Monday, May 18, 2009

Randomness while laughing at James Harrison's reasoning for not seeing Obama

- I could write a whole column based on this story basically going over things that you can say "as far as I'm concerned" and say facts like James Harrison did. His full quote is here. I could say: As far as I'm concerned, the Magic played better than the Celtics last night. Or as far as I'm concerned, a player should be credited with a home run if they hit in fair out the the field of play.

- Does anyone else change the channel when ESPN has a "story" about Brett Favre, or is it just me. Fortunately, there is good news; ESPN will for a few days follow around the release of Michael Vick and make that the biggest news in the history of sports and give us a break from Favre.

- As I write this, 24 is recording on my DVR and I won't find out until about midnight, but it seems to me based on last week's episode and the "next week on 24" scenes, there is some sort of cliffhanger ending that might go right into Season 8. However, after watching Bill Buchanan die this season, I still haven't gotten over the fact Jack Bauer was exposed to a pathogen that will kill him. Or will it? Remember Jack Bauer is in the same league as Chuck Norris, Joel Quennville's mustache and Bill Cowher's chin; no longer mere mortal, but in fact larger than life in a Paul Bunyan sense.

- Speaking of Cowher, Pittsburgh fans should immediately disown him if he chooses the Hurricanes over the Penguins. If he only coached the Steelers, then I wouldn't mind if he roots for Carolina, but he's born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and despite living in NC, he should be rooting for the Pens. So, Bill, you can no longer "sound the warning siren" at least for this series or you can no longer show up in the city that made you famous, or at least get cheered. Besides, Mike Tomlin's a better coach anyway.

- I am tired of these former players who are analysts continuously say that a team is never better without a star player. The obvious example is whenever I hear someone say that the Rockets aren't a better team without Tracy McGrady, even though they performed better this year then any other year they had T-Mac. I won't say that the Rockets are better without Yao Ming, some matchups are better than others. But Tracy McGrady has been the most overrated NBA player this decade. His value was higher back in the early 00s when the iso offense's was everywhere, but his skills have decreased along with his durability. Add all his postseason failures, the success the Rockets had this season and the fact that the he still gets treated as if he's one of the ten best players in the league, which he never was during his career, and you have the most overrated player in the NBA.

- It might sound blasphemous, but I'm tired about hearing baseball talk in April and May. Everyone overrates everything in baseball during the first two months, especially when you live in a baseball-centric city like New York. That's the real tragedy of the Knicks terrible decade and the Rangers free-spending lunacy, that us New Yorkers are forced to follow baseball or do what I do and actually still follow the sports that my teams fail at when they get eliminated. I never remember baseball being as front-and-center back in the 90s because the Knicks always played well into May, either ending around this date in May or a few weeks later and the same for the Rangers during the first Messier era.

- I must give credit to Brett Gardner though, for his inside-the-park home run after visiting a sick girl, putting himself in the elite company of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Paul O'Neill. Well, almost.

- I just watched the end of the 1993 Cowboys-Giants game on NFL Network made famous by Emmitt Smith playing through a separated shoulder to win in OT. As a staunch Giant fan and thus Cowboy-hater, I must say, that was the most impressive, gutsy and clutch performance I ever saw in my life watching football.

- I haven't weighed in on the Phoenix Coyotes situation and I actually plan on devoting a full blog post on items like the NHL in the Sun Belt once all the playoffs end, but I happen to agree with Gary Bettman on one thing, if the Yotes move, they should go to Winnipeg and go back to being the Jets. I disagree with him about trying to keep the team in Phoenix or that Jim Balsallie shouldn't own a team in Hamilton. Once again, I will elaborate more about it once sports settles down.

- Now that I wined and dined you with the randomness, it's time that I give out my Conference Finals predictions. Now the NHL CF's have already started and I used The Cycle's Twitter page to make my picks. I have the Red Wings over the Blackhawks in six games and the Penguins winning in five. My reasons: unfortunately, I have to use the experience argument against the Hawks, which I hate and I generally believe is overrated. But the Wings are too good to just show up in your first playoff appearance in 5 years and beat them. They make you play their game. If the Hawks could possibly force the RedWings to play Chicago hockey, then they have a shot, but I think it's Detroit to win. As for the Penguins, I think Crosby is on a role and now they play Game 1 and the Hurricanes played a much more competitive game than they did in the previous series. That I think will benefit Pittsburgh, because they might not take them for granted. Add the fact that Marc-Andre Fleury is as good as Cam Ward, and you have a series the Penguins should win.

- Which leaves me with my NBA picks. Starting with Cleveland-Orlando, I don't see how the Magic win the series. They have no answer for LeBron and they have no go-to-guy at the end of games. Now they will have some success in this series as they beat the Cavs twice in Orlando and when they are hitting their three's, just like in Boston Sunday night, they are tough to beat. My pick is the Cavs in six games that will be a little tougher than most people I assume believe.

- As for the West, the Nuggets-Lakers series will be a very good one, depending on how the Lakers play. They should have never gone seven with the Rockets and if they played every night, it's over in five. The Nuggets have played the best of every team in the playoffs, including the LeBrons mainly because we expected the Cavs to get to the East Finals rather easy, while some people, including me, picked the Hornets to beat Denver. As for the matchup, Derek Fisher won't have to worry about running around like he did against Aaron Brooks, but Chauncey Billups will go more physical with him. The key to this series though is that the bigs on Denver (Nene, K-Mart) are tougher than the ones on the Lakers (Pau, Bynum) and the Denver bench is better. So while, the NBA, Nike and Vitamin Water are clamoring for Kobe vs LeBron (and if the refs get in the way, then this pick is moot), I believe it will be the Nuggets winning in six games and we get LeBron vs Melo, which if you remember back in 2003, that was the matchup that the NBA envisioned would occur to be like Magic vs Bird.

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