned, it could be that’s just what this business is and that I’ve aged out of the demographic. I stopped buying comic books in 1980, that's not a flaw with Richie Rich).
I think they keep the belt on Orton (and I also think, the prior paragraph notwithstanding, it winds up the best match of the night) but that’s largely because I don’t have a good read on what they’d do with Orton outside of this terrible title reign, and if Hulk Hogan is going to work a match at Mania, as has been suggested, one assumes John Cena would be involved somehow, and that would mean he wouldn’t need to be carrying around the title to be part of that program.

(3 1/4 stars, not the match of the night, I liked it more than the crowd but they felt about these two the same way I do; there hasn't been a PPV where it was more evident that WWE is fighting its core fanbase.  Orton kept after a Wyatt run in.)
2. Daniel Bryan v. Bray Wyatt
-There’s a bizarre view expressed in some quarters that Daniel Bryan’s WWE career, from getting fired in the Nexus angle to getting squashed at Wrestlemania to being moved out of the main event angle in 2013 to turning heel, joining the Wyatt family, and being called Daniel Wyatt at house shows since last we spoke is part of the master booking that is WWE. Precedent for this farsightedness is not offered.
What we do have are Chris Hero, Davey Richards, and Eddie Edwards – independent wrestlers in the Daniel Bryan mold, the first fired since last we spoke, the latter two passed over for a developmental deal. We have Dolph Ziggler’s inexplicable burial, Antonio Cesaro’s difficulty finding a place on a 3 hour RAW. We have Tyson Kidd. Who? Exactly. In ring ability is rarely important to WWE, in fact, it can often be a hindrance. WWE is a self created reality where the Kenta Kobashi never existed and the Ultimate Warrior is about to join Koko B Ware in the Hall of Fame. Low Ki won NXT and got fired because of it. WWE isn’t a meritocracy.
Daniel Bryan has gotten over in spite of WWE; he lost in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania and the Miami RAW crowd wouldn’t let him become SD Jones; he turned heel and was given a jumpsuit and the fans (particularly the basketball fans at Michigan State) wouldn’t let him become Duke the Dumpster Droese. Vince McMahon, despite what you’d hear on the Grantland podcast, doesn’t have a record of going before his investors’ conference and calling the main event of Summer Slam a failed special attraction, as a way to work the hardcores.
This program is probably over. Bryan was concussed in a face turn on RAW; so if he really isn’t yet ready to wrestle it could be this is a non-match and they do the blowoff on television in a couple of weeks – or it could be Danielson squashes him – or, it could be, Danielson gets beaten up by the entire Wyatt Family, then comes back later to win the Rumble, and then beats Orton for the title at Mania and it's 2004 in my house all over again.
Regardless, right now, he’s a top of the card guy – and there’s a Yes Chant coming, and if it’s not coming Sunday it’s coming at Wrestlemania 30.

(4 stars, match of the night, WWE's first four star match of 2014, Danielson did the clean job and wasn't seen the rest of the night.  This displeased the crowd.)
3. Brock Lesnar v. Big Show
-Apparently building to Brock v. Undertaker, so this is just a feeding. Brock with Paul Heyman is a tremendous act.
There’s a pre-show tag title match, with, of all things, the New Age Outlaws challenging the Rhodes Brothers for the straps. Yes, in 2014, yes, that is a thing that is happening. I Phone 6 gets released and Billy Gunn may exit the Rumble with WWE gold.  There's probably something else too.
That’s it other than the actual Rumble Match, in which you’d say the returning Batista enters as the favorite, behind him being Bryan…and I’m not sure who else, maybe a returning Sheamus if they wanted to push him hard. Roman Reigns gets the Diesel spot, probably including tossing both of his Shield mates on the way to their breakup. Punk gets the Backlund spot, he starts at number one and probably goes at least 45 minutes, perhaps eliminated by some type of “authority” related screwiness involving Kane that can get us on the road to a Punk v. Hunter Mania match. Lets say they do the thing that makes the most sense - Daniel Bryan wins the Rumble, wins the title at Mania, and then feuds with a heel turned (by then) Batista. Let’s go ahead and land there.
Well, that would make it a helluva night. I’ve talked myself into the building.

(Brock squashed him, as expected, the Outlaws won the tag straps, also not surprising, Batista won a Bryan-free Rumble, 3 stars, and  the crowd may have turned him heel.)
I've done it for Mania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. Here is my ranking of every match in the history of the Royal Rumble. Times are approximate, star ratings are for the 3 and up matches. Apologies if I missed anything.

1. ’03 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. Chris Benoit 20 min 5
2. ’00 WWF Title HHH d. Cactus Jack 27 min 4 ¼
3. ’01 IC Ladder: Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit 19 min 4 ¼
4. ’04 Rumble Match: (Chris Benoit) 61:30 4
5. ’92 WWF Title: Rumble Match (Ric Flair) 62 min 4
6. ’91 Rockers d. Orient Express 19 min 4
7. ’95 WWF Title: Diesel draw Bret Hart 27 min 4
8. ’10 Rumble Match (Edge) 49:30 3 ¾
9. ’00 Tables Hardys d. Dudleys 10:30 3 ¾
10. ’94 Tags: Quebecers d. Bret/Owen 16:30 3 ¾
11. ’04 WWF Title: HHH draw HBK 22:30 3 ¾
12. ’11 World: Edge d. Dolph Ziggler 20:30 3 ½
13. ’02 WWF Title: Chris Jericho d. Rock 19 min 3 ½
14. ’98 WWF Title: Casket Match: Shawn Michaels d. Undertaker 22 min 3 ½
15. ’07 WWF Title: Last Man Standing: John Cena d. Umaga 22:30 3 ½
16. ’99 WWF Title: I Quit Match: Rock d. Mankind 22 min 3 ½
17. ’93 WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Razor Ramon 18 min 3 ½
18. ’11 Rumble Match (Alberto del Rio) 69 min 3 ½
19. ’90 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 59 min 3 ½
20. ’97 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 50:30 3 ½
21. ’01 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. HHH 24:30 3 ¼
22. ’13 WWF Title: Rock d. CM Punk 23:30 3 ¼
23. ’93 IC Shawn Michaels d. Marty Jannetty 14:30 3 ¼
24. ’05 Edge d. Shawn Michaels 18:30 3 ¼
25. ’09 WWF Title: Edge d. Jeff Hardy 19:30 3 ¼
26. ’12 Rumble Match (Sheamus) 55 min 3 ¼
27. ’05 Rumble Match (Batista) 51:30 3 ¼
28. ’03 Rumble Match(Brock Lesnar) 53:30 3 ¼
29. ’00 Rumble Match(Rock) 52 min 3 ¼
30. ’01 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 62 min 3 ¼
31. ’06 Rumble Match (Rey Mysterio) 62 min 3 ¼
32. ’07 Rumble Match (Undertaker) 56:30 3 ¼
33. ’89 Rumble Match(John Studd) 64 min 3 ¼
34. ’98 Rumble Match (Steve Austin) 55:30 3 ¼
35. ’08 Rumble Match (John Cena) 51:30 3 ¼
36. ’10 World: Undertaker d. Rey Mysterio 11 min 3 ¼
37. ’11 WWF: Miz d. Randy Orton 20 min 3 ¼
38. ’05 World: HHH d. Randy Orton 21:30 3 ¼
39. ’07 Hardys d. MNM 15:30 3 ¼
40. ’12 WWF Title: CM Punk d. Dolph Ziggler 14 min 3
41. ’01 Tags: Dudleys d. Edge/Christian 10 min 3
42. ’08 WWF Title: Randy Orton d. Jeff Hardy 14 min 3
43. ’92 Owen/Anvil d. Orient Express 17 min 3
44. ’95 Tags: Bob Holly/123 Kid d. Tatanka/Bam Bam Bigelow 15:30 3
45. ’02 Rumble Match(HHH) 69:30 3
46. ’94 Rumble Match: (Bret/Lex) 55 min 3
47. ’93 Rumble Match: (Yokozuna) 66:30 3
48. ’91 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 65 min 3
49. ’96 Rumble Match(Shawn Michaels) 59 min 3
50. ’99 Rumble Match (Vince McMahon) 56:30 3
51. ’09 Rumble Match (Randy Orton) 58:30 3
52. ’95 Rumble Match (Shawn Michaels) 39 min 3
53. ’13 Rumble Match (John Cena) 55 min 3
54. ’88 Rumble Match(Jim Duggan) 33:30 3
55. ’02 IC: William Regal d. Edge 10 min 3
56. ’04 Eddy Guerrero d. Chavo Guerrero 8 min 3
57. ’13 World: Last Man Standing: Alberto del Rio d. Big Show 17 min 3
58. ’09 ECW: Jack Swagger d. Matt Hardy 10:30 3
59. ’96 Tags: Smoking Gunns d. Bodydonnas 11 min 3
60. ’03 Tags: Dudleys d. Regal/Storm 7:30 3
61. ’97 WWF Title: Shawn Michaels d. Sid 14 min 3
62. ’89 Haku d. Harley Race 9 min 3
63. ’97 IC: HHH d. Goldust 17 min 3
64. ’06 Jr.: Gregory Helms d. Kash, Funaki, Noble, Nunzio, London 7:30
65. ’88 Jumping Bomb Angels d. Glamour Girls 14 min
66. ’89 Hart Foundation/Duggan d. Dino Bravo/Rougeaus 16 min
67. ’96 WWF Title: Undertaker d. Bret Hart 29 min
68. ’08 World: Edge d. Rey Mysterio 12:30
69. ’88 Ricky Steamboat d. Rick Rude 17 min
70. ’00 Taz d. Kurt Angle 3 min
71. ’02 Ric Flair d. Vince McMahon 15 min
72. ’98 IC Rock d. Shamrock 11 min
73. ’05 WWF Title: JBL d. Big Show/Kurt Angle 12 min
74. ’06 WWF Title: John Cena d. Edge 14
75. ’97 Vader d. Undertaker 13 min
76. ’13 Tags: Hell No d. Rhodes Scholars 9:30
77. ’93 Steiners d. Beverlys 10:30
78. ’07 World: Batista d. Ken Kennedy 10:30
79. ’90 Ronny Garvin d. Greg Valentine 17 min
80. ’10 ECW: Christian d. Ezekial Jackson 12 min
81. ’88 Islanders d. Young Stallions 14 min
82. ’02 Tags: Taz/Spike Dudley d. Dudleys 5 min
83. ’12 World: Cage: Daniel Bryan d. Big Show/Mark Henry
84. ’00 IC: Chris Jericho d. Chyna d. Bob Holly 7:30
85. ’08 JBL d. Chris Jericho 9:30
86. ’10 US: Miz d. MVP 7:30
87. ’97 Garza/Aguayo/Canek d. Estrada/Metal/.Guerrera 11 min
88. ’04 WWF Title: Brock Lesnar d. Bob Holly 6:30
89. ’03 Brock Lesnar d. Big Show 6 min
90. ’99 Euro: Sean Waltman d. Gangrel 6 min
91. ’98 Vader d. Goldust 8 min
92. ’95 IC Jeff Jarrett d. Razor Ramon 18 min
93. ’99 IC: Ken Shamrock d. Billy Gunn 14:30
94. ’04 Jr. Rey Mysterio d. Jamie Noble 3:30
95. ’91 Boss Man d. Barbarian 14 min
96. ’92 IC: Roddy Piper d. Mountie 5:30
97. ’08 Ric Flair d. MVP 8 min
98. ’98 Mini/Mosaic/Nova d. Battalion/Torito/Tarantula 8 min
99. ’97 Ahmed Johnson d. Farooq 9 min
100. ’96 Ahmed Johnson d. Jeff Jarrett 6:30
101. ’10 WWF: Sheamus d. Randy Orton 12:30
102. ’07 ECW: Bobby Lashley d. Test 7:30
103. ’04 Tags: Evolution d. Dudleys 4:30
104. ’03 World Title: Scott Steiner d. HHH 18:30
105. ’09 World John Cena d. JBL 15:30
106. ’99 Boss Man d. Road Dogg 12 min
107. ’90 Hacksaw Duggan d. Big Boss Man 10:30
108. ’91 Ted DiBiase/Virgil d. Dusty/Dustin 10 min
109. ’00 Tags: New Age Outlaws d. Acolytes 2:30
110. ’94 Tatanka d. Bam Bam Bigelow 8
111. ’94 IC: Razor Ramon d. IRS 11:30
112. ’96 IC: Goldust d. Razor 14:30
113. ’89 Rockin Robin d. Judy Martin 6:30
114. ’11 Women: Eve d. Natalya/Layla/Michelle McCool 5 min
115. ’12 Bellas/Beth/Natalya d. Kelly/Eve/Alicia/Tamina 5:30
116. ’02 Women: Trish d. Jazz 4 min
117. ’09 Women: Melina d. Beth Phoenix 6:30
118. ’92 Tags: Natural Disasters d. LOD 9:30
119. ’98 Tags: LOD d. New Age Outlaws 8 min
120. ’91 Mountie d. Koko 9
121. ’05 Casket: Undertaker d. Heidenreich 13:30
122. ’91 WWF Title: Sgt. Slaughter d. Ultimate Warrior 12:30
123. ’06 World: Kurt Angle d. Mark Henry 9:30
124. ’93 Bam Bam Bigelow d. Big Boss Man 10 min
125. ’95 Undertaker d. IRS 12:30
126. ’01 Women: Ivory d. Chyna 3:30
127. ’99 Women: Sable d. Luna 4:30
128. ’12 Brodus Clay d. Drew McIntyre 1 min
129. ’06 Boogeyman d. JBL 2 min
130. ’90 Bushwackers d. Rougeaus 13:30
131. ’12 John Cena draw Kane 11
132. ’90 Brutus Beefcake draw Lanny Poffo 11 min
133. ’92 Beverlys d. Bushwackers 15 min
134. ’10 Women: Mickie James d. Michelle McCool :30
135. ’03 Torrie Wilson d. Dawn Marie 3:30
136. ’06 Women: Mickey James d. Ashley 7:30
137. ’94 WWF Title: Yokozuna d. Undertaker 14:30

Every Match in Royal Rumble History Ranked

Monday, January 20, 2014



I've done it for Mania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series.  Here is my ranking of every match in the history of the Royal Rumble.  Times are approximate, star ratings are for the 3 and up matches.  Apologies if I missed anything.

     1.         '03 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. Chris Benoit 20 min 5
   2     '15 WWF Title: Brock Lesnar d. Seth Rollins/John Cena 23 min 4 1/2
   3.       ’00 WWF Title HHH d. Cactus Jack 27 min 4 ¼
   4  ’01 IC Ladder: Chris Jericho d. Chris Benoit 19 min 4 ¼
   5. '17 WWF Title: John Cena d. AJ Styles 24 min 4 1/4
   6. '16 IC Falls Count Anywhere: Dean Ambrose d. Kevin Owens 21:30 4 1/4 
   7  ’04 Rumble Match: (Chris Benoit) 61:30 4
   8 ’92 WWF Title: Rumble Match (Ric Flair) 62 min 4
   9 '14 Bray Wyatt d. Daniel Bryan 22 min 4
   10. '17 RAW Title: Kevin Owens d. Roman Reigns 23 min 4
   11 ’91 Rockers d. Orient Express 19 min 4
   12 ’95 WWF Title: Diesel draw Bret Hart 27 min 4
   
 ’ 13. '10 Rumble Match (Edge) 49:30 3 ¾
       14  ’00 Tables Hardys d. Dudleys 10:30 3 ¾
   15.  ’94 Tags: Quebecers d. Bret/Owen 16:30 3 ¾
   16. ’04 WWF Title: HHH draw HBK 22:30 3 ¾
   17   '11 World: Edge d. Dolph Ziggler 20:30 3 ½  
   18  ’02 WWF Title: Chris Jericho d. Rock 19 min 3 1/2 
   19 ’98 WWF Title: Casket Match: Shawn Michaels d. Undertaker 22 min 3 ½
   20 ’07 WWF Title: Last Man Standing: John Cena d. Umaga 22:30 3 ½
   21 ’99 WWF Title: I Quit Match: Rock d. Mankind 22 min 3 ½
   22 ’93 WWF Title: Bret Hart d. Razor Ramon 18 min 3 ½
   23 ’11 Rumble Match (Alberto del Rio) 69 min 3 1/2 
   24 ’90 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 59 min 3 ½
   25 ’97 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 50:30 3 ½
   26. '17 Cruiser Title: Neville d. Rich Swann 13 min 3 1/2

   27 ’01 WWF Title: Kurt Angle d. HHH 24:30 3 ¼
   28 ’13 WWF Title: Rock d. CM Punk 23:30 3 ¼  
   29 ’93 IC Shawn Michaels d. Marty Jannetty 14:30 3 ¼
   30 ’05 Edge d. Shawn Michaels 18:30 3 ¼
   31 ’09 WWF Title: Edge d. Jeff Hardy 19:30 3 ¼
   32  '16 WWF Title Rumble Match (HHH) 61:30 3 1/4
   33 ’12 Rumble Match (Sheamus) 55 min 3 ¼
   34 ’05 Rumble Match (Batista) 51:30 3 ¼
   35 ’03 Rumble Match(Brock Lesnar) 53:30 3 ¼
   36 ’00 Rumble Match(Rock) 52 min 3 ¼
   37 ’01 Rumble Match(Steve Austin) 62 min 3 ¼
   38 ’06 Rumble Match (Rey Mysterio) 62 min 3 ¼
   39 ’07 Rumble Match (Undertaker) 56:30 3 ¼     
   40 ’89 Rumble Match(John Studd) 64 min 3 ¼
   41 ’98 Rumble Match (Steve Austin) 55:30 3 ¼
   42 ’08 Rumble Match (John Cena) 51:30 3 ¼
   43 '14 WWF Title: Randy Orton d. John Cena 21 min 3 1/4 
   44 ’10 World: Undertaker d. Rey Mysterio 11 min 3 ¼
   45 ’11 WWF: Miz d. Randy Orton 20 min 3 ¼  
   46 ’05 World: HHH d. Randy Orton 21:30 3 ¼
   47 ’07 Hardys d. MNM 15:30 3 ¼

   48 ’12 WWF Title: CM Punk d. Dolph Ziggler 14 min 3
   49 ’01 Tags: Dudleys d. Edge/Christian 10 min 3
   50 ’08 WWF Title: Randy Orton d. Jeff Hardy 14 min 3
   51 ’92 Owen/Anvil d. Orient Express 17 min 3
   52 ’95 Tags: Bob Holly/123 Kid d. Tatanka/Bam Bam Bigelow 15:30 3
   53 ’02 Rumble Match(HHH) 69:30 3
   54 ’94 Rumble Match: (Bret/Lex) 55 min 3
   55 ’93 Rumble Match: (Yokozuna) 66:30 3
   56 ’91 Rumble Match (Hulk Hogan) 65 min 3
   57 ’96 Rumble Match(Shawn Michaels) 59 min 3
   58 ’99 Rumble Match (Vince McMahon) 56:30 3
   59 ’95 Rumble Match (Shawn Michaels) 39 min 3
   60 ’09 Rumble Match (Randy Orton) 58:30 3
   61 '14 Rumble Match (Batista) 55 min 3
   62 ’13 Rumble Match (John Cena) 55 min 3
   63 '15 Rumble Match (Reigns) 59 min 3
   64 '17 Rumble Match (Orton) 3
   65 ’88 Rumble Match (Jim Duggan) 33:30 3 
   66 ’02 IC: William Regal d. Edge 10 min 3
   67 ’04 Eddy Guerrero d. Chavo Guerrero 8 min 3
   68 ’13 World: Last Man Standing: Alberto del Rio d. Big Show 17 min 3
   69 ’09 ECW: Jack Swagger d. Matt Hardy 10:30 3
   70 ’96 Tags: Smoking Gunns d. Bodydonnas 11 min 3
   71 ’03 Tags: Dudleys d. Regal/Storm 7:30 3
   72 '16 US: Kalisto d. Del Rio 11:30 3
   73. '17: Women's Title: Charlotte d. Bayley 13 min 3
   74 ’97 WWF Title: Shawn Michaels d. Sid 14 min 3
   75 ’89 Haku d. Harley Race 9 min 3
   76 ’97 IC: HHH d. Goldust 17 min 3
   
   77 ’06 Jr.: Gregory Helms d. Kash, Funaki, Noble, Nunzio, London 7:30
   78 ’88 Jumping Bomb Angels d. Glamour Girls 14 min
   79 ’89 Hart Foundation/Duggan d. Dino Bravo/Rougeaus 16 min
   80 ’96 WWF Title: Undertaker d. Bret Hart 29 min
   81 ’08 World: Edge d. Rey Mysterio 12:30
   82 ’88 Ricky Steamboat d. Rick Rude 17 min
   83 ’00 Taz d. Kurt Angle 3 min
   84 ’02 Ric Flair d. Vince McMahon 15 min
   85 ’98 IC Rock d. Shamrock 11 min
   86 ’05 WWF Title: JBL d. Big Show/Kurt Angle 12 min
   87 ’06 WWF Title: John Cena d. Edge 14
   88 ’97 Vader d. Undertaker 13 min
   89 ’13 Tags: Hell No d. Rhodes Scholars 9:30 
   90 ’93 Steiners d. Beverlys 10:30 
   91 ’07 World: Batista d. Ken Kennedy 10:30
   92 ’90 Ronny Garvin d. Greg Valentine 17 min
   93 '16 Women: Charlotte d. Becky 11:30
   94 ’10 ECW: Christian d. Ezekial Jackson 12 min
   95 ’88 Islanders d. Young Stallions 14 min
   96 ’02 Tags: Taz/Spike Dudley d. Dudleys 5 min
   97  '16 Tags: New Day d. Usos 11 min
   98 ’12 World: Cage: Daniel Bryan d. Big Show/Mark Henry
   99 ’00 IC: Chris Jericho d. Chyna d. Bob Holly 7:30
   100 ’08 JBL d. Chris Jericho 9:30
   101 ’10 US: Miz d. MVP 7:30 
   102 ’97 Garza/Aguayo/Canek d. Estrada/Metal/.Guerrera 11 min
   103 ’04 WWF Title: Brock Lesnar d. Bob Holly 6:30
   104 '15 Tags: Usos d. Miz/Mizdow 9:30
   105 ’03 Brock Lesnar d. Big Show 6 min
   106 Euro: '99 Sean Waltman d. Gangrel 6 min
   107 ’98 Vader d. Goldust 8 min
   108 ’95 IC Jeff Jarrett d. Razor Ramon 18 min
   109 ’99 IC: Ken Shamrock d. Billy Gunn 14:30
   110 ’04 Jr. Rey Mysterio d. Jamie Noble 3:30
   111  ’91 Boss Man d. Barbarian 14 min
   112 '14 Brock Lesnar d. Big Show 2 min
   113’92 IC: Roddy Piper d. Mountie 5:30
   114 ’08 Ric Flair d. MVP 8 min
   115 ’98 Mini/Mosaic/Nova d. Battalion/Torito/Tarantula 8 min
   116 ’97 Ahmed Johnson d. Farooq 9 min
   117 ’96 Ahmed Johnson d. Jeff Jarrett 6:30
   118 ’10 WWF: Sheamus d. Randy Orton 12:30
   119 ’07 ECW: Bobby Lashley d. Test 7:30
   120 ’04 Tags: Evolution d. Dudleys 4:30
   121 ’03 World Title: Scott Steiner d. HHH 18:30
   122 ’09 World John Cena d. JBL 15:30
   123 ’99 Boss Man d. Road Dogg 12 min
   124 ’90 Hacksaw Duggan d. Big Boss Man 10:30
   125  ’91 Ted DiBiase/Virgil d. Dusty/Dustin 10 min
   126 ’00 Tags: New Age Outlaws d. Acolytes 2:30
   127 ’94 Tatanka d. Bam Bam Bigelow 8
   128  ’94 IC: Razor Ramon d. IRS 11:30
   129 ’96 IC: Goldust d. Razor 14:30
   130 ’89 Rockin Robin d. Judy Martin 6:30
   131 ’11 Women: Eve d. Natalya/Layla/Michelle McCool 5 min
   132 '15 Bellas d. Page/Natty 8 min
   133 ’12 Bellas/Beth/Natalya d. Kelly/Eve/Alicia/Tamina 5:30
   134 ’02 Women: Trish d. Jazz 4 min
   135 ’09 Women: Melina d. Beth Phoenix 6:30
   136 ’92 Tags: Natural Disasters d. LOD 9:30
   137 ’98 Tags: LOD d. New Age Outlaws 8 min
   138 ’91 Mountie d. Koko 9
   139 ’05 Casket: Undertaker d. Heidenreich 13:30
   140 ’91 WWF Title: Sgt. Slaughter d. Ultimate Warrior 12:30
   141 ’06 World: Kurt Angle d. Mark Henry 9:30
   142  ’93 Bam Bam Bigelow d. Big Boss Man 10 min
   143 ’95 Undertaker d. IRS 12:30
   144 '15 Ascension d. New Age Outlaws 5:30
   145 ’01 Women: Ivory d. Chyna 3:30
   146 ’99 Women: Sable d. Luna 4:30
   147 ’12 Brodus Clay d. Drew McIntyre 1 min
   148  ’06 Boogeyman d. JBL 2 min
   149  ’90 Bushwackers d. Rougeaus 13:30
   150 ’12 John Cena draw Kane 11
   151  ’90 Brutus Beefcake draw Lanny Poffo 11 min
   152  ’92 Beverlys d. Bushwackers 15 min
   153  ’10 Women: Mickie James d. Michelle McCool :30
   154 ’03 Torrie Wilson d. Dawn Marie 3:30
   155 ’06 Women: Mickey James d. Ashley 7:30
    156  '94 WWF Title: Yokozuna d. Undertaker 14:30

The Morning After the Night Before - 3 Quick Thoughts About the NFC Championship

1. It's on Kaepernick.

Two picks and a lost fumble in the 4th quarter.  Strip away the noise, that's the signal.  Kaepernick lost the game.  Doesn't make him a bad guy; I don't care how he wears his hat, doesn't mean we shouldn't have let Alex Smith go.  Two picks, the fumble.  We don't score in the 4th quarter.  It's Kaepernick's loss.

2. Bowman.  Jeesh.

NaVorro Bowman was our best player this season; his holding onto the fumble after (at least) shredding his knee goes down with Ronnie Lott's cutting off his finger so he could play as an inner circle tough guy move.  Even with our moving down the field for what looked to be a game winning touchdown, it was hard to be fully invested after what happened to that guy.  Probably, the Seattle fans who threw stuff at him as he was being carted off regret that behavior.

3. Seahawks +2.5

Denver's opened up as the favorite; take the points.  Seattle wins straight up. If you can parlay with 12 Years A Slave, feel free to kick a little back my way. 

The San Francisco 49ers in NFC Championship Games

Thursday, January 16, 2014

That piece is here.

2014 NBA All Star Ballot

The first build is here.

This is the final build, using Win Shares, PER, WARP.

East
C A.Drummond
PF C.Anthony
SF L.James
PG K.Lowry
SG D.Wade

C J.Noah
PF PMillsap
SF P.George
PG J.Wall
SG A.Afflalo

C A.Horford
PG K.Irving

West
C A.Davis
PF K.Love
SF K.Durant MVP
PG C.Paul
SG J.Harden

C D.Cousins
PF B.Griffin
SF N.Batum
PG S.Curry
SG G.Dragic

PF D.Nowtizki
PG D. Lillard









Brother vs. Brother

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Two pieces popping up about the NFC Title game; here's the first.


2013 NFL Conference Championship Predictions

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Last week is here.

I was 4-0 outright, 2-2 ATS; a moment of frustration, I had NO +7.5, had I written the prediction the following day I would have gotten 8.5 and covered.  It's a minor lament, I'm 5-2-1 ATS for the playoffs so far, one shouldn't complain.

AFC Championship
Denver -4.5 NE

I've been planning on taking the Patriots; the line opened at 7 and the public has driven it down to 4.5.

At that point, I sell.  Denver's been solidly better this year and even with the many Bronco defensive injuries I don't think NE scores enough points to beat them.

Super Bowl 47 1/2
SF +3.5 Sea

I'm also picking the Niners to win outright.

That's not supported by the metrics I use; if the Carolina game was exactly flipped, with the Panthers dominating us to the degree we beat them, I would not consider taking Carolina to win this game.  I picked Seattle/Denver to be the Super Bowl before the season and before the playoffs.

But pick against the Niners in the NFC Title game - nope; I don't use the "eye test" - but that's what this is; without Harvin I don't see Seattle's offense with the ability to exploit our corners, which is really the only defensive issue we have.  Our front 7 can get push against the middle of that Seattle line; we held Rodgers under 200 yards passing and shut out the Panthers in the second half - add in Wilson throwing for a hundred yards at home against that Saints secondary, and I think it unlikely they're able to blow us out.

Making it a close game - adding Crabtree (there isn't yet a lot of concern reported about his health, but if he doesn't practice Wednesday I'll start to be worried) really changes our offense, a team hasn't taken away Crabtree and Boldin and Davis at the same time.  If there's a team who could it's Seattle; they're the best team in the league - but we don't have to score a ton of points, just move the ball (get that OL push all game, wear them down, pop Gore in the 4th quarter) hit a crucial big play, and be able to win late. That's been the formula for the team for weeks.

It's partially home team colored glasses; this is a soft analysis as opposed to relying on the metrics I always use.  In the long run, you use those metrics; they demonstrate who the best teams are.  Regardless of how this game turns out, the best team in the NFL in 2013 was Seattle.

But I'll say we beat them anyway 23-21.

Looking ahead, the NFC is giving 2 1/2 in the Super Bowl, consider that and consider the money line as well - there isn't a configuration after this weekend where you shouldn't feel comfortable with the NFC Champion winning the Super Bowl.

I have two more pieces coming for the other place later this week.  I'll post links here.


2013 NFL Playoff Predictions - Divisional Round

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Last week is here I was 3-0-1 ATS, 1-3 SU.

(4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS for this round)

Uncomplicated for me this week - I'm taking all favorites to win outright, and 3 of the dogs to cover. If there's an outright upset, I think it's the Colts.

AFC
Colts +7 NE
SD +9.5 Denver

I'm not giving a touchdown in a playoff game this year; it's too easy to score.  Didn't I just see the Chargers beat Denver outright?  I've seen both of these lines a half point higher, but at the time of this writing, these are the sportsbook.com lines, and that's to where I turn (the Supercontest lines being the exception) and I'd like another half point on that Colt game, but nonetheless the picks stand.

Seriously, didn't the Chargers just go into Denver and beat the Broncos?  Am I making that up?

I'll take both favorites to win the games, giving us Pats at Broncos for the right to lose this year's Super Bowl.

NFC
NO +7.5 Sea
Niners -1 Carol

For several weeks, this looked like an unlikely situation for my Niners, a divisional round that wasn't in Seattle - somehow, it worked out (we haven't lost a game since Crabtree returned, maybe that's why) and that's all I need to see us advancing here (I don't think the Panthers have enough offense to beat us). More than a touchdown for the Saints?  Yeah, I'll do that.  They might lose 27-3, but I'm not giving more than a touchdown.  If I go 3-1 ATS and that's the one I lose, I'll take it.

Favorites win the games, setting up Super Bowl 47.5 next week in Seattle.


2013 NFL Playoff Predictions

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My pre-season picks are here.

Coming into the year, my overarching view of the NFL was that Seattle/San Francisco/Denver and New England were the 4 best teams, with Denver and Seattle going to advance to the Super Bowl based on their earning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  A team I particularly liked as a dark horse was Cincinnati, I had them as a double digit division winner.

That gets us to this year (with the "any given sunday" caveat)

AFC
San Diego at Cincinnati
Kansas City at Indianapolis

The Chargers shouldn't beat the Bengals; Cincinnati's got the advantage in all of the key metrics that you'd look for to compare teams; there isn't a basis to pick a road upset here.  Bengals win outright.  They're giving 7, which, if I had to pick a side, would be too much, so I'd pick the Chargers +7.

In the other game, the Chiefs have a significantly higher DVOA/weighted DVOA than do the Colts; the Colts have the better GWP than the Chiefs (but it's close) and Kansas City's SRS is a little better than is Indianapolis.  When you add in the home field advantage it's reasonable to pick either side - I'm taking Kansas City +2.5 and will go ahead and pick the Chiefs outright as well.

2-0 ATS, 0-2 straight up

That would mean

Kansas City at Denver
Cincinnati at New England

There's no reason not to pick Denver to advance, but I'd bet they'd rather see the Colts than a divisional opponent.  I am going to pick the Bengals to beat the Patriots; part of that is wishcasting, but here I'm relying on the solid GWP advantage the Bengals have.  Right now, you can get +650 on the Bengals to win the AFC, consider that as a play worth making.  The Chiefs have a non-zero chance to beat Denver, it's almost certain I'll suggest taking the points in that game - meaning, in this scenario, the AFC Championship would be in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati at Denver
The choice here is to go with the team I've had in this spot since pre-season, which has really done nothing to play its way out of that spot - or make a more fun Bengals pick.  It's probably a mistake to chase the Ravens from last year, to "see" either Kansas City or Cincinnati in that spot.  I'll pick Denver to come out of the AFC, there just isn't a really good reason not to, but were the Niners to be eliminated, I'd most like to see Kansas City or Cincinnati coming out of the AFC.

NFC
New Orleans at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Green Bay

Except for SRS, which has the Saints solidly better, the first game looks really close, with the New Orleans disinclination to perform away from home, magnified, perhaps, in weather conditions this weekend, as the deciding factor.  I have been angling to avoid a divisional round Seahawk/49er game for the past couple of months meaning I need a New Orleans win here - I've been back and forth, but in the end I just can't pick them.  I'll say the Eagles win, they're favored 2.5, I'll split my ticket and take those points and the Saints.

The Niners are significantly better than Green Bay; I don't love facing a presumably healthy Aaron Rodgers either, but it's hard to see a circumstance outside of whiteout blizzard where the Packers can stop San Francisco.  Take the Niners, give the 3.

1-0-1 ATS, 1-1 SU

That would mean

San Francisco at Seattle
Philadelphia at Carolina

I had this matchup all season long; the Niners are as close to where you'd like them to be as would be reasonable to hope throughout the season - but Seattle's the best team in football.  I think it's a game; we've been blown out in recent trips north, I don't think that's where we are now - but this has all the makings of a mid 90s Niner/Packer game and I think we're on the wrong side.  If we can get that Carolina matchup instead, it's not a guarantee but I'd take us.  Here, no. I think these are the two best teams; I'm going to take whomever comes out of this game to win the whole thing.  I think, if you're a Niner or Seahawk fan, you root for Denver on the other side, both because beating Peyton Manning will mean more and because there will be plenty of money on Denver, giving you an investment opportunity that doesn't exist with any other AFC team.

Panthers probably win.  Then they lose to Seattle.

Super Bowl 48
Seattle 28 Denver 20







Blogger Template created by Just Blog It