Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Post

It has obviously been a very busy week around here, but I want to make sure I get something on the blog this morning to address three really important things that are on my mind.

First, plenty of talk about the 2 championship games this weekend.

I have not seen an NFL season go this goofy in several years, where everything you know is wrong, and every sound, tried and true piece of logic we have ever launched is rendered meaningless.

Bye Weeks?

Homefield advantage?

QB play?

None of it matters.

Well, since I am certainly not scared to be humiliated again, I thought I better continue my 3-5 playoffs with even more picks of these games. I just want to salvage the post season with really looking at the evidence and trying to predict the future of the most unpredictable playoffs we have ever seen.

If you don’t believe how goofy this post-season has been read this

OK, so knowing how crazy goofy this season has been, let me jinx your team by predicting the final 2:

Philadelphia at Arizona, 2:00

A 4 seed is hosting an NFC playoff game? Are you kidding me? A 9-7 team is hosting it? And, the Eagles, who are only in the playoffs because Tampa Bay cannot beat Oakland at home? How goofy is this?

2 of the best 3 defensive outings of the Arizona Cardinals have happened in the last 2 weeks. They aren’t this good. They have been helped dramatically by the brain-dead plays of the opposing QB’s. They surely cannot expect the turnover safe McNabb to hand them the ball 6 times.

Meanwhile, can’t Jim Johnson’s blitz package rock Kurt Warner into some fumbles and picks? Can’t the Eagles make someone not named Larry Fitzgerald beat them, and not let Fitz run free in holes in the zone like Carolina?

I fear the home-field advantage of that new stadium, as Cardinals fans are actually loud in that new place, but I don’t trust the Cardinals defense. And I don’t trust Kurt Warner. And, I cannot get my arms around the idea of the Cardinals in the
Super Bowl.

So, sorry, Eagles fans, but I am squarely behind the Eagles in this one. I don’t
think they have come out of nowhere. I think they have been a good team all along that was underperforming and now is living up to their talents.

Eagles 27, Cardinals 20

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 5:30

As you know, this one is next to impossible to pick. Both games between the two teams this season have been scary close, and could have swung the other way easily.
The Ravens are the hot team, and look quite a bit like the ’05 Steelers, who are riding a very young QB, a solid rushing attack, and a great defense through road games in the playoffs, and are gaining momentum by the week.

But, they made almost no plays last week in Tennessee, and were benefactors of the Titans giving the game away. A missed FG, turnovers in the red zone, and an injured Chris Johnson put the Ravens here much more than Joe Flacco did.

He is not taking sacks or throwing picks. But he is also not throwing Touchdowns or gaining yards. He is playing very safe.

Meanwhile, Willie Parker looks healthy and fast. The Steelers defense looks to be almost as good as the Ravens. And the home crowd should be amazing.

I don’t have a ton of confidence in this pick, and could surely see a Baltimore-Philadelphia Super Bowl which would give us great Harbaugh story lines as well as the two teams that once fought over getting Terrell Owens from the 49ers.

But, give me the home Steelers to ride a 2 seed into the Super Bowl, and a battle of Pennsylvania, as I have the Steelers 19, Ravens 17.


Meanwhile, Mike
Young has agreed to the move
…so apparently the story is over.
His quotes are not overly convincing, but, the trade talk is dead, I do believe.

The five-time All-Star confirmed Thursday afternoon that he will move from
shortstop, where he earned a Gold Glove last season, to third base so that the Texas Rangers can begin grooming Elvis Andrus for the major leagues.

Only Sunday, Young had said that he wanted to be traded rather than switch positions. But with a slow trade market and the start of spring training only a month away, he decided to move forward.

However, he said he is doing so reluctantly.

"I am moving, but to sit there and say that I’m going to throw a party while I’m doing it is wrong," Young said.

"When I had this conversation with the team a month ago, I didn’t think it was my time then. I don’t think it’s my time now. I’m not going to sit here and change my mind overnight. I feel like I’m playing well at that position. But, having said that, it’s not my call."

Ultimately, Young acted the way the Rangers believed he would by putting the team first. But team president Nolan Ryan helped steer Young toward agreeing to the move.
It had been almost a month since Young had spoken with any Rangers officials. General manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington presented Young with the position swap just before the holidays, and he left angry enough to ask for a trade.
Young, though, said he leaned on multiple conversations with Ryan the past week, as well as those with teammates and agent Dan Lozano. Ryan said he attempted to present the Rangers’ philosophy moving forward while stressing to Young that they wanted him to be a big part of the process.

He has bought in, though not entirely.

"I really believe at the end of the day that the team wasn’t really pursuing a trade," Young said. "They were trying to get me to play third base. So, at that point, I didn’t see much of a point of letting this thing drag on."

Ryan and Washington received calls from Young on Thursday afternoon before he announced his decision.

"I think we have to commend Michael for making this decision because I think he realized there wasn’t going to be a lot accomplished by letting this linger," Ryan said. "I think what it says is he’s definitely a team player. He definitely wants to win."

And finally, but not least… The Stars are coming to the Ticket! …very interested in what this all means….

Dallas Stars games will be carried on radio by the KTCK The Ticket/1310 AM beginning next season in a five-year deal, it was announced this morning on the Dunham and Miller show.

WBAP/820 AM has been the hockey club's radio home for the last 15 years.

Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh will continue as the Stars radio announcers, The
Ticket's Craig Miller said in making the announcement on air.

The Ticket will broadcast all 82 Stars games and playoff games, Miller said.

According to the Stars release on signing the deal, the games will be broadcast on both the station’s primary AM frequency of 1310 and its main FM frequency of 104.1 (as well as 1700 AM and 99.5-2 HD). The Ticket will also broadcast a pregame show (for most games) and a postgame show (for all games) as part of the agreement.

“This is a logical next step to the strong promotional partnership we've enjoyed with the Stars over the years,” said The Ticket vice President and mrket manager Dan Bennett. “We felt the time was right to take it to the next level and become the play-by-play voice of the team.”

Patrick Crayton on ESPN


Brahmas Fight!


The Jastrom said...

The Stars on the Ticket is so awesome, definitely great news. Just thinking about how you guys will handle the scheduling around this gives me tired head though. Can't wait to hear Ralph and Razor on the Ticket!

Michael said...

Bob, is this a pre-cursor to the Cowboys leaving the station?

Jody said...

Love the addition of the Stars. Now all you need is the WBAP signal strength so we can hear them at night or when we drive past power lines.

bevo said...

Nolan Ryan..what a joke..He is here for the $$$..and Reiner could do a better job..