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Phils-‘Stros Series Recap

For seven innings at the beginning of their season-opening series, the Phillies played right into the hands of their detractors, seemingly unable to back up the efforts of the heroic pitching staff assembled to make their run for a fifth consecutive NL East title.  They were over-eager to prove those detractors wrong with their bats, swinging freely without converting runs and committing errors in the field at the worst positions (Ben Francisco in right and Wilson Valdez at second).

On an Opening Day when the bright colors of pomp and circumstance were trying their hardest to shine through, the play on the Phils’ home field was mimicking the weather that nearly derailed it.  The enthusiasm for the new season was being slowly muted by the gray skies and the equally dull performance from everyone in red pinstripes not named Roy Halladay

Then, the seventh inning rolled around and a funny thing happened: the sun started to peek through the clouds and shine, and it would seem that was all the inspiration the Phillies would need.  From there, the Phillies mounted a 5-run comeback that stretched the eighth and ninth innings and taught us all once again what makes these Phillies the team that they are: the resiliency of a veteran squad who has been in these positions before and has proven time and again that they have what it takes to come through.

John Mayberry was welcomed to the fraternity of heroes that populates the Phillies roster from top to bottom when he converted a walk off hit in the ninth inning of the Phils’ 5-4 Opening Day victory as he completed a rally begun by some of the recent Phillies’ mainstays, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins.

It was no illusion when, as the first shaving crème pie of the season was lathered on the face of John Mayberry, that the day was just a little brighter than it had started, the season outlook just a little less muted than it had been but hours before.

That brightness would continue through Saturday’s game, in which Cliff Lee made his triumphant return to the friendly confines of South Philadelphia, striking out 11 batters and walking 0 in a seven-inning performance that saw Lee record the vaunted rotation’s first official win and ultimately saw the highly-criticized Phillies offense put up 9 runs driven in by 6 different batters.

Roy Oswalt and the gang completed the sweep on Sunday in front of a packed house in now-always sunny Philadelphia.  The offense once again came through with seven runs, four of which came from Ryan Howard by way of a 3-run homer in the first inning and an RBI double later on.  Ben Francisco came through once again, contributing a solo homer and a not-quite-Rowand-esque catch against the outfield scoreboard.  Still pretty sweet though,

Now the Phils welcome in the lowly New York Mets amidst sun and warmth in Philadelphia with Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton making their 2011 debuts and Roy Halladay attempting to get his first win after a no-decision that preceded the heroics of the Opening Day comeback win.

We’ll be back to discuss that series after the games are played, but for now here’s to 3-0 and hopefully to 6-0 after the Broad Street Baseballers take care of business against the Mutts.


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2011 Phillies Preview: Shh…It’s About to Get Funner

So today is Opening Day.  Hope springs eternal and all that jazz.  The Phillies, though, don’t play their first game until the second day of the season, an afternoon tilt against the “Phillies-South” Astros so it’s ok for this preview to go up now.  We’ll take the opportunity to look at the Phils piece-by-piece and then throw in a few thoughts on the rest of the division and a little bit about the anticipated playoff picture.  Let’s get into it.

The Pitching Staff

This is the big one, the place where the Phils made their big splash in the offseason to add yet another Cy Young candidate in Cliff Lee, who’s back in town for a reunion tour after his half-season-plus-playoffs lovefest of 2009 when he was the most unbeatable pitcher in baseball throughout the ’09 postseason.  Oh yeah and the Phillies still have that guy Roy Halladay who won 21 games and the Cy Young last year.  And Roy Oswalt, that guy who was the winningest pitcher in the National League  for a few years in Houston.  And Hollywood Cole Hamels, who carried the Sillies to the ’08 Series and won the NLCS MVP as well as the World Series MVP award.  Also Joe Blanton, the guy that looks like my cousin.  This rotation is going places.  You hear it here first again.

The bullpen?  Eh.  A little less certainty there, although the Phightins bring back a few pretty good parts from last year’s bullpen.  Jose Contreras was a good relieve last year, as was Ryan Madson, and Antonio Bastardo even showed some stuff last year.  Beyond that, though, they lost Chad Durbin who had been a good one-inning reliever for a couple years now after starting his career as a starter and Brad Lidge is down at the start of the season with a mysterious shoulder injury.  Some good pieces here, but the bullpen could ultimately be the undoing of the Phils if things don’t turn around when the season gets underway.

The Lineup

Here’s where people will tell you about the most doom-and-gloom for the 2011 Phils, as they lost Jayson Werth to a comically large contract with the Nationals and never bothered to get a right-handed bat to replace him in the middle of the order.  With his possible replacement Dom Brown and baseball wet dream Chase Utley suffering from injuries, the lineup is not what it looked like it might be on paper coming into the season.  However, I humbly submit the fact that for those of us who actually watched the team last year, we saw EVERY SINGLE PLAYER underperform at the plate with the exceptions of Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco and still rank second in the National League in runs scored.

Still going out every day for the Phightins will be back-to-back MVP’s Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, frustrating-but exciting leadoff man Shane Victorino, the guy who hit better than anyone else for half a season Raul Ibañez, and the clutchest non-English speaking catcher in the world our man Carlos Ruiz.  So everyone chill out a little, there’s still a lot going for these guys.  Oh, and if you’re interested go check out a comparison of Jayson Werth’s first five years in the league and Ben Francisco’s.  There’s reason to believe he might work out okay.

The Bench

Scoff if you’d like at the inclusion here of a separate section for the bench when the bullpen was lumped in with the pitching staff, but in a world where Ryan Howard can get ejected from a game and have Roy Oswalt out in left field, the bench becomes a pretty important facet of a team.  This year the Phils have held onto the key piece of last year’s bench, super-utility man Wilson Valdez, as well as bringing back NL East whore backup catcher Brian Schneider and infielder/outfielder Ross Gload.  New faces to welcome include middle infielders Pete Orr and rookie Michael Martinez, and rookie outfielder John Mayberry.

Valdez should prove to be huge in replacing Utley in the early-going and with any luck can get some momentum going with the regular at-bats to be a good pinch-hitter when Mr. WFC makes his triumphant return.  Mayberry can really mash when he makes contact and could provide some necessary pop off the bench if he gets going (though I don’t know if you want to count on that happening).  The rest of the guys are pretty non-descript, but it should bode well for the Phils that they finally wised up and held onto an extra middle infielder in Martinez considering the injury struggles of Chase and J-Roll in previous years.  Good on ya for that one, Rueben and Co.

All in all?  This team should be pretty dirty.  They won more games than any other team in baseball last year after spending a few months hitting like absolute horse shit.  They may struggle again offensively and have some issues in the bullpen, but every team has flaws.  Not every team has four pitchers that will be unquestioned favorites every time they take the hill.  Let’s not be silly, this team is gonna be fun to be around.

The Division

The Braves are good.  They have three good starters and a good bullpen.  They have Chipper Jones’ corpse hitting like Chipper Jones’ not corpse.  Then they have Brian McCann, Martin Prado, and some good young’ns.  Call me crazy, but I’m not sold that Heyward and Freddie Freeman are going to be quite as good as people think.  Don’t get me wrong, Heyward’s good, but everyone’s gotta have some growing pains sooner or later and I think he may see some this year.

The Marlins have some DAMN good starters, headlined by Josh Johnson and Phillie-killer Ricky Nolasco.  They also still have Hanley Ramirez and a bunch of hard-hitting youngsters, but they lost Dan Uggla and they play defense like a team full of Pat Burrells.  This team is not too scary.

The Nats have no pitching, they stole Jayson Werth from us, and Ryan Zimmerman is still a G.  Their freshies Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa might turn out to be legit, but this team starts Rick Ankiel.  They are not a threat with Strasburg out for the year coming off Tommy John surgery and Bryce Harper still douchin’ it up in the minors.

The Mets…oh, the Mets.  The Mets are a joke in so many ways.  They just paid Luis Castillo like $6 million to play for the Phillies for four games.  Ha, the Mets.


The Braves are probably the most legit contenders in the NL and should be good rivals throughout the year and into the postseason.  They and the Phils will probably split the East and the Wild Card in some combination.  Elsewhere in the NL, the Rockies will be good if they can get some pitching, with $140 million worth of good hitters in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.  The Giants WILL NOT make the playoffs this year.  They have some really good young pitchers that got them a World Series title last year, but as we all witnessed with Cole Hamels young pitchers suffer after a long postseason run.  Pablo Sandoval is skinnier now, but Buster Posey is about the only offensive player on that team that scares me.

The AL will be good, and by the AL I mean the Red Sox.  The Yankees have Freddy Garcia on their team (hilarious, hope you checked his medicals) and we stole Cliff Lee right out from under them.  The Rangers should be good again, but a lack of Cliff Lee will probably hurt them, too.  The Tigers are pretty complete, with a real ace (ha, only one) and some good beefy power hitters in Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Magglio Ordoñez.


National League: Phils, Reds and Rockies win the divisions with the Braves as the Wild Card.  Clayton Kershaw for Cy Young and Pujols with a final MVP for the Cards.

American League: Red Sox, Tigers and Rangers win the Divisions with the Yanks as the Wild Card.  Jon Lester for Cy Young and Josh Hamilton wins MVP.

World Series: Forgive the predictability of this predictable prediction but I’m goin’ Phils over Sawx for the WFC and another Broad Street blackout this fall for yours truly.

Predictable, right?  But man would it be fun if it came true.

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Is It Just Me? Vol. 3

Is it just me or has it been a while since I did this thing?  It’s not just me, the last time this thing came out was literally six months ago.  Anyway, to remind you all how this works, I give you a sagely clip derived from the seminal cinematic achievement of our generation, Boy Meets World.  Today, we take a look at one of the classic moments in the show’s history, and one that speaks to this writer in a serious way.  As a blogger bum who spends the first half of my day every day working on the DailyTailgate (read it, read it, god damnit read it every day), I can totally sympathize with the life of a couch potato and watching SportsCenter and all the commercials that tell me how to get out of debt and get my life on track by going to ITT Tech.

In this scene, Eric Matthews is lazing around at home eating a bowl of cereal that can only be described as manly when he drifts into a daydream about being a lady-killing private spy known as the “Good Looking Guy.”

Magical.  Simply magical.

Now onto the air-headed tangential musings of someone who has nothing but time to think and write down stupid thoughts about sports and other things.  As we’ve established, it’s been a while so some of these are going to be a little dated.  Bare with me.

So is it just me or did anyone else notice and get irrationally pissed off by the Saints in the early-goings of this year’s football season.  No, not because they were the media darling Super Bowl champions, they won that and the city was uplifted blah blah blah.  Good for them.  But at least in the beginning of the year, the Saints and “Who Dat” Nation totally ripped off using High Hopes as an anthem.  Not cool, NOLA.  We had it first.  That was Harry’s song and I think if he had been around to find out that you were taking it as your own he’d have narrated an awfully negative Year in Review NFL Films doc about you.  You already have the entire genre of jazz at your disposal, most specifically “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” and the Who Dat cheer.  Leave the Sinatra impressions for the drunk Philadelphians, please.

Is it just me or are there an incredibly interesting number of similarities between Mike Vick and Allen Iverson?  I’m almost hesitant to mention them here as I want to write more about it at some point, but might as well introduce the ones I can come up with.  So here goes:

  • Born and raised in Newport News, VA
  • All-State Quarterback in High School
  • Left college early, selected as the number one overall pick
  • Criticized for work ethic, abrasive personality
  • Known for late-night social life (even by pro athlete standards)
  • Brought a hip-hop swagger to a traditionally conservative position, received consummate criticism
  • Incarcerated for extended time while still active as an athlete
  • Endeared himself to Philadelphia fans by virtue of talent and “passionate” play
  • Labeled as a “gangster” due to affiliations with childhood friends

There really is so much to this comparison that the list compiled here does not begin to do it justice, but fear not, we will get into each of those points and certainly more of them as time goes on.

Is it just me or did Auburn win one of the more dubious National Championships in recent history?  Start with the pay-for-play scandal, add in the fact that the BCS created such a mess this year and they never had to play TCU who was almost certainly the second or third best team in the country and then take a look at the questionable calls in the game itself and you have a whole lot of reasons to poison some trees.

Is it just me or is too much being made of how bad the Phillies offense is going to be this year?  I understand that Howard has declined from his unconscionable production of a few years ago and Utley is hurt, but the only piece they lost was Jayson Werth from an offense that was second in the National League in runs scored last season.  And if you watched the Phillies last season, you know that every player under-performed at the plate, save for Polanco making a run at the best average in baseball and Chooch becoming less of a liability at the plate.  Jayson Werth entered the Phillies lineup three years ago at least as big of a question mark as Ben Francisco is right now, and the rest of the lineup allowed him to produce.  Let’s at least give Benny Fresh a shot before we go crazy over losing The Beard.

Is it just me or do the Flyers STILL not get enough credit for how good they are?  They went to the freakin Stanley Cup last year and they lead the league in points and all people can talk about is Chris Pronger wearing a Charlie Sheen “Winning” shirt.  Oh and by the way, shut the hell up Charlie Sheen.  Nobody cares if you’re a coked up moron.  There are plenty of coked up morons in the world, the rest of them just can’t give TV interviews where they make an ass out of themselves and spew garbage out of their mouths.

Is it just me or is Bill Simmons’ podcast the worst thing that ever happened to Bill Simmons the writer?  Did you know there used to be a time when he would write more than one article a week?  (Oh hey, what’s up pot?  I’m kettle.  You’re looking a little black these days ya know.)  They were good, too.  Now he just sits in his house and records phone calls with his friends and B-List ESPN personalities.  And I listen to them, they have their place, but Jesus write something every now and then.  I can’t listen to podcasts at work and there are better things to occupy my time when I’m not at work.

Is it just me or is the Gus Johnson love-fest thisclose to jumping the proverbial shark?  I think he’s a great announcer, and a ton of fun to listen to, but when people who never say anything about sports are referencing Gus Johnson, the phenomenon is inching dangerously close to Pink Red Sox Hat territory.

Is it just me or are the Sixers just doin’ it wrong?  They have some mojo this year and it looks like Jrue Holiday might be pretty legit.  Unfortunately, Doug Collins is absurdly stubborn on letting Andre Iguodala’s biceps take the last shot in games.  He’s not a creator, Doug.  That’s why he was successful on the USA Basketball squad this summer.  He didn’t have to be something he’s not.

Yeah we’ll go ahead and call it quits there.  But don’t worry, the next round will come sooner rather than later, I’ve been sitting on some stuff for a while and since I’m as active as Eric Matthews in our featured clip of the week (yes he did just bring that shit full circle), I will gladly oblige you all with more unnecessarily scatterbrained and poorly-argued sports non sequiturs.

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NFL Players: Modern-day Slaves?

According to one NFL player, Adrian Peterson, arguably the best running back in the league, the NFL is treating their players like slaves.

“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson said. “People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.”

You know what modern day slavery is? Modern-day slavery is a rebel group showing up at your mud, and stick, and straw hut nowhere near a modern city, and forcing your parents to either give you away to them or face death. Then even when the parents are killed they take the children anyway and force them to fight for their cause. Childhood, as we in America know it, being taken away from kids to fight in a war that they have no chance of benefiting from; that is modern-day slavery, Adrian.

Modern-day slavery is being drugged in a club in Europe, and waking up the next day and meeting the man who is now your boss, and who is going to sell you to men for sex everyday. That is modern-day slavery.

Modern-day slavery is working in a sweatshop or in a field all day for maybe 2 to 3 dollars, if you’re lucky, without Sundays off, without playing the game you supposedly love, without fans cheering you on, or a multi-million dollar shoe deal. That is modern-day slavery, Adrian.

I am not a slave, never have been and with any luck will never be one. I am also not African American and to my knowledge, I am not a descendant of any slaves. All of that said, I am offended by this comment.

Peterson makes $10.72 million a year in salary from the Minnesota Vikings. That is $10.720,00.00 every single year for playing football. And he just compared his work to slavery. A very good yearly salary for a normal American citizen is $100,000. With $100K you are in the upper middle class, your kids might go to private school, and they’re definitely going to college, but apparently making $10,720,000.00 per year is comparable to slavery.

You know why people “kind of laugh at that,” Adrian? Because that is (pardon my language) the biggest fucking joke I have ever heard in my entire life. To make a comment that stupid is appalling. I am not even going to bother explaining on here how bad slavery was in the United States because anyone reading this probably has an understanding of it. That is because you learn it in I think 4th grade? Are you that stupid Adrian? Or are you just an ignorant asshole? You are exactly why some people hate todays athletes. You make a comment like this and think nothing of it. Maybe instead of bitching, Adrian, you should go out in the World and see what REAL modern-day slavery is like. Maybe then you’d realize how stupid you sound.


Welcome back to the blog. Should be more to come in the coming days, I know you all missed us greatly.

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Week Two

So, we’re 2 games into the Auburn football season, and Auburn is looking pretty solid. 2-0, with wins against Arkansas State, and Mississippi State.

The Arkansas State game was a joke, the offense probably could have scored on any lay of their choice. The Mississippi State game was a very good game. Both teams have high-powered offenses, but their defenses dominated. Not quite as much as the 2008 game, which finished in an Auburn win 3-2, but only 7 total points were scored in the 2nd half. This was surprising for just about everyone to watch, but I think it has something to do with the short week. Both teams only had about 4 days to prepare an offensive gameplan, and I personally think that an offense benefits more from a regular week, or a bye week than the defense. In this 17-14 win for Auburn, the defense came up big, especially down the stretch. The only thing that worries me about this team is that the secondary still is not playing well at all. Yeah, they only gave up 14 points, but how many drops did Mississippi State receivers have? And how many open receivers did the quarterbacks miss? A lot. I’m also expecting more out of middle linebacker Josh Bynes. Through 2 games, he hasn’t had many tackles, and hasn’t even been in on many plays.

Mario Fannin and Lee Ziemba were both injured last night. A running back injury typically would worry someone, but if it gets Michael Dyer more touches, its probably for the better. I originally though Ziemba would be a big loss, but Brandon Mosley came in last night and didn’t miss a beat.

What am I doing tomorrow? I’ll tell you what I’m not doing, instead, and that is anything. Great matchups all day starting with South Carolina vs. Georgia at noon eastern straight through the State at Bama game at 7:00 PM.

22 Georgia at 24 South Carolina

South Carolina is going to win this game. Georgia freshman quarterback has his first road test here, and doesn’t have star receiver A.J. Green. After a slow start in the opener, the Cocks got it going to a nice victory over Southern Miss.

17 Florida State at 10 Oklahoma

Right now, everyone is all over Florida State because they beat Samford 59-6. Since when does that even matter? Oklahoma didn’t look good, I’m thinking because they were looking ahead. Oklahoma is out to prove something tomorrow. They win.

Michigan at Notre Dame

I love that these two teams are both unranked. Both of these teams actually started out with real opponents last week, UCONN and Purdue respectively. ESPN is all over Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. I hate to say it, but, I think the Irish are going to win. Only because they’re at home.

12 The U at 2 Ohio State

The U’s defense is not good enough to stop Terrelle Pryor. Expect a big game out of him. Jacory Harris is really just an inferior Terrelle Pryor, and Ohio States defense is better. And its at the Horsehoe. Ohio State wins by about 14.

18 State at 1 Alabama

Let it be known that you would be hard-pressed to find 2 college football teams that I like less than these. They may even be my 2 least favorite, I’ve never formed a list. That being said, I will never root for Alabama. I’m taking State just out of spite. War Damn Eagle.


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The Year of the Tiger

We’re in the last week before the kickoff of another great year of college football, and I know exactly what you’re thinking, how’s Auburn going to do?

Surprise, surprise, I’m thinking exactly the same thing. Auburn has been called by ESPN analysts the preseason most underrated team in the country. Two analysts even mentioned Auburn in the SEC Championship against Florida, and possibly eventually playing for a national title.  I’m fairly certain Kirk Herbstreit would be gay with the entire Auburn Football Team if he had the option.

In my completely 100% biased opinion, I’d have to say if Auburn doesn’t win the national title, this would be my reaction, “Honestly Diane, I’m surprised.” Nah, just kidding, but here is my prediction for the year.

9-4-10 vs. Arkansas State.

Although I do expect Cam Newton to run into some first game jitters against a team that played a very good Iowa team really tough last year, I’m going to say Auburn gets the win this Saturday in Jordan-Hare.

9-9-10 at Mississippi State

This should be a much tougher game than last year. Not only are the tigers on the road in Starkville, but Dan Mullen and the Mississippi athletic department organized probably the gayest/dumbest promotion ever for this game: A Maroon out. I kid you not, that is what they’re calling it. The whole idea of ____-outs only works with whiteouts and blackouts, you can’t just insert any color in there. Moreover, (I don’t know if that’s used right but it sounds right and I have never had a decent opportunity to use that word before) I just hate whiteouts because of the debacle that was the Prep whiteout vs. the rival La Salle whiteout in the cheering sections of the 2008 PCL Championship. Anyways, Auburn wins this game.

9-18-10 vs. Clemson

At least we came up with a better name for our blue out, Mississippi State. This is True Blue day at Jordan-Hare. We got a classic Tigers vs. Tigers matchup here and both schools primary color is orange. I hate it when people ask me if I go to Clemson and I’m sure they hate it when people ask if they go to Auburn. Clemson QB Kyle Parker, although he prevailed in the regionals of the CWS in Auburn, will not come out on top again. This is the big non-conference test for Auburn, and like last year against WVU, expect Jordan-Hare to be rockin through any tropical storms that may come through and eventually see an Auburn victory.

9-25-10 vs. South Carolina

This game is going to be a big FUCK YOU to Marcus Lattimore who turned Auburn down for South Carolina last year on signing day. If I hear any Carolina fans call South Carolina USC, I will punch them right in the face. The real USC is Southern Cal, obviously. Auburn wins, big.

10-2-10 vs. Louisiana Monroe

If your last name is not Mulhern and you honestly can say you know Louisiana Monroe’s mascot, you win a million dollars. Not really, but I’ll shake your hand. Shouldn’t be much of a game, Auburn wins big time.

10-9-10 at Kentucky

This was easily the most depressing game last year at Jordan-Hare, and the worst sporting event ever to be at. Kentucky won on a late TD 21-14. The game sucked, and it was cold. Kentucky, will surprise people this year, but ultimately the loss of 4 starting offensive lineman is going to kill them against a deep front 7 of Auburn this year, who is apparently going to blitz more. Auburn wins in a tight game.

10-16-10 vs. Arkansas

Ryan Mallett is really really good. But, so is Cam Newton. I don’t think the Arkansas defense is good enough to keep the Auburn offense out of the end zone. This is going to be a really great game. At Arkansas, I’d take them. At Auburn, I’d take Auburn. If it’s anything like last year, this should be a fun game to watch. I’d say if College Game Day comes to Auburn this is one of the three games that it is most likely to.

10-23-10 vs. LSU

I can’t believe I’m not going to be at this game. Last year, Auburn got absolutely embarrassed at LSU. It was the ugliest game of the year by far. Another classic Tigers vs. Tigers matchup, this is another potential College Game Day game. I swear if I miss Game Day Dorothy will hear about it. I think what this game comes down to is the coolness of the “mascots,” but I’m not referring to the actual mascots I’m referring to Nova vs. Mike the Tiger. Okay, Nova is a gay name, and I have no idea why the War Eagle(the 7th War Eagle in Auburn history) is named it, but why the hell would you name a tiger Mike? Tigers aren’t your average animal with a name, so why would you name it something as plain as Mike? LSU’s offense is as plain as the name Mike in this game, and 87,451 Auburn fans help the real Tigers to victory.

10-30-10 at Ole Miss

The Rebels, could you think of a more confederate name, just found out that their starting quarterback is ineligible for the year. Serves them right; I don’t like how right after Oregon coach Chip Kelly dismissed Jeremiah Masoli, Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt jumped right on him and got him on the roster. I’m glad the NCAA won’t let him play this year, and I’m really glad they waited until right now to tell him. Auburn gets the Mississippi sweep.

11-6-10 vs. Chattanooga

Even alumnus Terrell Owens couldn’t save the Mocs in this homecoming game. Seriously, he’s past his prime and they really suck. Auburn wins big.

11-13-10 vs. Georgia

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. This video is why Georgia will never be good at any sport ever again. No school this gay will win anything remotely manly.

11-26-10 at Alabama

I hate Alabama. Last year’s Iron Bowl was one of the best games of the year, and unfortunately saw Alabama score a late touchdown to beat an Auburn team who had been winning since the 4th play from scrimmage.  This isn’t just a game. And, quite frankly, it has nothing to do with who the better team is that year. Both sides have ruined the others national title hopes, both teams have blown big leads to lose this game(Google Punt Bama Punt), and both teams are going to be very good this year. Alabama has won the past 2 years, and leads the series 40-33. Before 2008, Auburn had won 6 straight Iron Bowls. Auburn returns to glory in Bryant Denny. I said it, Auburn beats Alabama in the Iron Bowl to go to the SEC Championship.

On top of my Auburn expertise that I will provide you with weekly, I will also preview the weeks big games. So, for week 1 here we go:

15 Pitt at Utah. I’m taking Pitt in this game because Dion Lewis is the best running back in the nation that barely anyone heard of last year despite being third in the nation in rushing.

Villanova vs. Temple at Lincoln Financial Field. Call me crazy, but, this is my game of the week. After Nova toppled Temple last year, Temple went on to win 9 in a row and make their first bowl game since I was born. Temple has a pretty good running back in Bernard Pierce(He’s not half as good as Temple thinks but he’s good), but, Nova is led by former Prep QB Chris Whitney. Villanova won the midget national championship last year, that is the College Football Championship Series (FCS). I’m going with Temple in this one. There’s really no reason why, but at least they play in the big boy division of college football.

Youngstown State at 19 State. No need to include the Penn, everyone knows who State is. I’m taking the Penguins in this one. Not really, I just wanted to share that their mascot is the Penguins.

Purdue is going to win at ND, and UCONN is going to win at Michigan.

24 Oregon state at 6 TCU. It’s not actually at TCU, it’s being played at a neutral site. That neutral site is still in Texas, so it might as well be a home game for the Horned Frogs. This should be a good game, I’m taking J-Quizz and the Beavers, though, in Texas.

21 LSU vs. 18 UNC. This might be the first time ever UNC is ranked higher than LSU. I really have no idea. This is being played in Atlanta, which is a true neutral site game. Supposedly, UNC has a top-5 defense in the country. Unfortunately for the Heels, they’re missing some guys because they cheated. SEC over ACC. Mike the Tiger rejoices.

War Eagle,


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Is It Just Me? Vol. 2

Well I promised that this would be a recurring segment, and here I am to deliver.  Just enough time has passed for a new round of “Is It Just Me’s” and I think all of our loyal readers are looking forward to another Boy Meets World episode to really sink their teeth into.

So here we go, we’ll start off with the Boy Meets World episode, a somewhat fitting exhibit of frustration that most of us no doubt felt last night as the Phillies were being no-hit through 7 2/3 innings:

The full episode, titled “They’re Killing Us,” first appeared during the tail end of the heyday of TGIF in October of 1999, in the seventh and final season of Boy Meets World.  The show had taken on a more mature sense of humor since the days of leaving one’s sister in the house alone because Lenny Dykstra was at the local pizza shop, and Eric had completed his transformation from womanizing heartthrob airhead to borderline retarded wackjob.  Watch as Corey is forced to evaluate his life relationships in deciding between his best friend and his only brother for his best man, fat Topanga has to make some dumb decisions about dresses, and of course Feeney and hot old Morgan provide comic relief.  The link to the first part of the episode is here (

Don’t forget, there will be a short analytical paper due around Thanksgiving on the socio-cultural relevancy of Boy Meets World as a representation of middle-class white America.  Just kidding, but seriously, pay attention to the episodes.  Now for our feature presentation “Is It Just Me? Volume 2.”

Is it just me or are Tom McCarthy’s man boobs getting a little out of hand?  I mean dude, there’s already enough to dislike about you.  No need to give people the luxury of poking fun at your physique.  You spend your life surrounded by professional athletes.  I’m sure the club would give you access to some kind of workout equipment so it doesn’t look like their head play-by-play guy is in the middle of hormone injections for a sex change.  Somebody get that man a Shake Weight

Or at the very least a Slim T

I think I watch too much TV.  A pic of McCarthy for reference:

Remember, black is a *slimming* color

Is it just me or are might the Eagles REALLY suck this year?  I have absolutely no confidence in their defense (sorry Stew Bradley, but coming off major knee surgery I’m not sure I can dive right in to expecting you to turn around a defense that was downright bad last year).  The offensive line will not take a preseason snap as a full five-man unit.  DeSean Jackson seems to suffer a minor tweak at least once a week, and has the AI/B.West syndrome of playing super hard with a tiny frame, which we’ve seen leads to injury problems.  Oh, and Kevin Kolb has yet to throw a touchdown pass and Michael Vick still can’t hit receivers consistently.

That said, it’s just the preseason and teams who suck in the preseason don’t necessarily suck in the regular season.  Fingers crossed, right?

Is it just me or has there not been enough made of TWO Phillies getting picked off in the Houston series in huge spots?  First Jayson Werth was too cool to get back to second on a throwdown from the catcher (tough to blame him as he was probably checking out some of the thousands of girls who think they’re unique for bringing a sign to the game about how much they love him) and then Ben Francisco got tripped up on his way back to third because he was backpedaling and went off line.  Both were in scoring position during games where the Phils desperately needed a run, and both ended the scoring threat.  It’s a joke.

Is it just me or did you not care about how that crazy 16-inning game against the Astros ended up?  Yeah, Ryan Howard should have been more careful not to get ejected, but the wackiness that ensued was totally worth the loss.  I’ve never seen the big man so angry and been so fearful for the safety of an umpire.  Also, please do not tell me that his being out of the game cost the Phillies because he should have been up at the end instead of Roy Oswalt.  If Howard had been in the game, they never would have intentionally walked Chase Utley to get to the four-hitter, and if they’re pitching to Chase the way he’s hit since he’s been back it’s not that different than having a pitcher up there.  Any Howard vs. Ibañez at first complaints are totally legit though.

Is it just me or should the Sixers be concerned that Andres Nocioni, recently acquired from the Kings for the most undeservingly discontent player in Philly history (read: Sam Dalembert), was too injured to compete in the FIBA World Championships for his native Argentina?  Yeah, that probably is just me.  Nobody gives a crap about the Sixers and nobody will until they give us a reason to.

Speaking of which, is it just me or should fans boycott the Sxers’ first game against the Heat?  Hear me out here, since I know it won’t happen with the Greed Team coming to town.  First of all, Philly fans have already done a pretty good job boycotting the Sixers already.  Freakin no one shows up at those games.  Second, the Sixers have jacked up the prices of tickets to that game because they know it will be the only game they sell out all year.  Also, eff those guys.  How can you like a team full of front-running prima donna mercenaries like the Miami Heat?  At that point you should probably just customize a Heat jersey with “DOUCHE” as the name and 69 as the number to identify yourself as the target of my anger.

Is it just me or is Darrelle Revis’ holdout one of the most justified we’ve seen in recent years?  Dude carried that team last year all the way to an AFC Championship Game berth and was allegedly told the day after the season ended that the Jets would make him the highest-paid corner in the league.  It’s not his fault if you’re gonna talk like that and then not back it up.  Give the man his money.

Is it just me or do newspapers, blogs, websites, and everything in between really need to stop playing on Roy Halladay’s last name as if it were Holiday?  It’s not his name.  The first syllable of his name rhymes with Al, Sal, pal, gal, etc.  Nobody knows how to pronounce our ace’s name and I’m not saying it’s all on the headline-writers, but they’re certainly not helping.  Just wait til basketball season.  There’s a player on that team whose name is actually Holiday.

Thanks for indulging me these random, often-unconnected thoughts and feel free to comment to dispute them or to submit one of your own.  Or, email them to and I’ll pass them off as my own in the next installment.


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