Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Night Football

What's wrong with Monday Night Football? Last time I checked, teams like the Dolphins and Rams were getting some national TV air time. Tonight's game is between Baltimore and Jacksonville. Jacksonville, really?? Tell me someone besides a Ravens or Jaguars fan who would watch this game if it were on a Sunday. The only reason someone would watch this game is because it is on Monday night; it's that much of a guaranteed win for the Ravens. People, we are getting ripped off. Instead of these blowout victories, we could be watching some great games, like the Detroit-San Francisco game two weeks ago, or the New York-Dallas game from week 1.

My point here is that ESPN picks the MNF games before the season even starts. They have no idea which teams are going to be contenders and which games are going to be interesting. With the exception of the Lions-Bears and perhaps the Cowboys-Redskins game, every single game has featured one elite or above-average team against one bottom-dwelling team. New England versus Miami? Miami is atrocious. Oakland and Denver? Denver is so desperate that they are starting Tim Tebow (that's a whole 'nother story)! Giants and Rams? The Rams haven't won a game yet. You get the point. None of these games have even been intriguing. The Dolphins have already been featured twice, and they haven't won a game!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Raiders, are you crazy?

Earlier today, the Raiders made a gigantic trade, sending their next two first round draft picks for Carson Palmer of the Bengals. I found out as soon as I turned on the TV at 4:00 this afternoon. My first reaction was a fist pump and a loud "Yes!" And then I saw what they had given up for Palmer...

A 2012 first round pick and a 2013 second round pick that could become a first round pick if the Raiders win a playoff game this season. That is a steep price to play for a quarterback past his prime. I understand that the Raiders were desperate for a quarterback after Jason Campbell's injury on Sunday, but two 1st rounders? The Raiders don't have a pick until the sixth round in 2012.

I don't think I've ever heard of such a lopsided trade for a quarterback. Earlier this year, the Cardinals traded for Kevin Kolb, a young up-and-coming QB, and gave up a pro-bowler in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd rounder to Philly. The Cards gave up about the same as the Raiders, but they got in return a young new quarterback, plus they got him in the offseason, where they could teach him the system. In Palmer, the Raiders get a 31 year old quarterback and the general consensus is that Palmer's best days are behind him. I certainly hope he can contribute immediately but there sure will be some complications.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

NHL Preseason Predictions

I really meant to make these predictions before the start of the season, but I've been really busy lately. I'm sure these predictions are still valid although the season has already started. Here they are:

Western Conference:
1) San Jose Sharks* - Heatley and Setoguchi are gone, but they have a legitimate shot this season thanks to new acquisitions Marty Havlat and Brent Burns, and their stars Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Pavelski.
2) Chicago Blackhawks* - The Blackhawks have two stars in Toews and Kane, and a great supporting cast. The only question is at the goalie position, where Corey Crawford is set to start.
3) Los Angeles Kings - Having been shadowed by the Sharks the last few seasons, the Kings have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup this year, with defensemen Drew Doughty and goalie Jonathan Quick.
4) Vancouver Canucks - The defending Western Conference champs are still as good as ever but it will be difficult for Daniel and Henrik Sedin to replicate last season.
5) Nashville Predators - This team seems to stay in the middle of the playoff pack year in and year out. Look for them to make a return appearance this season.
6) Minnesota Wild - One of the biggest disappointments last season might have found a pair of win-win trades in the Heatley and Setoguchi deals.
7) Detroit Red Wings - This team is getting older and older; I'm not sure if they can challenge for the cup this season.
8) Anaheim Ducks - They have nice young player in Bobby Ryan and a stout goalie in Jonas Hiller and that should get them into the playoffs.