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Musings From The Hoodwood 8-12 NFL Preview Pt.1
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are ready for some football.

 

Im flipping the script, no Im not going back to videos. Im going to take the next four weeks and preview the NFL. Im going to pick a direction and go. The teams are listed in order of predicted finish

2014 AFC North Preview

Cincinnati Bengals

2013: 11-5 Division Champs lost to San Diego in Wild Card Round

Coach: Marvin Lewis, 12th season 90-90-1 all in Cincinnati (90-95-1 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Andy Dalton, a $115 million contract looks a bit suspect with an 0-3 playoff record

Fast Facts: The Bengals current run of 3 playoff years is the longest in team history

Marvin Lewis hold the team record for wins and losses

Queen City Info: The Bengals are a team that is hard to figure, increased win totals over the last three years, but playoff futility in all three. They come into the season as a surprising favorites in the division and have to take the next step. With a bit of a transition after losing both coordinators to head coaching  jobs, the onus will be on Dalton to shine, if he doesn’t the most senior coach in the division might be in hot water if he gets to 100 losses before he gets to 100 wins

Pittsburgh Steelers

2013: 8-8 missed playoffs

Coach Mike Tomlin 8th Season 71-41 all in Pittsburgh (76-44 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley he’s got to come up with a scheme to take the onus of Big Ben who aint exactly a spring chicken any more

Fast Facts: Mike Tomlin has yet to have a sub .500 season in the Steel City but has yet to win a playoff game since the 2010 AFC title game

Steel City Stuff: The Steelers started the season horridly but under Tomlin’s steady had fought back and went 6-2 in the back half of the season and were in contention for a playoff spot on the final day, the team is still weak in the running game and the defense seems to continue to age with no real solid replacements in sight, the Steelers are still the Steelers and will hang around in contention. They will also continue to bully the Bengals and keep them from running away with the division

 

Baltimore Ravens

2013: 8-8 missed playoffs

Coach: John Harbaugh 7th season 62-34 all in Baltimore (71-38 overall)

Man on the Hot Seat: Gary Kubiak, he has got to jump start a shaky offense in Baltimore and get Joe Flacco to put up the numbers to justify that huge contract

Inner Harbor Gridiron: The Ravens never seemed to get on any kind of roll last year, they got blown out in the season opener and all their champions veneer was gone, baby gone. They pulled out some close wins and looked like they were going to make a run with a four game win streak in late November-Early December but took a pair of frightening beatings at the hands of New England and Cincy  to stumble out of contention. The Ravens didn’t need to be under the gun but with Ray Rice sitting out the first two games on suspension they put even more onus on Flacco, another slow start would not be good. The proud but aging defense is going to be leaned on even more, I just cant see them pulling miracles out here.

Cleveland Browns

2013: 4-12 missed playoffs

Coach: Mike Pettine 1st season

Man on the Hot Seat:  Brian Hoyer, he will be hearing the chants of “We want Johnny” with every incompletion

Lakefron Football: The Browns have a ton of optimism with the acquisition of the publicity of Johnny Manziel, but Pettine insists that he will be brought along slowly. Hoyer who’s a Cleveland kid faces the mounting pressure to win now to keep the media circus down to a low roar, but with a brutal schedule to start Hoyer had better hit the ground at full speed or the natives will want run on of their own out the door quick in favor of the flashy Manziel. The Browns will stay in plenty of games with a quietly tough defense but the offense is further weakened by the loss of Josh Gordon and a weak offense in this division is a tough burden to bear.

 

2014 NFC North Preview

Green Bay Packers

2013 Record: 8-7-1, lost to San Francisco in Wild Card Round

Head Coach Mike McCarthy 9th season 82-45-1 all in Green Bay, 88-50-1 overall

Man On The Hot Seat: Dom Capers packers defensive Coorndinator, the Packers allowed 428 points last year that number has to come way down

Fast Fact: The Packers allowed 30 or more points 6 times in 2013, going 2-4 in those games

The Pack were a tough team to figure last year, periods of solid play led by the brilliant Aaron Rodgers (6-3) countered by futile play when he was injured (2-4-1) the Packers nearly gave away the division and needed a late score in the season finale against the Bears to win the division. The Pack goes as Rodgers goes, if hes hale they are the team to beat, still. If hes hurting, they will struggle and the margin for error is getting too close now.

Chicago Bears

2013 Record 8-8, Missed Playoffs

Head Coach Marc Trestman 2nd Season 8-8 in Chicago overall

Man on the Hot Seat: Jay Cutler, the laconic quarterback comes under increasing fire for his leadership and the Bears have too many weapons on offense to waste with indifferent play.

The Bears were in the drivers seat after a pair of shootout wins against Dallas and Cleveland in December they then got blown out in Philly and gunned down by Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in the season finale. This team is too talented to be at .500, they shine in some games (rallying to beat the Bengals and Vikes, thrashing the Steelers and Cowboys, outdueling the Pack) and look oafish in others (losing to the Browns, Rams and Vikings and taking a horrific beating by the Lions) The Bears are the true defintion of an enigma. They could very well win 12 games this year can lose 10. Their passing game can be topnotch wiht Jay Cutler when he shows a pulse. The defense gains an aging yet still effective Jared Allen, so its a tossup. I still dont think they have enough to get by the Pack though

Minnesota Vikings

2013: 5-10-1, missed playoffs

Head Coach; Mike Zimmer 1st Year

Man on the Hot Seat: Matt Cassel, he has to keep the starting seat warm for QB of the future Teddy Bridgewater but another slow start could get him the gate faster than expected.

Mike Zimmer was the hot coordinator everyone wanted and he lands in MInnesota. The defense needs some work and the offense beyond All-Everything Adrian Peterson is spotty at its very best. Peterson's prime years are being wasted behind a roughshod offense that every defense knows who the ball is going to.The Vikes are not going to be scaring anyone anytime soon.

Detroit Lions

2013: 7-9 Missed Playoffs

Head Coach Jim Caldwell 1st Year in Detroit, 28-24 in 3 years overall

Man on The Hot Seat: Ndomakung Suh, the high potential high strung lineman has got to cool his temper, his attitude is poisoning the team

The Lions were rolling along at 7-5 and looking like a playoff team when after they hammered the Pack on Thanksgiving when they blew a tire and lost four straight. The sprial cost JIm Schwartz his job and Jim Caldwell now steps in the breech to try to make the Lions respectable. He has a big time QB-WR combo to work with like he did in Indy but the undisciplined defense has got to improve and in a winnable division it could happen. But I dont see it happening this year. 

Phat Dap

To the NBA for staying the course. The NBA finalized the sale of the LA Clippers to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and ends the tragic reign of Donald Sterling. The sale was upheld in a California Court of Appeal and we can now have peace in city of Angels...

Head Slap

Though Hoodwood is saddened by the senseless death of Kevin Wade Jr, the 20 year race car driver killed after being hit by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart on Saturday Night. I have a hard time making sense of why Wade ran out on to the track. If one has beef go after the driver post race, what was he trying to prove? The hotheaded move cost that boy his life.

 

Quick Hits

Has it been 20 years since the MLB strike? Whoa

Who are you getting more sick of hearing about Manziel, Romo or Tebow?

Are the Royals really in 1st place or are the Tigers swooning that badly

I think Durant stepping down from the National team was a smart move

Thanks for your patience. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!

 

 

 

Monday Moaning...On a Tuesday
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel Tony Stewart Kevin Ward Jr Brian Hoyer Shark Week Husker Du Robin Williams The Media

 

It's "Shark Week" people....And I'd rather watch that over pre-season football!

Saturday the Cleveland Browns had their first, uneventful pre-season game, against the Lions...What a steaming pile of crap...And the worst part...All the Cleveland media, and most fans could talk about during the game (via Twitter) was when is Johnny Manziel getting in...

When the coach says so assholes...And Cleveland sports media, you better stop calling yourselves journalists when you are openly rooting for one guy over another to win the starting job...They wrote and spoke and tweeted of his 7 for 11 completions, for 63 yards as if it was somehow amazing, and so much greater then Brian Hoyers 6-14 for 92 yards...Manziel played against 2's and 3's...Hoyer had a couple drops...But the Play calling stood out to me...When it was timing playing, 3 steps and the ball is out, Hoyer looked great...When the Browns called a read-option on 3rd and 2 with Manzile in there, it was just so completely predictable, that the Lions ate it up...

The biggest thing that stood out was the Browns yards per pass average...5.2...That shows they weren't trying to stretch the field...Or just dumping off to the check downs...

I did like a lot of what I saw from the defense...Then again, it was the Lions, in pre-season...It was what I expected...A boring, meaningless, pre-season game...

The Big Story from Saturday night came from auto Racing when Tony Stewart ran over and killed Kevin Ward Jr.....It was a fucked up situation...

I'm not willing to speak on this topic...I know nothing about auto racing...I never wrote about it before...I'm not starting now...Although, I will say, if you're going o get out of your wrecked car and try to start a fight with a guy in a moving car, you're probably suffering from Cranial-Anal-Insertion...And you're gonna lose...

Big news that broke Monday, Actor/Comedian Robin Williams committed suicide....It's sad...Very sad...He was amazingly talented...But many people suffer with the same things as him, and no one talks about it...I loved his work as an actor, but I have a hard time going on and on about some one who killed themselves...Even worse, networks like CNN completely stopped all news coverage and just talked non-stop about Williams...Kinda makes me sick...

Here...Enjoy a depressing song while I go watch "Shark Week"...

 

 

Have a week...

The Beeze.

Monday Moaning - 8/11/14
Category: FEATURED

DISCLAIMER:  Caution, I have little tolerance this week and some folks are getting some adult language from me.  You’ve been warned.  Oh, and I’m all over the map this week.  Deal with it.

Welcome to YouGabSports.com where we talk about sports and ALL teams.  We aren’t a bunch of corporate suit wearing sell-out whores chasing a buck, we do it because we love sports and we love talking like all of us were sitting on a barstool yapping about stuff, sports, politics, whatever…

Middle B.O.B..  For three weeks, my daughter is splitting time between here and Madison, WI to learn her craft, and boy do they take care of her.  A freaking palace for a hotel room, and in her off time, she’s been walking and taking in the sights and grubbing to the mid-west beat, cheese curds, & a half brisket/half tater-tot pizza?  A quesadilla pizza?  What the hell?  They fly here home on weekends. 

Music and Grub.  Mrs. B.O.B. and I had a date night Saturday & we decided to go to the big city and have a nice dinner at a BBQ Smokehouse with cool live blues music – which by the way is a very underrated genre.  I tried something called Mardi Gras Chicken which was two deep fried breasts of chicken w/creole cream sauce topped w/Andouille sausage, shrimp, & red/yellow bell peppers – all on top of Garlic mashed taters while Mrs. B.O.B. had southern fried chicken.  Good stuff, huge portions.

Then we hit one of the bigger casinos in Crack-town.  When we got there we were surprised as the Parking Lot had a mini stadium there, and performing live was CCR and .38 Special.  Anyway we gambled which means Mrs. B.O.B. won, and I lost (of course).  I swear gambling is like requesting to get your nuts kicked in then going back and asking for them to kick you there again.

Speaking of getting my nuts kicked in, Mrs. B.O.B. probably wanted to do that to me too after I bugged her about going out of the way to hit a Sonic and get a Cherry Limeade.  We didn’t go.  Damn, another loss.

Baseball Races.  Psst, be vewy vewy quiet about this cause ESPiN doesn’t want you to know this, but  those dudes from Crab Cake Land have opened up a bit of a lead in the overhype division (err, AL East) of five games. 

Hey Bryce Harper, what is your major malfunction numb-nuts?  You seem to get yourself caught up in the silliest of shit.  Scuffing the "A" behind home plate as you came to bat?  In Atlanta?  We all know that there ain't know Braves fans, but stuff like that comes down to maturity and respect.  Seriously dude, that's some middle school little girl type shit - grow the hell up!  

MLB Network.  Friday Night, MLB Network stopped by Boston/Anaheim in the 8th inning and their rage was growing by the pitch with Junichi Tazawa.  It got to the point where they actually took out the stop watch and timed him taking 27 seconds between pitches, then 35, then 47, then 1:10 all consecutively.    

Chicago NL Baseball Team.  I wonder how Theo Epstein’s five year plan to build this team up is going?  It’s so hard to tell because when I look at the stats, it’s so inconclusive.  They rank #3 in the NL in HR, #8 in RBI, #10 in runs, and #13 in BA. 

This kid 1B Anthony Rizzo (any relation to Jerky Boy Frank Rizzo?) is batting .281 with 25 HR and 61 RBI in 111 games, while SS Starlin Castro is solid, though not spectacular - hitting .278 with 12 HR and 60 RBI, rebounding fairly nicely from a subpar 2013.   I guess a big deal is being made about this kid 2B Javier Baez who seems to be smacking the bejesus out of the ball (granted it was at Coors Canaveral) since his call up last Wednesday. 

I see this kid Kris Bryant is tearing up the minors with a .342 BA, 37 HR and 96 RBI this season in 115 games - I wonder how much longer Theo is gonna wait to call him up.  And team #6 ranked per mlb.com RF Jorge Soler is hitting .370 in the minors with 11 HR and 40 RBI in 45 games this season. 

But when I researched for pitching prospects…uh oh…Theo has a helluva lot of work to do on that Pitching staff, so it stands to reason they placed a claim on Cole Hamels, too bad it didn’t work out.  Chicago is 11th out of 15 NL teams with a 3.88 team ERA, gave up the fifth most ER in the NL, and have the second worst amount of saves in the NL (22).  Though one good stat is they rank #3 in the NL in SO.

NFL Preseason, Weekend #1.  Things weren’t as bad as I thought (CIN/KC)…too bad it’s gonna be overshadowed by a backup QB in Cleveland.  Talk about sellouts, damn you NFL Network!  Just when I thought I could go somewhere and not have “what sells” crammed down my throat, you go there…

It was great to see Minnesota play a game OUTDOORS.  I know it’s only temporary, but it’s cool nonetheless.

Mama B.O.B. Take.  YouGab’s South Florida reporter for Football is Mama B.O.B. and just like everybody else she’s getting excited for a new season, and she’s pretty damn knowledgeable on her sports.  Pats fans chill because she’s loves Miami, and if you get loose with stuff, she’ll blast you with an f-bomb or two, and that’s some funny shit.  I might give her some space on my blog to talk Dolphins all season.  So get a fred lite ready and keep a barstool open cause she might be coming in.

Anyway, even she was impressed by the Miami Dolphins (and that’s hard for her) in their loss to the Falcons.  She said the O-Line did GREAT for Tannehill and that new offense looks damn good.  She said the QB didn’t get touched at all and they played great.  This is the most excited about a Dolphin team she’s been in awhile.

College Sports.  So to use IHM’s comments over the past week, the NCAA Gravy Train just keeps on rollin.  I’m gonna call my shot now:  If I’m the Big 12, I make sure I have a backup plan in my pocket because In five years, the Big 12 will be the next conference to get steamrolled by the top four power conferences.  Texas will go to the Pac 12, Oklahoma to the SEC, and the rest of the Big 12 will be thrown to the wolves because they don’t make a lot of cheddar.   

Kevin Love.  The prima donna couldn’t lead a team to victory on her own, so she’s gonna ride LBJs coattails to being the Eastern Conference sacrificial lambs to the West.  On August 23rd Minnesota trades her to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a 2015 #1 draft pick.  The second part of the trade is where Minnesota then trades Bennett to Philly for Thaddeus Young.

Minnesota NBA Basketball.  Yes, they still have horrific ownership and management, Flip Saunders has a whole lot to prove, and they still will struggle defensively.  But this time, these idiots have stumbled into a potentially very talented squad.  Add in the extra #1 pick next season, a very manageable salary situation in the future, and some depth to work trades, and this team has a future that should generate buzz around the Twin Cities. 

But before they start the new season, Flip Saunders and the Minny vets all need to go Leroy Jethro Gibbs go upside the head of one Zach LaVine (G, UCLA).  This punk is the very embodiment of why so many people are tired of the NBA and sports in general.  You’re going to the NBA with a chance to start and contribute to a team with some talent who had 40 wins last season, you’re getting paid at least 20x more than the average 21 year old who can’t find a job in this economy even with a degree in hand, and you have the audacity to bitch on draft night because Minnesota hired you?  EFF YOU!  The table couldn’t be better set for you and you wanna cry about going to the great white north?  BITCH! 

Douchebag of the Week.  This one goes out to the masters of Massengale, the NCAA and the power five conferences.  Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and the rest La Cosa Nostra got nothing on these fools.  Where the hell is Elliott Ness when we need him???

Q-o-t-D 8/11/14 Tags: NASCAR Auto Racing Tony Stewart Homocide

Should Tony Stewart face some form of criminal charges for killing Kevin Ward Jr?

I've included the video, before it's ripped down...Many have been already...Feel free to not watch the man die as well...

 

 

 

Just Stuff
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

Today starts off the first week post-busy time at work.  It’ll still be busy, but not nearly as intense as it has been, which is wonderful.  Wonderful except that the summer has almost completely passed us by.  There’s a tree in my front yard that’s already starting to turn colors.  Today I saw Pumpkinhead beer out on the store floor for the first time, so I know summer is winding down.

Patriots PreSeason: As the summer winds down toward autumn, it means only one thing (one thing other than pumpkinhead beer): Football season is neigh.  The Patriots started off the preseason losing their shirts to the Redskins 23-6. Ryan Mallet demonstrated that he’s probably not ready to take on the mantle of Tom Brady’s replacement.  Last year at this time I was talking about the brilliance of signing Tim Tebow, so I’m pretty sure I don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’m in good company though.  Radatz said something similar – actually he took the wait and see; I took the “BB is brilliant, you wait this” tack.   

Know what though?  I really don’t much care about preseason.  It only matters when it means something.  I remember seasons the Patriots were 4-0 in the Preseason, and then went 2-14.  So, it’s about the quality, not about the scoreboard.   And the Pats looked ugly, so I’m imagining they’ll have some work to do.

 Red Sox Post-Trade Deadline: So the Red Sox have officially bagged it.  I’m watching the games and am wondering “who the hell is this?”  Brutal.  Yoenis Cespedes, he of the Jon Lester/Jonny Gomes deal, picked right time for his first home run as a member of the Red Sox with a three-run shot in the eighth inning to gave the Sox a 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels.  I’m not sure I know what uniform number to look for to be able to point him out.

One deal I never could understand was Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena.  Turns out old Wily Mo is still playing ball.  He leads the Japanese Pacific League with 25 homers and has knocked in 63 runs to go with his .250 average and .885 OPS.   Here’s some other interesting tid-bits.

Auto Racing:  Ok, so whats the deal?  Is Tony Stewart a complete douche or a victim?  I’m going a little of both.  He’s got a demonstrated history of anger management issues.  So when another racer gets out of his crashed car – a direct violation of NASCAR rules – to let Stewart know exactly what he thought of his driving.  He guns the engine, loses the back side of the car, and strikes him.  Maybe he didn’t know how the car would respond to the engine revving, who knows.  But you just don’t get out of your car.

Frank becomes Kellie: So it turns out Lennox Lewis’ manager Frank Maloney has announced that he’s going to undergo gender reassignment surgery.  Yes, at 61, he’s becoming a woman.   A rather handsome one at that.  Now, this is a guy that’s been married twice, several kids.  He’s lived his life. I’m no one to tell anyone how to live their life, but at some point shouldn’t you just be okay with who you are?

Staying Creative: I like to think I stay relatively current, but frankly I need some pointers because I’m just not that creative.   So here comes the Corvette Museum just outside Bowling Green Kentucky.  At the end of June, a sink hole opened up and swallowed a bunch of cars.  A Million and a half worth of them.  So what did they do?

They kept the sink hole.  

Seems they couldn't get anyone there to look at the cars, so rather than repair the hole, they left it - and the people started coming. I mean like attendance doubled.  

I'm wondering if Tony Stewart has a new sponsor - after years of anger management issues, perhaps a sink hole would have been a really good choice.

It's Monday folks.  Back to work.

Make your week a great one.

 

 

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