Friday, October 31, 2008

Great Concert's- Carlebach Style- New School doing it Old School

Inspired by a recent post by MoChassid from Blog in DM, The People's Champ would like to offer some great Jewish Jam's.

Shlomo and Eitan Katz with Chaim Dovid in Jerusalem closing a concert with Carlebach's Neshama Niggun.

Aaron Raizel, Shlomo Katz and Chaim Dovid singing K'Shoshana (I believe also in Jerusalem).

SoulFarm in Beit Shemesh Chol Hamoad Succos playing Harachaman Hu Yakim Lanu.

Nochi Krohn at the 13th Yehrtzeit Concert.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Props to a Great Artist


I have recently been "reunited" through Facebook with and old friend of mine, Dan Weinstein. Back in the day we would just listen to good music, muse over bad movie quotes, tip a bottle or two and marvel over Dan's creative artistry.
Well, Dan has matured as an artist (thank G-d only in technique) and has created, in my humble opinion, the most intense, diametric and "funky" Jewish art I have ever seen.

From his website:
"The universe depicted on canvas by the artist Daniel Weinstein is composed of a stunning cocktail of intense colors and dynamic images.
The artist's work has been inspired by such disparate elements as:
Tehillim (Psalms) & Kohelet (Ecclesiastes), Tsfat and South Beach, Chassidism & Dr. Suess, Baruch Nachshon, Picasso, Bob Marley,
The Big Lebowski, Shlomo Carlebach & Alice in Chains, his wife Leah, son Aron & daughter Esther.
Daniel Weinstein's art pulsates with the most pleasant contradictions. It is whimsical and fanciful yet poignant. It is traditional -conveying
unchanging centuries old judaic themes, yet entirely modern and reflective of a dizzyingly fast paced technological age.
These lyrical contradictions collide to create a vibrant, electrifying universe where intense beauty, harmony and spirituality reign."

You can check it out at

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fantasy Football Trade- The People's take

A major trade this week took place in The People's League between Forties and The Ducks.
At the time of the trade Forties were in 3rd Place with 763.70 points, Ducks were 8th and 658.01 respectively. First Place currently has 802.7 points.

Here's the trade:

Forties Traded: Terrel Owens, Earnest Graham, Aaron Rodgers and Darren Sproles.
Ducks Traded: Big Ben, Antonio Bryant, Michael Westbrook and Correl Buchalter.

In any trade you need to look at the rosters because what might look like a "rape" on the surface can actually be a good deal for both squads Post trade.

Forties: QB- Warner and Big Ben, RB Chris Johnson, Brian Westbrook (and his handcuff Buchalter), Kevin Smith and Reggie Bush. WR R Moss, Cotchery, Antonio Bryant and Kevin Walter (keep in mind we start 1QB, 2RB's and 3 WR's).

Ducks: QB Rodgers,. RB's Jamal Lewis, Earnest Graham, Michael Pittman, Warrick Dunn, Ryan Torian and Selvin Young. WR's Braylon Edwards, Greg Jennings, Terrel Owens, Brandon Lloyd and Ted Ginn Jr.

Without making fun of the Ducks and their crappy squad and why any team would have 3 Denver Broncos RB's when only one is even worth a thought of owning is a cloumn for another day let's just analyze the merits of the deal.

From Forties side he traded a very good backup QB for another very good backup QB- both very solid starting options, so in essence he traded away a big chip but got the same chip back (it says here Rodgers playing style will force him to be injured the second half, although he is a Stud QB in the making. Big Ben will rebound and be his usual excellent self). He also got BY FAR the best player in the deal and his handcuff. Now Westbrook is an injury risk but he is a top 3 RB and he insured himself with Buchalter. So, he upgraded greatly at RB from Graham. He has 3 excellent RB's now when Bush comes back and that gives him great flexibility for another deal with his backup QB if he needs to. He dealt Owens, who will have a tough week this week against the Giants without Romo and has a bye next week. I don't like Bryant much but he in essence traded TO for 7 weeks (who will return to greatness once Romo returns) and got 9 weeks of Westbrook (the better player either way). He did great in this trade. He actually sold high on Owens, if even possible, at this point of the season. Graham is only a bye week option at this point anyway, so he didn't lose anything there.

The Ducks panicked. They have an excellent QB in Big Ben. Remember, this is a 16 week season and Ben will put up the numbers in the end. He also has no backup and in my opinion, he actually took the bigger health risk in Rodgers. However, you cant discount Rodgers numbers. He has been great so far. With Owens, he got a guy who will be fine once Romo comes back. The problem is he basically loses two weeks of Owens (as explained) when he is already risking falling totally out of any chance of winning. And, he gave up a guy who can put up consistent monster numbers (Westbrook). Yes, he got Graham (who by the way also has a bye week 10) but Pittman is just as good at this point and he does have Dunn as an option at RB. I admire his gumption and sticktoitiveness (thanks Mick Foley) but in the end I think he hurt his squad more than helped it.

To follow the league click Here

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Week 8- NFL Thoughts

This weeks premium matchup featuring two of the storied franchises in football, and more importantly, two of the 3 best team this season, between The New York Football Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers, delivered as expected.
A hard fought game, extremely physical and also very telling.
  • The Giants have the best offensive and defensive lines in the game. That is why the won the SB last year and it is why they will contend again this year. They dominate both sides of line, attack the QB with a vicious fury all the while protecting their own. Tuck and Kiwanuka are two of the best in the game right now at their positions.
  • Eli proved again with the game on the line he is one of-if not THE- best QB in the league. Yes folks, with the game on the line there is no one better right now (being Brady is out). You want proof? Here is statistical proof to make that claim. 4th Quarter this season Eli has a 105.5 QB rating. 4th Quarter within 7 points he has a rating of 109.7. The last two minutes of a half his stats are as follows: 15-21 2 TD's, no interceptions and a rating of 119.5. We all remember what he did in the SB on the last drive. We saw it again last night. He is as cool as they get under pressure. The Anti-Arod perhaps. Right now, I dont see many clear cut QB's I'm taking over Eli. That includes Big Ben.
  • I didn't like the early goal line play calling by the Giants but they finally got their act together calling that great play action for the winning TD. It's nice to run the ball down someone's throat, but you need TD's.
  • Pittsburgh has been exposed twice to a good, hard and physical pass rush. Philly's D dominated them and the Giants the same. Except for two broken plays on the Giants part (the two long TD's) the Pitt offense was non existint. They will have trouble with Tennesee in the playoffs.
Other thoughts:

I love Mike Singeltary. Finally a coach with some balls. I love how he apologized to the fans on the way out, his benching of Davis and JT and most impressively- the best post game press conference I have seen in a long time.

"I told everyone at the beginning of the week, I will not tolerate players that think it's about them when it's about the team," Singletary said still in high-decibel mode. "We cannot make decisions that cost the team and then come off (to) the sideline and it's nonchalant. I would rather play with 10 people and just get penalized ... rather than play with 11 when I know that person is not sold out to be a part of the team. It's more about them than it is about the team. Can not play (with those players). Can not win with them; can not coach with them. Can't do it. I want winners."

Singletary then said that Davis tried to talk to him in the locker room, and Singletary told him, "You don't want to talk to me right now."

SF might not be good now, but they will with that type of coaching attitude.
I guess TPC was right about Cassel, unfortunately for his fantasy squad.
I love how Favre can totally blow a game and in one possession look the Favre of old. At least he keeps things interesting and the Jets have as many wins in 7 games as they had all year last season.
Carolina just keeps on pulling out these games they should lose. They are 5-2 and could have easily have been 2-5.
The Colts are a mess. They offense isnt what it was and unfortunately for them, the defense is what it was. Horrid. They will have a very difficult time getting in the playoffs this season.
Tennese is the class of the AFC right now but lets not get carried away with last nights win, as did Kornheiser and Jaworski. Seriously, you think they just beat the 18-0 Patriots. All they did was manhandle a team scoring on average 20 points a game with a horrid defense. Forget the last few years and their name. This isn't the same dominating Colts teams. I want to see them beat a tough NFC East team, or even a physical team like Pitt before we sign them up as the AFC representative in the SB.
I love the way Houston's offense has played in recent weeks, especially the incredible play of Andre Johnson. His catch in week 7 was one of the best catches you will ever see and he did it with the game on the line.
I love how Pennington is playing and how quickly Parcells has changed the climate and environment in Miami.
I think Buffalo is a very poor 5-2 squad. Same thing with the Pats.
Don't make too much of the Dallas victory against TB. TB has a bad offense and the Dallas offense didn't show much. The Giants will punish them this week.
Through 8 weeks Phillip Rivers leads the league with 19 TD passes and Brees with 2563 yards. Warner is in the top 4 of every major passing category along with Rivers, Brees and Romo.
Favre and O'Sullivan have thrown the most INT's with Peyton Manning next on the list.
Portis leads the league by a lot in Rushing Yards (944 to AP's 684) and LenDale leads the way with 10 TD's.
Andre johnson leads in receptions and receiving yards.
Joey Porter unbelievably leads the league with 10 1/2 sacks in his resurgent year just ahead of DeMarcus Ware and James Harrison.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fantasy Basketball Draft Analysis

Welcome all to the first Public version of The People's Draft Analysis, NBA style and the first analysis PERIOD for TPC in the league called The Shark Tank.
For those unaware, The People's NBA League disbanded two seasons ago after a nice 7 year run. Unfortunately the interest in Fantasy Hoops didn't match the interest in Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football. However, TPC's round the clock fix of Fantasy action needed to be adhered to, so TPC joined DTA as The Wild Samoans in the league called The Shark Tank.
The Shark Tank is much different than The People's League. First off, most of the teams are jointly owned. A very weird dynamic. Second, the draft takes place in an AOL chat room. Two main problems with that:
1) AOL???????? Sorry fellas, this is no longer your Aunt Susan's internet of 2001. There are more efficient ways to do this. Which leads me to my next point.
2) There are only two ways top do a draft. 1- Live Draft where all the members are there making fun of each other, trash talking and hopefully eating some really good grilled animal of some kind. This is not too efficient but a lot of fun nonetheless, or 2- an online drafting service like Yahoo Sports which allows for a system that keeps track of all taken players (by team and position), all available positions and most importantly gives A TIME LIMIT for each pick. It also has a chat board for the mandatory trash talking portion of the draft.
The Shark Tanks draft system allows for people to in reality take as much time as they want and allows for the constant error of picking someone that was already picked (we will get into this a little later)...
With that being said, the only characters from this league that you have read about prior are DTA- my current tag team partner here, The Ducks- this is his rookie season , and Forties and Dimes (known as the Yeshiva Bochers in this league) who also handles the role of league Commissioner.

With that being said, as always, , I need to preface with the following.
This is not an analysis on who will win this seasons league. It is an analysis on how they drafted. Keep in mind this is extremely difficult in the current drafting format so we need to give everyone a little rope. not as much as The Ducks (which we will get to later) but in general. This draft was also tougher than usual because of the first year institution of keepers (basically anyone drafted last season can be kept by forfeiting this seasons pick 5 rounds earlier than last years draft. So, if you took someone in round 9 last year you can keep him in round 4 this year). I also dont know the players in this league that well, so many wont have much background.
The leagues roster and points settings are: PG, SG, G, SF, F, PF, C, C, Util, Util- 7 bench spots
Categories are points, reb, assists, blocks, steals, FG %, 3PT made and FT made.
Without further ado, The People's Analysis:

Yeshiva Bochers (Forties and Dimes)- A great job by the Commish for fixing........I mean earning the #1 pick in this draft. Lebron was the obvious and rightful choice. On the wraparound picking 24th and 25th, the YB picked Andre Iggy and David West. I like both picks however I think both were picked early especially with Butler, Jamison, Gasol, Pierce, Wallace and Rashard Lewis still available. Turk went to them in round 4 as their keeper (last pick) and Maggette in 5. I'm not sure if Hedo can repeat last years performance but being the draft position, a good keeper play by the YB. Maggette was a reach in round 5. I love their 6 round pick David Lee and although they reached with Mayo in 7, it was a great gamble as Mayo looks awesome early on. I think YB took two chances with Thorton and Nene at 8-9 which were big reaches, especially with proven assets like Al Harrington, Troy Murphy and Drew Gooden picked after. Plus there were many great keepers to target there if you wanted to go that route. I love Tyrus at 10 and Ridnour at 11. Both solid picks. Amir Johnson and Westbrook followed. Not much 2008 value but some possible value down the road. Two solid picks in Simmons and Posey ended things for the YB. Overall Grade: 5.5. Decent all around squad with many questions and many questionable picks.

KARAT PLATINUM- KP took Kobe went #2 overall with his first ever draft pick in the Shark Tank; a big reach in my opinion. I think Kobe is on the wrong side of the Peak and CP would have been the much better choice. On the other hand, Kobe is still damn good so he wont hurt KP in the end. First rule: You dont win leagues in the first 2 rounds you can only lose them (as all Tom Brady owners can attest). Jason Kidd went 2nd which was just awful. Keep in mind, Kidd helps you in 3 categories (reb, st and assists). He kills you in 4 and is decent in 1. He's no better than a 4th rounder in my book. No way he goes 13 picks before Billups. The numbers arent even close. Vince Carter, another disaster in the making went in round 3. KP apparently hasn't watched the NBA much in the last 3 seasons. Okafor and Miller (Andre) then went, very safe picks, two of the best players available on the board. Bibby was a steal in round 6 while TF Ford was okay in 7, someone please explain to me the strategy of drafting 4 PG's with your first 7 picks? Kenyon Martin had no business going 8 except that KP is probably a closet Nets fan. I like Gooden at 9. Noah and Moon 10-11 are non factors, although there is some slight upside to each. Same with Boone at 12. Warrick was decent at 13. Mo Pete and Curry rounded up the lousy effort. Overall Score: 2. A very inaspicious debut to say the least. Just a horrible job. Team will win assists going away but basically booted the rest of the categories.

EAST SIDERS- The East Siders were the Champs in TPC's first season and have been the league doormat the last two. Has the game passed by one of the great all time Shark Tank franchises? ES took CP at #3, the no brainer pick there. Boozer went to them in round 2, a solid pick at that spot. Maybe he doesn't block enough shots (or any) for a big man, but he does everything else well. Joe Johnson went 3, another solid pick. Bogut at 4 and Dunleavy at 5 (their keeper pick). To this point, I dont think you can fault one pick. A great job so far. Plus, they locked up their frontcourt and have a great PG-SG combo. Beasley can become a monster at 6. Dalemebert was a questionable at 7 but nothing to fret over. Shaq at 8 was bad. He will be a non factor this season- at least until playoff time. I like Terry a lot at 9, Stuckey was a good keeper pick at 10, the East Siders version of trading for the future during last years dismal season. Anthony Parker is serviceable enough but at 11 there was more value out there. Quinn, Miami's #3 PG was awful at 12, I love Sessions at 13 and like Gomes at 14. Good value there on both and I liked the shot with Augustine at 15. Overall Grade: 8. Textbook first 6 rounds and didn't do much to screw up the rest. An excellent job.

2X Defending Champs (AKA N Connection). Like their namesake, NC is looking for their 3rd straight title. Lucky for us, lightning doesnt strike 3 times in the same place. Howard was the worst of all the first round picks (we'll get to the Baron Davis pick. I dont even consider it a pick therefore the qualification here). D-Howard is an extremely overrated fantasy player. He doesn't get a ton of points, so his FG %, while being excellent isnt as effective as one might think. He does dominate the boards and gets nice blocks, but for my money i take Amare over him easily. You cant take Yao in round 2. Yes, when he plays he's very good, but you already locked up a big man, you cant take a health risk in round 2 when you already have that position secure. You have to love Butler in round 3. Many expert drafts had him early round 2. Redd went in round 4, another overrated 2 category player. Tony Parker in 5 could pay huge dividends. Someone has to pick up Manu's slack and Mr. Eva can and will do just that. I still would rather have Mike Bibby who went 16 picks later, but thats nitpicking. I like Oden in round 6. I dont see how he doesnt average 12pts 10boards and 2.5 blocks a game. He has monster potential, although you have to question a 3rd center when the team donly has one real G or SF (depending on where you play Redd). I dont understand Arenas at 7 at all. he's out 3 months with knee surgery for a guy who makes a living using his knees. Plus, its his second one in 3 years. Doesn't a healthy Mike Miller make so much more sense? Not sure what the fascination with Udrih is. I dont like him at all. He showed me nothing as a starter last year, dont know what changed. Murphy was a solid pick at 9. Another good one at 10 with Prince. About time NC showed up to the draft. Took Bayless at 11. No value there. Same with Pietrus at 12. I like Q at 13 and took the wrong Lopez at 14. Hibbert could be one of the drafts major sleepers and a great keeper at 15. Overall Score: 3. That's giving a "curved score" for the Champs track record.

DOLPH SCHAYES- Named after the first great Jewish NBA player, DS gets extra credit for creativity. For background, Dolph was mired in the basement most of the season. He decided to puropsely tank the remainer of the games leading to the All Star Game in order to win Most Improved (an award given to the team with the most points improved over the 2nd half of the season). While technically within the rules a move that came under incredible criticism and in The People's opinion, rightfully so.
I know D-Wade plays the game looking to get hurt and I know Amare is the better and safer pick, but I think D-Wade is on a mission to remind people who he is. It says here he competes with Lebron for MVP consideration and posts monster numbers. Kevin Martin is a fine player but how he goes in round 2 is beyond anyone's explanation. I love Durant but still think Round 3 is a bit early for him. Brand was their keeper at 4, a steal considering where he would have been drafted (end of round 1). Lots of points and good FG for his first 4 picks. Richard Jefferson is ok at 5 but shouldn't you pick someone who can get an assist at this point? Not sure why you go for a risky O'Neal here with Beasley, Bibby and Lee still around. I like Rondo at 7 but this might be a case of too little too late. Kirilenko still gives you value and even more so in round 8. Nice pick. Thaddeus went 3 rounds too early. Still only one PG on this squad. Bargnani was a nice pick at 10 considering he's also O'Neals handcuff. I love Green at 11. Dont understand ANOTHER big man at 12 with Sean Williams. West, Anthony Carter and some upside in Farmar round out the draft. Overall Score: 3. Would have been a 2 but got Brand as a 4th rounder as a keeper. Some good talent but no plan. All big men or shooters and the big men are all question marks. Very little game plan if any.

BONEZ N NUTZ- The Don Morocco to TPC's Jimmy Snuka. The Mortgage Backed Security to TPC's Banking industry. The Obama to TPC's McCain and most fittingly, the Barzini to TPC's Don Michael Corleone. Going into last seasons trading deadline, TPC was negotiating 2 different deals. One with Bonez and one with his brother YB. TPC was at the time in 4th place and needed to make a chance. In a very controversial move, TPC dealt the #1 overall player at the time, Chris Paul to YB for Manu Ginobelli (the #11 rated player) and Jermaine O'Neal. There were reports that O'Neal would have been back for the remaining 6 weeks of the season (he actually played a very ineffective 3-4 weeks). Manu filled needs Paul didnt for TPC and the upside of O'Neal would have helped TPC finish in the money. What in fact happened is the opposite. Manu played okay but O'Neal was largely ineffective. The Wild Samoans ended up in 6th (where they were prior to the deal) and YB was helped by paul to a second place finish. Bonez' CEO, Barzini, was in an uproar. In TPC's opinion not so much because of the deal TPC did make, but rather the deal that TPC didn't make with Barzini. Either way, The Wild Samoans and Barzini have put that behind them (or at least they will after Barzini takes a little car ride..). Barzini, I knew it was him all along.
Barzini picking 6th was given the gift of Amare (the #2 player in TPC's preseason rankings) because of the above errors. He then took Duncan in round 2 in typical Barzini fashion (he loves Duncan. However he doesn't know this isn't 2003). Duncan is no longer the force he once was and is only getting older. Richardson, the 2007 steal of the draft for The Wild Samoans, went 3rd, a very solid choice. Here was possibly the most curious pick of the draft, Jamal Crawford, who at best is an 8th rounder, going before a ton of talent. Odom went 5th, normally a good spot for him, but the news he will be coming off the bench this season makes this a risky play. Josh Howard was a steal in round 6. I love Foye, just not sure if round 7 was the place for him. Interestingly, Bonez took Manu (a very injured Manu) in round 8. Alston solid enough in round 9. Raja at 10, Eric Gordon 11 (a nice sleeper), Ben Wallace at 12, Hawes another nice sleeper at 13. Varajeo at 14 and Gerald Green at 15. Overall Grade: 3. He started things great with Amare and made a great pick with Howard, but nothing else the rest of the draft.

CELCIUS (FKA TEAM TABC)- Team TABC has been a middle of the road squad since The Wild Samoans have entered the league, finishing 8th, 8th and 5th. Celcius grabbed Dirk #7 and being this isn't a playoff league, a very solid choice. Carmelo fell to them in the second round, a pick I really like this year. Camby could be a steal in the 3rd round if he plays as much as last year, but he is already showing signs of injury and Kaman will eat away at his rebound totals. Gay was a keeper in round 4, a TPC favorite this season. The highly underrated Devin Harris went in round 5 a great choice considering he went after Andre Miller and Tony Parker and is probably the better player with the most upside. Biedrins may have went a bit early at 6, but with all the points locked up in Mello, Dirk and Gay, the cats Biedrins brings was a smart choice for this squad. I love Ray Allen at 7. He might not 2004 Allen, but he's still better than a 7th round pick. He finished as the 42nd overall player last year. Good for a mid 3rd rounder. Felton went in round 8, a player I think who will lose time as the season goes on to DJ. Marc Gasol went 9th, a curious pick at best considering Al Harrington was picked two slots later. I dont know if he'll even contribute that much this season. Marcus Williams went 10, another non factor. Blatche was a keeper at 11, would probably have been a 13-14th rounder. Earl Watson could be a steal at 12 if he continues to start and since rookie PG's generally have trouble, it looks like that's how it's going to play out. I love Chandler at 13. While C-D Roberts might not bring much this season, he will be a great keeper going for next season. And to complete the rookie roundup, Brandon Rush went 15th. Overall Grade: 6. A lot of very good choices with no major blunders.

SMOKING ANTELOPES- With the 8th pick of the draft, The SA's made a huge blunder taking Baron Davis. Remember TPC's rule- you dont win a league in rounds 1 and 2 you only lose them- well, SA just did by taking a player who last year played more than 67 games for the first time since 2001, oh and by the way-shocker of shocker- it was in the last year of his contract. Big mistake. If you want a PG yopu take Nash there. Or even AI. Not Davis. Chris Bosh, another frail player (a stud when he does play for 65 games or so) went in round 2. Not a good start. I like Jamison a lot. To drink and also as a 3rd round pick. Stephen Jackson- if he stays out of trouble- is a nice choice at 4. Mo Williams, another injury prone player- albeit a fine player, went 5. Are we following this pattern folks? I love Tyson Chandler in round 6. Same with Mike Miller in 7. Zach Randolph at 8 fills some needs and so far has looked good in D'Antoni's system. There are rumors he will be dealt so stay tuned there. Either way, a solid choice. I dont like the Nelson pick at 9. Not when Derrick Rose and Gordon are still on the board. Collison, a perennial disappointment at 10. Brewer, the keeper at 11- some say he is the sleeper of the year. I'm not sure about that but he's definitely worth a keeper at 11. Monta Ellis at 12 could be a great bargaining chip late in the season- except TABC is going to be needing to trade for keepers, not the other way around. I like the potential of Louis Williams at 13 and Diaw at 14. Two nice late value picks. Not exactly sure what Maxiel is doing on a roster right now at 15.
Overall Grade: 4. Some nice picks late made up for some horrible draft strategy. You dont fill a roster with injury prone players hoping everything works out "this year".

The Ducks- Yes, the same nagging and annoying Ducks from The People's League. For those who need a history lesson, The Ducks were once a fantasy force and despite a recent revival (getting nicked on the last day by Forties and Dimes for the TPL Baseball title) The Ducks have not been the same since their early TPL dominance, especially in hoops, which included a 3 peat early in the century. The Ducks also win the Award for this years most annoying drafter constantly picking players already taken, including trying to draft Baron Davis in round 6 and Kevin Love 2 picks after he was drafted. With that being said, The Ducks actual picks started with KG at #9 a great pick in 2005, not so great in 2008-9. KG has moved nicely into his role as complimentary player on the Champion Celtics and will continue in that role even more so since Pierce's ascendancy to the games elite. The Ducks went with the chalk with Granger at 2 a pick every major prognosticator likes, except TPC. I just dont see Granger as a top 20 pick at this point. I like Gasol at 3, a player who someone got lost in the Laker shuffle, but who will make Duck fans very happy. I think Calderon is overrated. he doesn't score much and doesn't get enough steals to be an elite Fantasy PG and with good talent still available, I dont see him going 4th. Bynum was a steal at 4. He will 18 ppg 11 reb and 2.5 blocks easily this season as he develops into the leading big man in the west. Okur was good value at 6 and is poised for a big season. Biggest problem I see at this point is not nearly enough scoring an assists. Barbosa will address some of that in round 7, although this is no longer the run and gun D'Antoni Suns, so we might see a drop off in production here. Love Rip at 8. While Rip's scoring totals have gone done his shooting percentage, steals and assists are rising. Points proving what a great all around and smart player Hamilton is. Harrington was another great choice at 9. Battier healthy is a reach at 10 and out at least a month increases that error. Obviously, the Ducks last two picks and this one (Grant Hill at 11) have shown why the Ducks were good in fantasy NBA 5 years, but have no clue. This is the point of the draft where The Ducks only know a few players. Interestingly though the Ducks make a good choice with Mike Conley at 12- a very solid keeper to add. I guess he remembered the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Round 13 got the Ducks back to form with JR Smith and Wally at 14. Chris Wilcox ended things for the Ducks at 15. Overall Grade: 5.5. A really good job for 9 rounds and his non NBA knowledge came through after that. Either way, a very decent draft for The Ducks.

The Mighty Moose- The league representative for the soon to be World Champion Phillies, MM was gifted Josh Smith at #10. There isn't anything Smith doesn't excel at. He can score. Rebound. Block shots and get steals, all the while playing any of the F positions. He is like the 2005 version of KG. Deron Williams, injured at draft time, ends up being a great choice as the early reports of him missing a month were exaggerated and the Utah Stud will probably only miss 2 games-4 games. Pierce went 3. A very solid choice for the 2008 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES MVP. I love Roy at 4- he is primed for his breakout season along with Oden and Aldridge- the 5th round pick of MM- in Portland. While T-Mac might be a shadow of his former self, he is still a solid value at 6 especially considering the 5 players already on the MM's. MM's addressed one of their issues by taking the Big Z at 7 a player who always goes later than he should. Hinrich was a decent choice at 8 but Moose already had enough PG types. Villenueva at 9 could be a huge sleeper. A lot of upside on that pick. Not sure what Davis's role will be in LA, and he wont put up the numbers he did in recent years but then he would have been a 6th rounder not a 10th where he was grabbed. Scola is a steal at 11- a player The Samoans wanted at that slot. Klieza is a great upside choice in round 12. I dont see Niocioni being a factor anymore in Chicago (13). Marbury was a throw away pick at 14 and the Moose forfeited their 15th. Overall Grade: 6.5 . Yes, the picked great players and almost always the best player on the board, but sometimes you need to address your needs and the lack of big men on this squad is very apparent.

THE U- The hist of the draft and BBQ and probably reason #1 for the above ridiculous format (not his fault but the Commish's obvious need for grilled meat at a drafts fault) The U took AI with the 1th pick of the draft. AI is especially studly in this league as TO's do not count and he has shot a respectable 45% from the field the last two years. Marion went to them in round 2, I believe will be a major bust in his second year in Miami. Marion formerly the #1 roto player while in the Suns system decided he would rather play in Miami then contend for NBA titles. Well, he shot 46% to the field instead of the 52+ he was used to getting fed by Nash. I think his numbers will continue the downtrend as now Wade is healthy and Beasley is the #2 offensive option. As good as Artest is I like to stay away from those kind of players- too much risk this early in a draft. I love Rashard Lewis at 4. I dont see Rasheed as a viable 5th rounder anymore. His minutes and effectiveness are only decreasing. Horford is a nice breakout player in round 6 but you dont take him before Beasley, Chandler or Oden. More risk then the guys I mentioned without nearly the upside. I love Peja at 7. Great value at that spot. Miller, overrated in recent years, is now underrated and The U took advantage in Round 8. Kevin Love was a big reach at 9. He had enough big men at this spot and instead of going with Gordon or Rose, he was left with Fischer at 10. Big mistake there. Not sure what Garcia brings to the table at 11. McCants at 12 could prove to be very nice as he has looked great in the preseason. Haslem a very solid choice at 13 (sometimes it pays to pick local) The Chairman is a nice sleeper at 14, and the Darko pick at 15 has some upside but not much. Overall Grade: 4. Front court is very weak and made to many early errors.

THE WILD SAMOANS- The TPC- DTA team was named after their favorite wrestling tag team of the 80's- from the Isle of Samoa, led in by their Manager, Lou Albano, weighing in at a combined weight of 649 pounds, Affa and Seka, THE WILD SAMOOOOOOOOOOOOOANS.
The Wild Samoans started off the draft picking the Great White Hope- Steve Nash. In an election year where The White Man is doomed, TWS are trying to do their part by represent. That and the fact that Deron Williams was expected out for a month brought a great increase in value to Mr. Nash. On the back to back, TWS secured their #1 Center with emerging star, Al Jefferson. Round 3 ended with Billups falling to TWS- Billups still finished the 2008 season as the #10 overall player in The Shark Tank. After a large debate , the next pick was Gerald Wallace (over Rashard Lewis) a serious stud if he can stay healthy and early indications are he is being taught to play hard and RIGHT under Coach Larry Brown. Marvin Williams was a questionable keeper at 5. If we had to do it again, he would not have been kept. Although TWS do have high hopes for Marvelous Marv, we would rather have had other players at that spot. Kaman was a steal at 6. Same thing with Deng at 7. Deng should be a 4th rounder next year. TWS took a shot with sleeper John Salmons at 8, someone TWS thinks will have a breakout year. The next two picks were probably the best 9-10th rounders in draft history. Ben Gordon, a stud in his contact year should have gone no less than round 6. Derrick Rose, also an incredible keeper in round 10 went 3 rounds after TJ Ford, Rondo, etc. a joke. D-Rose will be a force for TWS for the next two seasons. It says here, he has a similar rookie campaign to CP's two years back. Round 11 brought TWS another major sleeper and potential stud in Matt Barnes. Rudy Fernandez, the Spanish sensation was nabbed at 12. Kendrick Perkins, a legitimate Center was taken at the end of round 13 and another incredible value- PG Chris Duhon of the Mike D'Antoni New York Knickerbockers was TWS 14th rounder. TWS mailed in Sean May with the 15th pick.
Overall Grade: 10- I spent two days on this damn write up, I get a 10. That's the rule. As for teh squad, incredible balance and players at every position. No real weaknesses and some major upside. Plus, D-Rose as TWS 2009 5th round pick.

To access the league and draft results click here

The Five Towns Vaad, Bagel Boss and messing with the fressin'

This weekend reinvigorated a major debate/fight that took place in the Five Towns over the last few years (which included the now SuperStore Gourmet Glatt). To quickly review, Bagel Boss Cafe in Hewlett is currently not under the supervision of the Five Towns Vaad. Almost unanimously, all Orthodox Synagogues in the area have advised their congregants to not RELY on any Hashgachah for anyone outside the Vaad. Very simply, if you want to come into the area as a food establishment and you want the endorsement of the local Orthodox Rabbi's, use the Vaad. In other world, don't go to Bagle Boss.
In a perfect world (or even the imperfect world we live in) this means, no matter how Chassidish, Mizrachi, Modern Orthodox, Yeshivish, etc you are (or pretend to be), you can trust the food anywhere. For anyone who lives in areas where this isn't the case, knows this is an incredible Chiddush. People who live in per say Brooklyn need a GPS to navigate through which of the butchers, restaurants, food stores, etc where they can shop.
Now, recently Rabbi Billet, Head Rabbi of the Young Israel of Woodmere, the largest YI in the world sent out the following email:
Dear Members

There are several stores (Bagel Boss and Dunkin Donuts near the Hewlett Station) that display Kashrut certificates from a Rabbi Asher Schechter. The only stores in our neighborhood that serve baked or cooked items made in house or by a company like Dunkin Donuts (which is a mostly non kosher chain) whose Kashrut standards are recommended are stores under the Vaad HaKashrut of the Five Towns.
Local non Vaad supermarkets who bake in house (like Costco) can be relied upon if their products carry a recognized national hechsher like the OU, KOF K, OK, STAR K etc.
This created an uproar amongst the various factions (those pro the Vaad and those anti). Those pro use the solid arguments of not going against the klal and listening to you're Rav as their basis. Plus, the Vaad is a respected organization and respected by ALL sides of the Orthodox spectrum. The sides against use the basic argument of free enterprise and competition and keeping checks and balances in the system. They also use the argument of cost and how small establishments should be able to use other reliable and cheaper option. In the case of Bagel Boss, since they have many stores and they use the same certification on all (which from all I've heard is extremely reliable) why pay a double tax.
Either way, I have heard extremely valid arguments on both sides of the fence. I am not here to argue either side. I'm just a simple yid who doesn't qualify to argue on extremely sensitive and important halachac issues. I trust my Rav enough to do this for me and make these judgments. If i didn't, I would go someplace where I could.
What I'm here to do is expose the underlying issue here:. It's what people are failing to notice; it is also at the core of the major problem in Orthodox Jewry today. The problem isnt whether or not people care about some poor guy who cant afford a Hashgachah (although there are some altruistic people that do, in general most couldn't care less). It's not about whether or not they really could give a rats toochas if the Vaad had a check and balance. Believe me, if Bagle Boss weren't that good we wouldn't have heard a peep (for the record I have eaten at many Bagel Boss's but never at the one in Hewlett and wont until it is approved by my Rav). It's simply about someone telling someone else, what he can and can not do when it comes to his Taaivadick (new word perhaps), narcissistic, gluttonous lifestyle. For G-d's sake, no one is going to tell Mr. Schwartz where he can or cant eat a bagel. No sir. When these guys are discussing the Vaad and the controls of their local Orthodox Rabbi's at some fancy (treif) sushi bar in the city or some local Italian Restaurant treif- but they only eat the pasta, or even the local diner over eggs and coffee, it has nothing to do with the poor guys ability to pay the Vaad. It's about his narcissistic urges being fulfilled. You see that is what this is about and that is the root of many if not all our problems.
Sure, it's great to have a friendly Rabbi who will say a nice speech at little Tyler's Bar Mitzvah or Kimberly's Shalom Bat, or even give you a Gut Shabbos (or Shabbat Shalom) after you strolled in during Mussaf, but heaven forbid he should give you religious advise or direction (unless of course it's to help poor Tyler with his drug problem in 10th grade and trying to figure out which Yeshiva will still take the poor soul).
The problem is we live in a "me first" society and that includes G-d. Sure, I'll pray to G-d during the times that I choose to and when I need him (you know, like so I can have more money to fill my selfish life). That means, Shacharis starts when I show up. It means davening 3 times a day is optional and only if doesn't interfere with real things-like work or kiddush club. It means, if I want to talk in shul, the nagging Gabbai/ Shammash- who is trying so hard to keep the Bais Medrash a Makom Kedushah- should mind his own business. It means if the restaurant I want to go is the "in place", I'll go and eat (only of course if it's Sushi or Dairy, I would never eat meat out, heaven forbid).
It also means why we have so many kids these days who are apathetic to Yiddishkeit. In my day, the kids that were apathetic were the kids smoking weed, drinking and engaging in other various forms of questionable halachic activities. The "good" kids were frum. Today, not so. Why? Very simply, when you get picked up for Yeshiva at 7:30 AM and don't come home until two-three hours after your the kid next door who goes to the local #6 school, and all you learn about is how important learning, davening, middos (or Midot) and Avodos Hashem is, and then as soon as you go home and ask your dad why he only wears a kippah while eating and going to shul (if that much) and why it takes him 6 minutes to daven in the morning (it at all) and that includes putting on and off his tallis and tefilin, and why when he went to Moishe's house he found out that there actually is Shacharis on Shabbos and not just Mussaf, etc. etc.
Kids are extremely smart and perceptive. If they see the whole thing as some hypocritical game, they treat it as such. They understand their parents pray to G-d when they need things, like a new Lexus or an additional floor to our house. But they don't really need to serve G-d. That's old fashioned.

The bottom line is when we argue to eat in these places and argue against our Rabbincal leaders (by the way, I believe 100% that if you do have an issue with a ruling or Psak you should talk to your Rav. But do it in a nice, discreet, private fashion that allows for the kavod of the situation and the Rav. Don't just blab it to your friends while during mussaf) are we doing eat because we just want to fill our own gluttonous needs or not?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick Hits- NFL, Game 7 and Random TPC Rants

An amazing Game 7 last nioght concluded in one of the most surprising ways I have ever seen a big game end. A relative newcomer, rookie David Price striking out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded in the 8th and then retiring 3 out of 4 in the 9th for the save and the chance for the Rays to go to the World series. People outside baseball's inner circles may not know that Price was the 2007 #1 overall pick and he showed it wit nasty stuff that already earned him his big signing bonus.
Amazingly Price started the year in Class A and didnt move up to the majors until his late Septmeber call up and here he was in Game 7 of the ALCS doing the left handed version of Mariano Rivera.
Matt Garza, ALCS MVP, was nearly unhittable all night and bested an also game Jon Lester. Just a great game, a great series, and a great Boston loss.

I remember when Big Papi and Jason Varitek used to scare me in big spots. I was actually happy to see them up in the 8th and 9th yesterday.

I'm going to have to pick the Rays in 6 against Philly. They have too much going for them and I still don't trust Lidge in a big spot.
What a future for the Rays- Upton, Longoria, Pena, Navarro, Garza, Kasmir, Shields and Price.

Switching to the NFL, it's about time the Brady Quinn era started in Cleveland. Anderson seems about cooked.
Amazing what a coaching change can do. The Rams all of a sudden look like world beaters with the change from Linehan to Haslett.

The Cowboys could use a similar change. Wade Phillips is done. He's just an awful coach. So much talent, such a waste.

Chris Johnson is a stud. He is the second most exciting back behind AP and proves it week in and week out.

Kyle Orton is showing he is a solid NFL QB and gives the Bears a dimension they haven't had in years.
Same with Edwards in Buffalo. he's bordering on being in the upper echelon of NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE QB's.

I warned you about Carson Palmer. Don't say I didn't.

The more I watch Big Ben play the more I like him.

And yes, I still like Eli a lot and he is still a Top 8 NFL QB right now.

Looks like TPC was right about Mr. Bill not being such a great mastermind after all, sans The GOAT- Tom Brady.

Tennesse will be a force all year. Only teams that can beat them in the AFC are Pitt, SD and the Jets. yes, crazy as it sounds the Jets will be a better team as the season goes on and will have games where they look awesome. They have no glaring weaknesses, as all teh other AFC squads do and their offense can be lethal. They will also have Favre winning or losing games for them in big spots. He's the x-factor. Problem is Mangini is not a good NFL coach.

Colts can't win. Neother can Denver. They both can't stop the run.

More to come after the holidays. A Gut Kvitel to all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Baseball TV Rant- Why TBS??????????

What the hell is the ALCS doing on some third rate cable station (WTBS?)??????????????????

WHAT THE F IS UP WITH THAT??????????????????????????????????

Again, this shows you exactly why Baseball has taken a major back seat to Football in this country and it's no wonder that my six year old son barely knows any players outside the Yankees and that crap squad from Flushing. Seriously, the kid knows NBA players and NFL players because he gets to see them on TV. He never gets to see out of town baseball games because it's always on too late and/or it takes his Dad forever to find where the hell the freaking AL and NL Champioship Series games are being played. What an awful decision by MLB.

Quick Game 7 thoughts ALCS- Tampa Bay vs. Boston- The Fight to the Finish

First, TPC would like to apologize for having all the Jewish holidays scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday's. It really has thrown a wrench into the TPC Blog publication. It wont happen agian next year.

Some ALCS thoughts.

When Big Poppy hit that HR a few days ago to get the score to 7-4, I had flashbacks of 2004 and Dave Roberts steal of 2B.

As much as I hate the Sox, you have to admire their guts, their testicular fortitude and championship like aura. Reminds me of the late 90's Yankees when you could never count them out.

Beckett was as big game as ever yesterday pitching with that strained oblique. Most people cant even shower with a strained oblique and this guy just pitched them into Game 7.

Pappelbon might not be Mo, but he's pretty close. In 16 games he has an ERA of o.oo. WOW.

No matter how it ends for Tampa (and it says here it won't end pretty) you have to like the future of a squad that features the next two great AL players in Upton and Longoria.

You also have to like a staff with Shields, Kasmir and Garza going forward.

And you also need to realize that teams with Great Closers have a huge advantage over teams with good-average closers. Except the Yankees in recent years (and thats because they couldnt get to Mo) almost every team that had the better closer usually won. In the postseason, you need starting pitching that can get you deep into the game, a good bullpen and the GUY when your team needs the big outs (like Paps did the last two games for Boston and Wheeler, who failed in Game 5 for TB when the wheels were falling off). Hitting in the postseason is overrated. Timely hitting is what's needed. Look at Drew and Ortiz. They've done nothing except for each of their two biggest spots, when they both came through. Otherwise they have been awful. Arod needs to take lessons there.

If the rumors are true and Peavy goes to Boston in the offseason, I'm going to be very cranky.

Terry Francona needs to be mentioned in the conversation the great Sports Coaches of the last 20 years at this point. His first WS came at the expense of the mighty Yankees and their 3-0 lead (not to mention al that 1918 stuff). This year, no matter what happnes, he got them to a Game 7 of the ALCS with the Manny stuff, Ortiz being a major shell of his former self, a hurt Beckett, an ineffective Wakefield and a guy named Masterson who is his bridge to Pappelbon. A great, great job.

With all that said, LETS GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Week 5 Thoughts- First Quarter Report

Now that all NFL teams have played 4 games, and because this market crash started when Enron and the accounting firms forced the Feds to institute Sarbanes Oxley which allowed for banks to mark to market securities at phantom prices, yada yada, TPC will give his REAL 1st Quarter report without all the BS (and hopefully won't crash any markets along the way).


Life the rest of the NFL this division has taken some wacky turns, none more so than a left for the dead Miami Dolphin team two weeks ago, that all of a sudden has victories over last years AFC Championship Game participants (SD and NE). Miami has been helped by a good D, good QB play (and mistake free I might add) by Chad "I will always love you" Pennington, good RB play by Ricky "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" Williams and Ronnie Brown. Parcells has brought a level of professionalism back to Miami. However, all that being said, they will not continue their winning ways because teams will start to figure out how to stop their single wing offense (or whatever the heck they call that bogus Wishbone) and Pennington still cant get the ball downfield.
The Pats are doing what TPC said they would do without Brady. Cassel has struggles, their running game is suspect at best and their D is no longer amongst the elite. They lost to the freakin Dolphins last week and should have lost to the J-E-T-S prior to that. They will continue to struggle, but still eke out wins. One bright spot was finally getting Moss into the offense this week.
The J-E-T-S coming off a huge win vs. Arizona are showing signs of life. They have a decent enough D, and now that Favre is getting more comfortable in the offense, they are looking quite formidable. I wouldnt be surprised one bit if the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS win the division.
The Bills are riding a 4-1 record into week 6, but TPC says dont believe the hype. They were exposed mightily by the Cards last week and they showed just how important Trent Edwards is to that offense.


Pittsburgh leads the way here at 4-1. To me, it's an unimpressive 4-1. Their offensive line is in shambles. Parker has already missed time and I wouldnt be surprised one bit WHEN Ben goes down. That's right folks, not if, WHEN. He has been hit and pummeled more thany any QB this season and no one, not even someone as tough as Ben, can take that over a 16 game season. The Pitt D lohas shown signs, but to me they haven't been much better than average. Like I said Pre Season, they will win this crappy division, but not because they are that good.
Cleveland is really making TPC's pre season prediction come true, as Derek Anderson and his NFL worst 49.9 passing rating is about to lose his job. Jamal Lewis has been unable to get on track. Things aren't going to get an easier for the 1-3 Browns as they face off against the Giants and Skins the next two weeks. Yes, Brady Quinn will soon be starting for the Browns.
The Bengals, despite an 0-5 record have actually played pretty hard. They had the Giants and Cowboys on the ropes but couldn't finish up. The main problem has been Chris Perry's fumbling problems, Chad Oco Cinco's non existence and an amazing regression on the part of once Up And Coming Superstar Chad Palmer. The offense, once comparable to the Colts is now a shell of its former self. The good news is they have shown some signs of life and their defense has played hard the last few weeks. Unfortunatley for them 0-5 is to tough a hole to dig out of.


The best division in the AFC, which tells you something about how bad the AFC has been this season.
The Titans lead the way here and are in my opinion the best Defense in the AFC-by a huge margin. Albert Haynesworth might be the best defensive player in the NFL right now. Their secondary is playing great and their schedule is still relatively easy the next few games (KC, Indy and GB). They have the most exciting young player in the AFC in Chris Johnson (the AFC's version of AP). They also have Kerry Collins as their QB and while that might be good enough for their division, and possible for the conference, he wont be winning any Lombardi Trophies against Eli or Romo. I hate to say it but if they want to win a title in Tenn., Young needs to be the QB.
The Colts, a shell of their SB winning team just a few years back, were two plays away from being 0-4 and are thanking their lucky stars they are 2-2. They got blown away by Chicago and lost a heartbreaker to the Jags, but got a gift last week against Houston and were almost beaten by the Tavaris Jackson led Vikings. Manning has looked horrible except for some 4th Quarter magic. Through 4 games he has a 79.2 QB rating (career low by far) and only 5 TD's. Addai has suffered because of their offensive line problems, Harrison is all but done. The lone offensive bright spot has been the continued development of Anthony Gonzalez. They haven't been able to stop the run at all (worst in the NFL at 188.5 yards per game), however, you can't write them off until we see what impact Sanders has when he returns.
The Jags might be the most disappointing teams in the AFC this season. They have been unable to run their two horses effectively (Taylor and Jones-Drew) because their offensive line has been decimated. Much like Indy, Jax is fortunate to be 2-3 as they easily could have been 0-5. They have not been able to run at all, Garrard while showing some signs lately, is not the QB he was last year (he's already thrown more INT's through 5 games than he did all season last year). The once proud defensive minded franchise has been putird, especially their pass D (#26 overall). I think Del Rio is a good enough coach to fix some things, but their secondary and offensive line might be to much to fix. Doesnt look as if they will make the playoffs in a year many picked them to represent the AFC in the SB.
Houston made nice strides last year, developed a decent defense an up and coming QB in Schaub and drafted a young stud in Slaton. They lost two heartbreakers the last two weeks vs. Jax and Indy. At 0-4 they are at a big crossraods but the schedule does ease up the next few weeks for them to right the ship (home vs. Mia, Det and Cincy). Like the Bengals, they aren't nearly as bad as their record states and things will get easier.


Once the best division in Football (okay maybe it was a long time ago, but still), the AFC West has slipped mightily.
The AFC's worst team resides in the West, the KC Chiefs. Herman "LETS BULID ON THAT" Edwards had taken a franchise that developed Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson and Trent Green into fantasy monsters, and turned them into these stats from last week. LJ, 7 carries for 2 yards. Their two QB's went a combined 15-31 for 123 yards and 2 INT's. Yes, Carolina is good, but not that good. They have the 29th ranked offense and 30th ranked D. I dont see things getting that much better in KC. They have an awful coaching staff, who should be gone after this season.
The Broncos lead the division at 4-1. They are not as good as their record. Defensively, they can't stop the run. On offense, as impressive as their passing game has been, Shanahans stubborn refusal to commit to one back has hurt their running game (unlike the Giants 3 headed monster which feeds Jacobs most of the time and then brings in Ward and Bradshaw- Shanahan is rotating 3 backs). If you dont run the ball consistently, you dont win in the NFL. Ask the Pats and their Greatest Passing Attack Ever last year what it got them. Cutler has been extremely impressive as has been Marshall. They will continue to put up points, but are very suceptible to a power running game. Until they commit to both stopping and utilizing the run, they are prone to being upset (like the Chiefs did two weeks ago) any week.
You gotta feel for the Chargers. They were two plays away from being 4-0 with a game vs. Miami. So what happened? They were 2-2 and showed no respect for Miami, came out flat, and got manhandled on both sides of the ball 17-10. In the National Football League you need to do more than just show up. The Chargers didnt last week. When they play desperate, they are very good. Maybe still the best team in the league as evidenced by their win vs. the Jets. The problem is they just dont show up every week and when the do, it's for only a half (against Oakland). They started similarly last year and righted the ship, the problem this year is their defense is suspect without Merriman and the loss of Turner is being felt now that LT hasn't been 100% through the early going. While Rivers has shown flshes of brilliance, unless LT gets healthy quick and Turner makes some adjustments on D, this team is heading nowhere come postseason time.
My beloved Raiders have turned into the laughinstock of all Professional Sports Franchises. There was a time not long ago when everyone wanted an owner like Al Davis, someone with a Commitment to Excellence who would do whatever it took to win. Unfortunately, Davis has really lost it. It's like he became the 3rd Maloof brother or something. They do have talent on the field and Russel has shown some signs of being a big time NFL QB, there is just so much turmoil in Raiderville these days that I dont see this mess being fixed anytime soon.


Simply, the best division in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE this season and it ain't even close.
The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Football Giants have actually gotten better this season, despite Strahan's retirement and Uminyura's season ending injury. Justin Tuck is showing how great a player he is. Robbins and Pierce have been solid and their secondary looks strong. They have only given up 49 points through 4 games. With that being said, the Giant offense, currently #1 overall, has shown juggernaut like abilities. Their RB 3 headed monster has been unstoppable (Jacobs being the worst of the 3 at a ridiculous 5.8 YPC). Eli has built off that Super Bowl MVP performance and is now amongst the elite in the game. Their offensive line has dominated. They have tremendous depth at WR. There are no weaknesses. Right now, they are by far the best team in football.
Not far behind, the Cowboys boast the NFL's third best offense, once again led by Romo, Owens, Witten and Barber. Felix Jones has shown tremendous explosiveness as the relief man for Barber, averaging 9 yards per carry. Yes, NINE. Not a misprint. He will get involved in the offense more as the season goes on and will the Cowboys that much tougher to stop. With all that, i still don't trust Romo in the big spot. While the defensive line has shown fomidability (led by Damarcus "The Beast" Ware) the secondary has been shoddy. I think their offense is that good that only the Giants will be able to handle them on both sides of the ball.
The Skins started the season by being manhandled by the Giants and people already screaming for Zorn and Campbell's heads. Since then, they have gone 4-0 against a very tough schedule (NO, Philly, Arizona and Dallas). Campbell hasn't thrown an INT all year and Portis has had a huge start (514 yards-2nd in the league and 4 TD's). Their defense has been good and physical. The only knock is opponents have had some success throwing the ball against them. Either way, at 4-1 they are at worst, the 3rd best team in the divsion and the National Football League.
The Eagles are as good as Michael Westbrook is healthy. He is one of the 3-4 most indisposable offensive players right now, and the most valuable RB. When he plays the Eagles win. When he doesn't they lose. The problem is he is showing signs of breaking down and in the NFC East, there is no margin for error. They are 2-3. They would be at worst 3-2 if Westbrook hadn't been hurt (Chicago wont make that stand with Westbrook). With that being said, McNabb still looks shaky when games get tight and despite the huge pass rush of the Eagles, if you can handle it, you can pick apart their secondary. I like their team- just wrong division.


Also, known as the NFC's Norris Divison, or back in the pre Berman days the NFC's Black and Blue Division. The Chicago Bears-Da Bears- lead the division at 3-2 with a suddenly alive offense to go with their always physical and effective defense. The Bears are led by 26 year old Kyle Orten who has slowly developed into an extremely legitimate NFL QB. Brandon Lloyd is finally living up to his potential and Matt Forte is enjoying a real nice rookie season at RB. Defensively, the Bears are as tough as ever, #4 against the rush and #8 overall. They have impressive wins over Philly and Indy so far and even with the tough schedule, they could win the divsion at 9-7. Oh, and TPC's Hester prediction might not be that off after all (8 catches and 2 TD's the last weeks as he rounds into his healthy self).
The Vikings have shown some life now that Brad Childress finally woke up and decided to listen to TPC and get Tavaris Jackson as far away as possible from the football field. Gus Ferrotte has proven to be adequate, especially now that Berrian is living up to his contract, which might be good enough for a team with AP (the most exciting RB in football) and a solid D. Winners of two of their last 3 since the change, the Vikings now must be considered the #1 contender to the Bears for the Norris Crown.
The Packers are not the same as they were last year and it isn't all because of #4. Actually, Rodgers has shown a lot of promise and toughness and he will make Packers fans very happy as the heir apparant. The problem is the running game is weak and their defense has been awful, paricularly against the run. Lambau field is no longer a place other teams fear to walk in. The schedule isn't particularly easy the rest of the way either which makes for an interesting off season for a team one win away from the Super Bowl last year, who might just go 6-10 this year.
Then there are the Lions. The horrid franchise that let Matt Millen keep his job through 7 years of total futility (31-84 and 8-50 on the road). They give up over 30 points a game, they cant get the ball to their best player (Calvin Johnson) and I really cant write anything else except to say at least they aren't the Rams.


The Carolina Panthers are showing people there are juggernauts outside the East. Carolina has dominated their early schedule with a balanced offense led by the Renewed Jake Delhomme (second year back from Tommy John surgery) and the running of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Their defense has been just as much of factor (4th overall), especially their #3 pass defense. They have given up only one passing Td since week 1. They have wins against Chicago, SD and Atlanta. They have held Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner and Larry Johnson in check. They will to continue the same of play in the leagues second best divsion.
The surprise squad in the NFC has to be the Falcons. Granted, 2 of their 3 wins have been against KC and Detroit, but last weeks win vs. GB brought some credibility to Atlanta. Michael Turner has been a pleasent surprise to everyone (but TPC) with his league leading 543 yards rushing and 6 TD.s (and a healthy 5.3 ypc). Matt Ryan has played as well any Rookie starting QB that I can remember. He's living up to his draft spot and more (#3 overall). His given a new face to a franchise that desperately needed one after the Michael Vick fiasco. Their weak spot is their defense as they haven't been able to really stop anyone. They won't contend for a playoff spot but they could eke out 6-8 wins this season and that is a great season when you are starting a rookie QB.
Tampa is playing typical Tampa football. Running the ball well behind Graham and Dunn (this guy seems to stick around and produce forever) the Bucs have the #8 rushing offense in the league. Their QB situation is merky at best with Greise and Garcia playing who isn't hurt this week. Really doesn't matter as they both stink. Antonio Bryant is emerging as a good #2 receiver and the defense is playing adequately. Through a tough early schedule they have a 3-2 record and I wouldnt be surprised to seem them finish anywhere from 6-10 to 10-6. I havent figured them out yet.
The Saints are really the divisions major dissapointment. They have an offense that just wont quit, led by Superstar (thats right folks, that's what he is) Drew Brees and Reggie Bush- the most exciting RB in the league when he isn't actually being utilized as a RB (if that makes any sense). They have suffered injuries to their #1 WR (Colston) and recently acquired TE, Jeremy Shockey, but still produce-4th in total offense, #1 passing offense. The problem is they make mistakes at bad times (like last night) they make questionable coaching decisions (again like last night) and play no defense. With all that, they still could be 5-0 with a few plays played differently. Another squad that could win 6 in a row and I wouldnt be shocked. Very difficult division to figure out.


The Arizona Cards and my man Kurt Warner are tops in the division at 3-2. They have beaten the teams that they expected to and even one not so expected (pummeling of Buffalo this week). Their offense can score with anyone in the league (147 points through 5 games). You can make a very good case for Warner as a legit MVP candidate (10 TD's and a 102.5 QB rating). James has shown a little more life than most thought he had left. Fitzgerald is a stud of mega proportion. Boldin gave us a big scare but he seems to be okay. Biggest question is how good (during their 3 wins) or how bad (like against The J-E-T-S) is their defense? If Warner stays healthy this team goes no worse than 9-7 and wins the division easily. This Sunday at home against Dallas will be very telling. They are 8 and 2 in their last 10 home games and this is a big test to see where they really stand.
The rest of the division is quite awful and I dont even want to write about them. Seriously. The 49ers have shown some signs of improvement with Martz as their offensive co-ordinator. J.T. O'Sullivan has shown some promise as an NFL QB (although not as Martz called him "the best I have ever coached"). Frank Gore is back to his studlike ways and Isaac Bruce ( 14 receptions 275 yards and 4 TD's) has discovered the fountain of youth (or something perfromance enhancing). Still, they are 2-3 with their two wins are against Seattle and Detroit. I dont expect much more than 6 wins for this squad. Which should be good for second place.
What in the name of Starbucks is going on in Seattle? Sure every receiver from Oregon to Washington has gotten hurt and now taking cover. They still have a good QB in Hasselback and the best Left Tackle in the game (Walter Jones). For crying out loud even Julius Jones has shown some life. The problem is they cant stop anyone besides the Rams (the Giants scored 44, Buffalo 34 and SF 33). You dont win in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE giving up 33+ points a game, especially when you have no one to throw it to when you're down that big.
Finally you have the Rams. The good news is the Rams are improving, each of their 4 losses are by a smaller margin than the previous week. The bad news is their last game- their best- they lost 31-14 to the Bills. It doesnt get much better after the bye. At Wash, Dall and at NE. They will be 0-7 before you start needing to wear a jacket. You think they want Mike Martz back?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why men drink and other random Will Ferrell is a genius thoughts.

1. Let's review. 5769 years ago Tuesday the Master of the Universe decided to create the world and bestow his unending Goodness on our lowliness (not to get int semantics but G-d did create the world on a Sunday- coincidence it's also NFL SUNDAY!! TPC thinks not!).

Well, things were looking up for a few days, G-d created light and all was good, the skies and oceans, birds, beasts, yada yada and All was Good. And then G-d created man. Man, we'll call him Adam for the purpose of this story, was chilling around the Garden of Eden, looking at all the wondorous creations and naming all the amazing animals in G-d's Wild Kingdom. So what happened? As always Adam (or man in general) got impetuous and asked G-d to give him a partner like the rest of the animal kingdom. Now, Adam thought he was going to get himself a drinking buddy, someone to play a quick 18 on a nice Friday morning, maybe some one on one hoops, someone for Tuesday Night cards and maybe even someone he can bum a few smokes off when he's running low. So, what does G-d do in his infinite Wisdom and Unending Sense of Humor? He gives him this amazingly beautiful creature that the poor guy is going to piss off the above "buddy" he was hoping just to try and impress this wonderous creture G-d called Woman.
Obviously, Adam is feeling a little frisky and needs to impress this damsel in her near distress. But he has no experience, no MoJo to fall back on and Adam needs to get out of his "shell" and lose some inhibition to win his Woman over. So, he partakes of some of the best Herbs the Garden has to offer and the next thing you know he's seeing a snake flirting with his girl and blaming the damn Serpent for the punishment he's about to receive for eating from the Tree (maybe he had the munchies????). Anyway, he hook sup with her, they finally sober up and realized they were naked! The next thing you know we have to go out and make a living, deal withthese stock market and real estate crashes and our poor brides have to endure the pain of childbirth because we needed a little bit of this and that.
So, we turn on our Holy Lord again until 10 generations later , finally, a savior is in our midst- The Rightious Noah. We have this Flood 40 days and 40 nights of never stopping torrential rain ( making katrina look tame by comparison) and almost a year of the earth boiling in extremely hot water. Now, with all that we forget, Noah was stuck on a ship with no windows (this was no Love Boat my friends) with his sons and daughter in laws, his wife and all those animals to deal with (not including the grandkids)- DONT TRY THIS AT HOME. So, can anyone blame Noah for wanting to just chill out with some good wine, relax, enjoy the Sun and just pass out the second he gets out of that boat? I didn't think so. And that my friends is why men always love to drink. We were fine until the woman and family came around. Then, we needed it. It's biblically in us.

2. Will Ferrell is a genius of magnitude proportion. Who else can play the Cheerleader dude on SNL, the duet on SNL, More cowbell, Ron Burgundy and most recently, Chaz from Wedding Crashers? Who else could pull all that off? You think you have the guts to go from Wedding Crasher to picking up chicks mourning at a funeral? And all that and he can still party at night at the Roxbury.

Politically Correct Stupidity

I hate the term African American. It is an insult to every non African Black American, every White African American (yes, this just in, not every African is black or colored or dark skinned, whatever tickles your fancy), and every White American.
Why? First off, not every Dark Skinned (or black, etc) American person is from African descent (I guess if you go back far enough maybe, but that's just sheer stupidity. Then we're all Middle Eastern Americans and that doesn't work well). Second, as a White or light colored American I am offended every time someone calls me white (or Caucasian- what the F kind of word is that anyway? I'd much rather be called a brotha than a Caucasian). For the record, Wikipedia defines Caucasion as The Caucasian race, sometimes the Caucasoid race, is a term of racial classification, coined around 1800 by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach for the "white" race of mankind, which he derived from the region of the Caucasus. It was thus in use as denoting populations of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Central and South Asia, or more narrowly people of European origin. The concept's existence is based on the now obsolete typological method of racial classification.
In other words, we should call every White guy European American and knowing how much I hate the French (except their Fries and Toast) that is a much worse insult than calling someone Black or Colored.

Personally, if the guy is white, black orange or green and is a US citizen, he's an AMERICAN. Plain and simple. If he's from Africa- he's freakin' African, no matter the skin color. Same as the Caribbean and every other place people come here from.
Just stop the freaking nonesense.