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IHM's 2014 NFL Preview
Category: FEATURED

  Hello folks, and welcome to your Saturday featured blog with IHM. This week, I'm going to give you my predictions for the 2014 NFL season... division by division, then my picks for the playoffs.

AFC EAST

New England Patriots- The Pats have Gronk back, and have added some major pieces in the offseason which should help to keep them on top of the AFC East. Brady has had another season to gain some familiarity with his receivers, and it looks like they're healthier this time around. The draft was a little on the strange side, but looking at the past, it's hard to second guess what the Patriots do on draft day.

Miami Dolphins- The Dolphins spent a lot of money on the offensive line this year, and their first round pick which some thought was a pretty big reach. This should make things interesting in Miami, especially with improved receiving corps at Ryan Tannehill's disposal after drafting Jarvis Landry of LSU in the second round. The Dolphins won't surpass the Patriots this year, but things are definitely looking up in South Beach.

Buffalo Bills- The Bills traded next year's #1 to move up for Sammy Watkins... unfortunately, they still aren't sold on QB E.J. Emanuel, who they used their first rounder on last year. Only time will tell how things will shake out for the Bills this year, but with Kiko Alonso out for the year, their defense will likely be their downfall this year.

New York Jets- The Jets added WR Eric Decker in the offseason, and a few other weapons on offense... the question is whether or not QB Geno Smith is up to the task. Michael Vick is his backup this year, which adds pressure on a young QB. I see the Jets finishing last in the East this year... hopefully leading to the firing of Rex Ryan. On second thought... keep Ryan... I love seeing New York teams lose!

 

AFC NORTH

Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals signed Andy Dalton to a long-term extension this offseason… which may or may not have been a gigantic mistake. We’ll have to see if he’s ready to finally win a playoff game this time around. They drafted well, as they have for the past couple seasons, and Geno Atkins is back to anchor the defensive line. It’s pretty clear to me that the Bengals are the best team in this division.

Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens have added a few weapons on the offensive side of the ball this offseason, the biggest of which was WR Steve Smith, who finally gives QB Joe Flacco a dependable, veteran target with Anquan Boldin traded away before last season for some reason… This could be the best receiving corps Flacco has had to work with since he became the starter in Baltimore. Adding CJ Mosley of Alabama gives them a replacement for the retired Ray Lewis. This team will be better this year than they were last year.

Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers still have Ben Roethlisberger… and the offensive line issues that plagued them last year. They added RB LaGarrette Blount this offseason to bolster the running game, and he should form a nice RB duo with 2nd year RB Le’Veon Bell. The biggest question is the receivers, led by Antonio Brown. It isn’t an impressive group. The defense should be solid as always, but I see this being Mike Tomlin’s first season under .500.

Cleveland Browns- The Browns will be a solid defensive team, just as they have the last few seasons… but the offense could possibly be worse, especially if WR Josh Gordon is suspended for the entire season. Could be a long year in Cleveland… but what else is new? Oh yeah, Johnny Manziel will be the starter by week 5… but it won’t make much difference.

AFC SOUTH

Indianapolis Colts- The Colts are the best team in this division by a long shot, with Andrew Luck leading the way. The only thing they really need to do is keep their focus all season and not get too overconfident. The Jaguars are improving, but they aren’t ready to challenge for the division win this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars- The Jags made some major improvements this offseason. Rookie QB Blake Bortles has looked great in the preseason, but it has been against 2nd and 3rd teamers. The QB expected to start this season, Chad Henne, has actually looked pretty good as well. This Jags team will finish right around .500 with the improvements they’ve made on both sides of the ball, but will fall short of a playoff berth. 2015 could be a huge year for this team, though.

Tennessee Titans- The Titans will be a bit of a wild card this year in the South… if Jake Locker performs the way he did in college, they might just be a surprise, but I just don’t see him figuring things out, especially with a fairly weak receiving corps. The defense should be solid, but not good enough to make this a winner.

Houston Texans- The Texans had the #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and added yet another defensive piece in DE Jadaveon Clowney. With Clowney and JJ Watt on the line, the defense should give opposing QB’s fits. The million dollar question is whether or not the offense can put any points on the board. Quarterback is a huge question mark again, with Ryan Fitzpatrick slated to be the opening day starter. This could be one of the ugliest offenses in all of football this year… and will likely lead to a last place finish and another high draft pick next year.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos- The Broncos were the AFC Champs last year, and I don’t see that changing this time around. Peyton Manning is back, and leads a high powered offense yet again. Gone are Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno, but the Broncos replaced them with Emmanuel Sanders and a platoon of Monte Ball and Ronnie Hillman. Defense is where this team is most improved, with the additions of DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward, and Aquib Talib. They should have little problem winning this division and making a deep run in the playoffs.

San Diego Chargers- The Chargers made a late run last year to qualify for the final Wild Card spot, and they should be in the mix this year as well. The production of Phillip Rivers is key here. The defense picked up a few solid players this offseason through free agency and the draft, so they should be an improved unit as well.

Kansas City Chiefs- The Chiefs took a big hit in free agency when Branden Albert took his talents to South Beach, leaving a massive hole in an already shaky offensive line. I can’t help but think that last year was a fluke, and this roster is built to fail. It will be a tight race between the Chiefs and Raiders for last place this year.

Oakland Raiders- The Raiders added a nice piece in LB Khalil Mack of Buffalo through the draft. That said, it wasn’t nearly enough to make this team a contender. They are a long way away from that. They could very well challenge for the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Playoff Teams:

New England

Denver

Indianapolis

Cincinnati

Wild Card #1- San Diego

Wild Card #2- Miami

Round 1: Indianapolis over San Diego, Miami over Cincinnati

Round 2: New England over Miami, Denver over Indianapolis

AFC Championship Game: Denver over New England

 

NFC EAST

Philadelphia Eagles- The Eagles lost WR DeSean Jackson this offseason, but they still have a strong running game, and a decent group of WR’s for QB Nick Foles. The defense is a bigger question mark, but they have the most overall talent in this division, and that should carry them to a second straight division title.

New York Giants- The Giants will be better this year than they were last year… which doesn’t take a whole lot! The running game gets a boost with the additions of Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams of Boston College, and WR got deeper with the addition of Odell Beckham, Jr. through the draft. The defense should be solid enough to get this team into second place, and challenge for a final week shot at the division that we always see out of the East.

Washington Redskins- The Redskins added some firepower to the offense, especially if RG3 stays healthy… but that’s a big if. The defense is terrible though, and I don’t really see them outscoring a lot of teams despite the changes made. They will battle it out with the Cowboys for last place.

Dallas Cowboys- Tony Romo’s health and ability to win the big one are two big question marks for the Cowboys going into this season. Losing LB Sean Lee for the season doesn’t help things, either. This team is destined for the cellar… sorry Cowboys fans.

NFC NORTH

Green Bay Packers- The Packers are the class of this division, and have been for a while. Rodgers is healthy again, and the offense is ready to roll with him. The defense should be better, especially after adding S HaHa Clinton-Dix in the draft. It might get a little tight with an improved Bears team challenging, but the Pack should win this one.

Chicago Bears- The Bears added some solid players in the offseason, including pass rushers Jared Allen and LaMarr Houston and corner Kyle Fuller in the draft. The offense should be able to score some points with the WR duo of Marshall and Jeffery, and Jay Cutler looks like he’ll be healthy to start the year off. If Cutler stays healthy and performs the way he’s capable of, this Bears team could challenge for the division crown.

Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings biggest question mark continues to be the quarterback position. They added some solid players at skill positions, and still have Adrian Peterson manning the running back spot, which is always a good place to start. But we’ll have to see who wins the starting job between Cassell, Bridgewater, and Ponder. The defense should be a little better than it was last year after adding Captain Munnerlyn and rookie Anthony Barr… but only good enough to avoid the cellar.

Detroit Lions- The Lions added more “weapons” around Matt Stafford; first round pick TE Eric Ebron and free agent WR Golden Tate. Unfortunately, they did nothing about the defense, which means another likely top ten pick in 2015 for this football team. Not quite 0-16 terrible, but they’ll be terrible all right.

NFC SOUTH

New Orleans Saints- The Saints still have Drew Brees, and coach Sean Payton is back again, so the offense should not be an issue. The defense is a little more stout after adding free agent safety Jarius Byrd in the offseason. This team should have little trouble winning the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons need their two star receivers, Julio Jones and Roddy White, to stay healthy this season if they want a shot at the division title or a wild card spot. I think they pull that off, and Matt Ryan has a solid rebound year after the disaster that was his 2013 season. Adding Jake Matthews to the offensive line helps as well. The defense is a big question mark, as well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The Bucs have a chance to surprise some people this year, adding new coach Lovie Smith and rookie WR Mike Evans to the fold. You really have to wonder who wins the starting QB job here, young Mike Glennon, who was pretty damn good as a rookie despite the lack of solid receivers to throw to, or veteran QB Josh McCown, who is currently listed as the starter. My pick would be Glennon… but I’m just a blogger, not an accomplished head coach like Lovie Smith. They might just end up in second place and challenging for a Wild Card berth.

Carolina Panthers- The Panthers have major question marks on offense this season, including along the line with the retirement of Jordan Gross and at receiver with the departure of Steve Smith. Rookie Kelvin Benjamin should be a nice addition, but Cam Newton goes into the season with a receiving corps that has caught a total of zero passes in a Panther uniform. The defense should be stout, and might end up being their saving grace when it comes to avoiding going from first to worst in 2014.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals- Old Harry had it right Thursday… I think the Cardinals sneak up on the Seahawks and 49ers and take the division! They’ve added some nice pieces this offseason through free agency and the draft. The biggest question is the linebackers, where they have lost Karlos Dansby (free agency) and Daryl Washington (suspension). Still, I say this is a team that finishes first.

Seattle Seahawks- The defending champs nearly fall asleep at the wheel… but they still manage to get in as a Wild Card! The offense should stay on the same track without many big changes there… the biggest changes come on defense, where teams raided the Seahawks in free agency.

San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers come into this season with a lot of distractions… injuries to NaVarro Bowman and a possible long-term suspension to LB Aldon Smith, as well as the ongoing issues between Seahawks CB Richard Sherman and 9ers WR Michael Crabtree. With all this going on, I just see a collapse coming. Not a massive, down to 2-14 collapse, but enough of one to where they miss the playoffs.

St.Louis Rams- The Rams head into 2014 with major questions about their franchise QB, Sam Bradford. This is likely his last shot to win something before he is replaced in next years draft. The draft was kind to the Rams this year, adding OT Greg Robinson and DT Aaron Donald to the mix. The question is, is Sam Bradford ready to take this team to the next level, and possibly leapfrog the 49ers and a sleepy Seattle team to make a playoff run? I doubt it, I see this being Bradford’s last year there and another high pick for the Rams to use on a QB next year.

NFC PLAYOFFS

Green Bay Packers

Arizona Cardinals

Philadelphia Eagles

New Orleans Saints

Wild Card #1- Seattle, Wild Card #2- Chicago

ROUND ONE: Seattle over Philadelphia, New Orleans over Chicago

ROUND TWO: Green Bay over Seattle, New Orleans over Arizona

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Green Bay over New Orleans

 

And in Super Bowl XLIX… The Broncos beat the Packers, winning one for ailing owner Pat Bowlen.

 There’s my picks, ladies and gents. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below! Have a great weekend, Gabbers!

Friday's Freakout with IHM
Category: Daily Blog 2.0

  Well folks, it's Friday morning and we have no post on the 2.0 side yet, so I'm going to go ahead and leave this here for a while...

  Football is on the way back in, with the NFL Preseason in full swing and college football just a few weeks away from kicking off. I don't know about you all, but I can't wait to see some games that count!

  With college football ready to have it's first playoff this year, which four teams do you see representing which of the power conferences? We all know no small schools are going to make it to the dance... but which big boy conference makes it there? Which ones get left out?

  Looking at the big programs and the schedules they have in front of them, I see Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma, and Stanford all taking a spot in the Football Final Four. That's right, no Big Ten... sorry guys. Ohio State loses one or two games, and Sparty does the same. As much as I'm rooting against Alabama and Florida State, I think they both run the table and take the one and two seeds. Oklahoma also runs the table, and Stanford takes the Pac-12 with one loss. Looking at the matchups, Alabama tops Stanford, and Oklahoma tops Florida State... then Oklahoma tops Bama to win the first NCAA Football playoff.

  So what are your picks, Gabbers? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

  In Major League Baseball, Bud Selig's successor was named yesterday. It's the MLB COO Rob Manfred... who actually has a pair as opposed to Selig. Manfred wanted to go after Bonds, despite the absence of protocol between the Unoin and League, and force the Union to back up a cheat or allow a suspension to happen... but Selig opted to back out. Personally, I hope Manfred takes the Union to task every time it is possible.

  So with a new commissioner in place, I have this question for you... if you were named MLB commissioner, what rules do you change? What new rules do you put in place? Here's my list, but be sure to let me know what you would do in the comments below...

1. DH in both leagues. I know, I know, we want pitchers to be held accountable for beaning players, but I'm getting to that later on. Meanwhile, I'm not a fan of watching pitchers hack away when we could easily add a hundred points to the batting average of every #9 spot in baseball by getting rid of pitchers hitting. Sure, it's fun when a pitchers ends up getting a hit, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

2. If a pitcher plunks a batter and it results in injury, that pitcher is suspended as long as the hit batter is out. If there is no injury, take your base and STFU!

3. Only one Wild Card spot... the one game playoff is stupid and minimizes the regular season.

4. Best record gets home-field advantage. Same as with the one game playoff, having an exhibition for the fans determine something as important as home field in the World Series is just fucking ridiculous and minimizes the importance of the regular season. Stop the madness already.

5. Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe, etc., are all forgiven, and all eligible for the Hall of Fame. A new wing is dedicated to those who cheated or did something stupid to shame the sport... a Hall of Shame wing if you will. Displays will include one of Rose's betting slips, one of the needles Brian McNamee had laying around from his "buddy" Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds' caps from his days in Pittsburgh and his days in San Fransisco laid next to one another so the difference is clear, Mark McGwire's bottle of Andro, which was displayed prominently in his locker during the HR chase of '98... and so much more. Let them in... just don't forget what they've done to tarnish the sport.

6. No more writers voting for the Hall of Fame. Living Hall of Fame players/coaches/contributors will determine who joins their ranks... not the idiot sports writers who have made a joke of Hall of Fame voting in recent years.

  That's what I've got right now folks... be sure to add more rules in the comments below! Thanks for reading, and rejoice... it's Friday people!

Weekly Grumble with IHM 8/9
Category: FEATURED

  Well folks, it’s that time of the week once again… time for another visit from your old pal IHM. This week, there are plenty of things to piss and moan about; so let’s get to it!

  The biggest story of the week, of course, is the return of football with the start of the NFL preseason. We got started last Sunday night with the Hall of Fame game and inductions of the class of 2014, and Sunday night’s matchup of the Giants and Bills. Now we’re balls deep into the first full week of games, with just a few teams left to play their first preseason game of 2014. Tonight’s slate includes Johnny Football making his NFL debut against the Lions second team defense (which is more like most teams’ third team defense), the Giants and Steelers facing off, Green Bay against Tennessee, and the Texans traveling to Arizona. Even if it is only one series with actual starters in the game normally, it’s good to have football back!

  Last night’s big event happened in St.Louis, where history was made in the National Football League as a 7th round pick made a tackle and had a pressure on the QB during the third quarter or so. Of course, Sammy Brown, an undrafted free agent in 2012 actually made two tackles and had a QB pressure of his own… but he’s into vagina, so who gives a shit about him. Michael Sam is the story of courage, perseverance, and pride… even though nobody has ever done anything but praise him and ballyhoo him since he announced his private life to the public a few months ago.

  But it happened… Sam made a tackle, the game was stopped… photos were taken… rainbow colored confetti fell from the rafters… The Weather Girls came on the PA system with their chart topping hit “It’s Raining Men”… dozens and dozens of men in hot pants streamed onto the field flying rainbow flags… and the world was finally just and fair again in one, historic moment.

  Of course, that is all overreaction… nothing else happened. A football player made a fucking tackle. He also got shoved around like a rag doll on most other plays, put next to no pressure on the quarterback, and generally looked like a guy who should have gone undrafted and was frankly a step slow… exactly what the scouts said all along, before they even knew or cared what his sexual preference was. So here’s the real question… who cries for justice for a guy like Sammy Brown if he gets cut in favor of Sam despite his superior performance just because the Rams might be afraid of the bad PR that could come with cutting Michael Sam now?

  As for the other rookie debuts from this week, how about Blake Bortles of the Jags? The guy went 7/11 with 117 yards in his first NFL action, but was outshined by Bucs starter Mike Glennon, who is looking to beat out Josh McCown for the starting job in Tampa. Glennon threw for 140 yards and a TD pass while McCown was just 2/4 with an INT in limited action. That has to be a good sign for a Jaguars team that hasn’t had any kind of QB play to write home about since the days of Mark Brunell!

  Another rookie to watch is Kelvin Benjamin of the Panthers, who made an impressive 29 yard TD catch, his only catch of the ballgame, in his preseason debut. Sammy Watkins of the Bills caught 4 passes for 31 yards after being shut out in the HOF game last weekend.

  Eagles starter Nick Foles threw as many interceptions in Philly’s opening preseason game against the Bears than he did all of last season, throwing for two picks in his limited action last night. Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame fame looked impressive off the bench for the Bears, throwing for 150 yards and 2 TDs… watch out Jay Cutler!

  Big news in the world of college sports as a judge sides with Ed O’Bannon, meaning the NCAA will now have to pay for the use of players’ likeness. Of course, there are still some fucked up aspects to this, such as the fact that the athletes don’t see a dime until they are out of school… and the fact that the cap is set at $5,000 per year… meaning the maximum a guy can make is $20,000 over four years… far below the market value of advertising contracts. So, in the end, these kids are still stuck with nothing until they leave school… and I’m sure there are plenty of other loopholes being worked in by the bloodsucking assholes known as the NCAA’s legal team… so I highly doubt we’ll see anyone reaching that ridiculously low $20,000 amount. Oh, and the NCAA still gets a two year buffer to make billions of dollars off of kids, because these rules don’t set in until 2016 recruits come in. So I guess it’s a win… just not for any of the kids who are making hundreds of millions of dollars for the joke that is the NCAA right now. Wonder how that will work out for the kids that come in in 2016 while the previous classes are still not getting any sort of compensation for their hard work? That won’t cause any type of issues, I’m sure…

  It’s progress… just not very much progress. We’re still a long way away from fair treatment for college athletes.

  So the city of Akron had a big welcome home rally for their native douchebag  LeBron James yesterday. Just fucking nauseating. Of course Brian Windbag was there, hanging off of LeBron’s sack and ready to report every detail of his day to ESPN.

  The Tigers offense woke the fuck up last night, with Castellanos and Suarez hitting back to back homers in the bottom of the ninth to top the Blue Jays 5-4. This comes off the heels of a six run, four game series against the Yankees last week, in which the Tigers wasted great starts out of Porcello, Verlander, and Scherzer… not to mention David Price, who went 8 innings with 10 K’s in his Tigers debut but got a no decision. The Royals have moved up to 2.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central now after their 5 game winning streak.

  That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Have a great weekend, Gabbers.

Weekly Grumble with IHM 8/2
Category: FEATURED

  Ain't that the truth!

  Well folks it’s Saturday once again, and you all know what that means; another visit from your old pal IHM. How the hell are we into August already? Damn this year is flying by. This week, we saw the trade deadline come and go in Major League baseball with a few big surprises, but no real shocking names going somewhere new.

  The picture that Fox13 in Tampa caused some controversy for some reason. Apparently people in this area still haven't realized what a shit hole the majority of Detroit truly is. You know, the area outside the four blocks around Comerica Park/Ford Field! Don't worry though, Fox2 in Detroit responded with a picture of their own...

  The point... people in Detroit REALLY need to quit being so butthurt every time someone points out the fact that their city is what it is... a desolate shithole that no one with a brain wants to visit. Hell, I don't even want to venture down there for a ballgame if the game is over after dark! Every time someone says something shitty about the shit pile that is Detroit it goes this way. If you don't like it, maybe volunteer and do some cleanup work down there... invest some money into the improvement of the city... one thing that isn't going to fix anything... bitching about it online! Get up and do something, or you are just another part of the problem!

  Spent the majority of the week outside battling the weeds in the driveway… and good lord those weeds whacked me! Tuesday night I felt like I had just run a freaking marathon after I got done with the weed whacked and the shovel. It’s my own fault, though… let the damn things get too bad for too long. Next week I tackle the rest of the yard… and I’m sure that’ll kick my ass too! But, whatever helps us sell this crap shack and get on the road is what I have to do!

  The trade deadline closed at 4PM ET on Thursday… and the biggest deal of the day came right down to the wire as the Detroit Tigers somehow pulled down David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays! Shocked the hell out of me, especially when all it cost them was Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, and a minor league SS. The Mariners pick up Jackson, who adds a bat they needed, and the Rays end up with Nick Franklin and Drew Smyly, as well as minor league Willy Adames in exchange for the Cy Young award winner. Not a very big haul considering what they were reportedly looking for.

  So Dealin’ Dave does it again at the deadline… big time move bringing in a big time player, and of course you have to give credit to owner Mike Illitch for allowing that move to happen, and being willing to spend the money to pay David Price not just this year, but next year as well. You really have to wonder what the Rays were thinking, though. You know the Dodgers and Cardinals had better offers on the table for Price. The report is that the Rays GM contacted Dombrowski about getting this deal done. They must really, really like Drew Smyly… or Dombrowski has some incriminating photos of someone in the Rays front office! How much of a kick in the ass does this have to be if you’re a Rays player… or one of the 75 or so Rays fans out there? The team is on their usual July tear, and you ship off your ace for next to nothing!

  It was kind of crazy to be watching the Tigers game Thursday afternoon and to watch Raji Davis run out of the Tigers dugout, go up to Austin Jackson, and tell him he had been traded to Seattle! It was nice to see the Tiger fans in attendance give Austin a nice standing ovation for all he’s done for this organization since coming over in a trade four or five years ago. He’s a good player, and an even better person, so I’ll keep on rooting for him as he goes on in Seattle. Of course, once I found out he was leaving but David Price was coming in in return, I was more than a little happy!

 

  SO now the Tigers have a rotation that features the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Cy Young award winners! Scherzer, Price, Verlander, and now you have Sanchez and Porcello as your 4-5th starters. Wow. Talk about the kind of team you put together in a freaking video game!

Anybody want a sweet Cespades shirt? I hear they’re going pretty cheap!   

 Meanwhile, Oakland continued to add pitching at the deadline, trading for Boston ace John Lester and OF/1B Johnny Gomes, but giving up All-Star OF Yoenis Cespedes in return. The A’s now have Lester, Sonny Grey, Jeff Samardzjia, Scott Kazmir, and either Jesse Chavez or Jason Hammell as their #5. Solid rotation there, but you have to wonder how much the loss of Cespedes’ bat will hurt them going forward, especially with the Angels ahead of them in the AL West and the Mariners coming up behind them.

  Dombrowski reportedly texted A’s GM Billy Beane after making the deal for Price with “You still have one minute to acquire Chris Sale” Talk about some one-upsmanship there! What a cocky bastard!

  Meanwhile, the biggest news outside of those two deals was the inactivity in Philly, where fans have to be wondering exactly what the hell Ruben Amaro Jr. is doing! I can see keeping Cole Hammels, he is still fairly young. But keeping Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, and Marlon Byrd on a team going nowhere… especially with the lack of bats on the market this year? They could have made a fucking killing!

  The freaking Marlins made a move Thursday, trading two of their biggest prospects to the Astros, as well as a compensatory pick, in exchange for Jarred Cosart, Kike Hernandez, and Austin Wates. The Stros brought home a solid set of prospects including recent first round pick Colin Moran, OF Jake Marisnick, and P Francis Martes, as well as the draft pick. You really have to wonder what this means for the Marlins going forward, who are still in striking distance in the NL East. Are they now buyers again… or is this just a smoke screen? The big question will be answered when Stanton’s contract comes up this offseason. I know at least one ballsy GM who would like to get in line for a crack at landing him!

  So all in all, what do all the deadline deals mean? Well, it looks like the Sawx are done for the year, throwing in the towel, and I couldn’t be happier! Give somebody else a shot this year you greedy bastards! Still, they got Cespedes, Craig and Kelly for a pitcher they’ll probably get back next winter and a guy in Lackey who was on a bad contract and near the end of his career anyhow. The minor league pitcher Rodriguez they got back from the O’s in exchange for lefty reliever Andrew Miller is supposed to be a good one, too. Buck up Bo Sox fans… if you get too sad, just remember all the freaking rings you’ve won over the past decade now! Fans of the Tigers and A’s should be happy to see their teams still willing to make moves to one up each other and reach the World Series out of the AL. I really do think it’s a three-team race now with the Tigers, A’s, and the Angels in the rear-view mirror. The biggest questions are still the Tigers pen and the A’s offense now. Cardinals fans should be happy to see their organization go out there and snag two solid starting pitchers to help bulk up the rotation in Masterson and now Lackey. Hell, the Brewers even did a solid job bringing in Gerardo Parra, a Gold Glove talent who can play all three OF positions. The Braves made a decent move to bring in a solid utility player in Bonafacio and a solid bullpen piece in James Russell. The Pirates were pretty quiet at the deadline, but did manage to snag Ben Zobrist from the Rays latest fire sale... but that trade, of course, turned out to be a fake!

That's right, a fake twitter account for Bob Nightengle was once again the subject of a false trade rumor. ESPN's Buster Onley even reported it live on aor as though he were getting the same information from "his sources".

  In other sports, good to see Tony Parker get an extension out of the Spurs. You could say he doesn’t deserve it, but it would make you a dirty, dirty liar!

  The rumor mills still have Kevin Love going to Cleveland… but word is now that Love will not sign an extension with the Cavs if he is traded there! That could make the thought of trading Andrew Wiggins, the 2014 #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, a little too scary for the Cavs... but something tells me the trade happens either way.

  Ray Rice publicly apologized for his actions on that elevator a few months for the first time Thursday, apologizing to his wife, his daughter, and for not being a good role model for all the kids out there. The Sheriff also had his piece to say about it… saying that Rice was never charged with anything and therefore the two game ban is justified because of it being his first major offense. I’ll say again exactly what I said last week… way to take a stand on violence against women, NFL!

  Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week folks. Thanks as always for reading, and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekends, Gabbers.

The Times They Are A Changin'
Category: FEATURED

   The world we live in, it is a changin’… but the real question is whether or not these changes are for the better! Of the biggest stories going on in sports right now, each one involves new issues that likely wouldn’t even be in the spotlight years ago.

   The biggest story going on right now has to be the two game suspension received by Ravens RB Ray Rice in response to his cold cocking his girlfriend (now wife) on an Atlantic City elevator and dragging her unconscious body off the elevator on camera. This ugly incident, documented by security cameras, snagged him a two game suspension after his legal process was finished (he entered a pre-trial intervention program off the field) and he made his appeal to the NFL. Meanwhile, multiple players over the years have been caught smoking pot or tested positive for other forms of drugs, and the basic standard there seems to be four games for a first offense. Second offense generally snags you either a full season ban or damn near that.

   I’m sure as hell not condoning the actions of men who choose to risk millions upon millions of dollars to smoke pot. If you’re too stupid to understand that it is against the rules and don’t have the willpower to abstain from that activity, you deserve every shitty, terrible thing that comes your way. And don’t give me that “addiction” shit… pot is NOT ADDICTIVE! I smoked pot nearly every freaking day for three years in my late teens/early twenties. Then I found out I was going to be a father, got my shit together, and stopped smoking pot. I didn’t need a fucking rehab program, a support group…. None of that stupid shit. I simply quit doing it. Not complicated, not difficult. I did that so I could make ten bucks an hour and help support my growing family… I sure as hell would have done it for millions of dollars! My honest opinion on drugs in general; legalize everything and let natural selection run its course! We could use a thinning of the herd if you ask me.

   The issue I’m seeing here is the fact that domestic violence seems to be a much lower crime on the NFL’s radar screen than the use of recreational drugs. There is opportunity here for the league to set a solid example for kids out there and sit Ray Rice down for half a season in response to the atrocious actions he was caught on tape performing… but instead we get two games. Way to take a strong stand on violence against women, NFL. Does this move do anything to hurt the Shield, though? Do female fans of this league begin to realize that the league does not give two shits about them? Does one week of pink jerseys and pink accessories for breast cancer research make up for the fact that a player who chooses to get high gets a stiffer penalty than one who decides to beat a woman?

  Then today I see that the Minnesota Twins have cancelled the Hall of Fame celebration planned for former Rookie of the Year and 4-time All-Star Chuck Knoblauch due to his most recent in a string of domestic violence issues. So the Minnesota Twins care more about violence against women than the entire NFL does…

  Of course, the saddest thing about all of this is the reality that this is actually on par with the legal system in this country! Domestic violence will normally land you in some pointless anger management program that is more likely to make you angrier than you were before than it is to provide any actual help… while possession of drugs is treated as a federal crime and the penalties are much harsher. Violent crimes vs. the victimless crime of choosing to use recreational drugs. And the saddest truth is this; in both cases it all comes down to the bottom dollar. You think for a minute that if Colorado becomes a solid model for what type of revenue states can make off legalized pot that the rest of the nation won’t soon follow suit? The fact is, it’s all about the bottom dollar. Ray Rice punching his wife in the fact does not affect his on-field performance, but use of marijuana would. That is exactly why the Shield goes after drug users and largely ignores those who commit violent offenses off the field. It’s all about the money in the end… maybe if people are mad enough about this to quit watching, buying merchandise, etc., the NFL will get the message and change their ways… but somehow I highly doubt any of that is going to happen any time soon.

   The other big story this week involves the media’s favorite form of whipping boy… a Conservative Christian who dared to say something they could spin into being anti-gay. Tony Dungy gave an interview to the Tampa Tribune just after the NFL Draft, and he was asked whether or not he would have used a 7th round pick on Rams DE Michael Sam, who is the league’s first openly gay player. Dungy responded by essentially saying his ability level does not warrant the distraction. When the interview was given, Oprah still had plans to follow Sam during training camp for a TV series. So, what are your thoughts on Dungy, Gabbers… homophobic religious nut or just the victim of a slow news day?

  My take on this is twofold… First, I am sick and tired of people screaming and crying for equality, but then turning around and using their “differences” to gain advantages or publicity. First it’s “we just want to live a normal life like all of you”… fine, go ahead. But then, it becomes “well, we feel we deserve a few extras… you know, for all the strife and anguish we’ve been through”. Either you want equality or you want superior treatment. What people seem to miss is the fact that the gay population worldwide makes up 3% of all people. 3%... yet we act as though their rights should be a higher priority than anyone or anything else’s. Look, I am all for equality. If a man wants to marry a man, woman, or a fucking inanimate object… let him! To each his own… I just don’t want to see it or hear about it! As long as no one is being raped and no little kids are being molested, keep your business in the bedroom and the hell away from my eyes and ears.

  Second, when the hell did we start letting the media decide what it is we need to be outraged and upset about? Anymore, it seems like every week they trot out someone or something that we all need to put a stop to or chastise until they fade away from memory. What the hell happened to everyone having the same, equal rights? It seems as though the media has taken a Liberal slant on everything… and anyone who is not of their exact opinion is the enemy. Does anyone else remember a time when if you disagreed with something someone thought, you might actually accept the fact that that person is entitled to their own opinion on something? Nope, now we have to “change” the way people think and the way they act if it is perceived to be incorrect by the masses. The way I see it, if someone chooses to be narrow minded, let them! Let them deprive themselves of relationships with others based on things as stupid as their race or sexual orientation. It’s THEIR LOSS, not society’s! It seems more and more like the media is going over to mind-control mode… and they are targeting anyone who does not agree with their narrative. This is dangerous, folks… the more the media controls people, the more everyone starts to fall in line, and the more the media goes from being an asset of the people (keeping you informed on things) to a liability (keeping you in line and doing exactly what the “powers that be” want). You really have to start wondering what the endgame is here. Are we heading for a “Big Brother”, 1984 type of society?

  But in the end, it seems that Tony Dungy was simply the victim of a slow news day. Dungy was praised before as a pioneer, one of the first black head coaches in the NFL, the first to win a Super Bowl, etc. Now, he is chastised because the media’s new favorite child, the gay community, was not praised and celebrated by Dungy. It seems like doing anything short of getting down on your knees and worshipping the ground that the gay community walks on is unacceptable. Personally, I am getting tired of this bullshit!

  As I said before, I don’t care if someone is gay or straight… I’m married, I’m not looking! I don’t know just by looking at you, and I don’t fucking need to know. The whole thing reminds me of a guy I used to work with… he had all the stereotypical mannerisms associated with homosexuals, and it was pretty obvious (especially since his boyfriend also worked there). I talked to the guy a lot, and one day he looked at me point blank and said “you know I’m gay, right?” At that point, I broke off the conversation we were having, shook his hand and said “congratulations”, then went right back into what we were talking about! Like I said… I do not give a single, solitary fuck what it is people do in the privacy of their own homes, so long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. I have no “moral high ground”… I don’t believe in the “sanctity of marriage”… especially with a nearly 50% national divorce rate. During the whole Phil Robertson debacle I asked my friend exactly what he thought about what he had said… his answer was a priceless one… “Who the fuck is Phil Robertson?” But let’s put things into perspective here… 3% of the world population is gay… so you tell me how it best serves the “greater good” to destroy any and every one that chooses to be straight and not praise the pro-gay agenda?

  Chris Paul apparently isn’t done playing activist… he’s threatening to sit out the next season if Donald Sterling is not removed as owner of the Clippers. Personally, I say go ahead and sit out… nobody is going to miss you. Maybe the whole team will, and the Clippers will be even less relevant than usual. I get a guy not wanting to play for a racist owner, but the fact that you’ve ignored his racism before and continued to cash the checks he signed doesn’t make you righteous or an activist; it makes you someone who sold his soul and now wants it back because the fact that Sterling is a racist is now public knowledge. This is yet another example of the media gone wild, though. Anybody remember Marge Schott a few years back… she was five times the racist Donald Sterling is! Yet it took years to run her out of her spot at Reds’ owner. Sterling says something semi-racist in a phone conversation (and no, you’re not going to convince me that what he said was racist) and is gone in less than a month. As I said before… if someone wants to be a racist, LET THEM! Let them be cut off and isolated from society as much as they want to be, and continue with normal society as usual. Chances are they really won’t be missed, anyhow! Still haven’t seen anyone boycotting an interview with Oprah, by the way.

  Before I call it a day, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to our good friend Old Harry today! Hope you have a great day buddy.

  That’s all I’ve got for today folks. Thanks as always for reading, and I hope you all have a great weekend.

 

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