Boise State Fiesta Bowl - In the stands

Here is the last play of the Boise State - Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl game as seen from a fan of Boise State from the stands.  (Some mature language).

If any finds a good summary link pass it on. YouTube pulled our last video.

Fantasy (football) origins

Raise your hand if you know who’s fantasy is on the right?  More on that in a second.

Susan WardFantasy Football has mostly concluded for the season, except for those of us lucky enough to be participants in fantasy football playoff leagues (more on that in another post).  But, for those of us that are fantasy football 12-steppers, read Fantasy Sports Publications’ the origins of our fall-time passion. (warning! PDF)

The pioneers of Fantasy football sure had it tough, what with no fantasy football magazines, countless self-proclaimed experts, 24-hour sports networks, and of course the Internet.  And with so much less information at their fingertips, they still managed to draft offensive linemen, not to mention, IDP too!  Wow!  Thanks to fspnet.com for this great history lesson.  By the way, you can see the initial draft order and all players selected, including the immortal Frank Gifford!

Did you guess Susan Ward? That’s a good off-season fantasy if I ever saw one.

NFL Playoffs - Weekend Picks

jimmy-the-greek.jpg  Jimmy the Greek time!!!

OK, ok, I know everyone and their brother puts their picks online, just to try to prove that we are more of an expert than the next guy you might read.  Anyway, with that said - here are my expert picks!  I will even give you scores, so you can see how smart (or more likely incredibly off) I am.

Kansas City vs. Indianapolis

Anyone that has Larry Johnson in a playoff fantasy league will be happy, but that is about all that will go well for the Chiefs.  The Chiefs are just happy to be in the playoffs (there is no way they expected to be still playing this weekend when Week 17 started).  They don’t have the defense to match up with the Colts.  Plus, for the true kicker, they have Herm Edwards leading them, the only NFL head coach that can make Tony Dungy look like a playoff genius!

Colts 38 - Chiefs 24

Dallas vs. Seattle

I’m sorry, I know a lot of people are saying this could go either way, as both Dallas and Seattle finished the season 1-3.  But let’s look closer.  Seattle did play badly in Weeks 14 & 15, but in Week 16, they lost to the best team in the NFL, the Chargers, by 3, then walloped Tampa to end the year.  In those 4 games, they were outscored by a total of 3 points.  Now, let’s look at Dallas.

Besides beating an Atlanta team that was more schizophrenic than most teams in recent memory, they also went 1-3, but lost their last two.  Plus, they were actually playing for something in Week 17, and got spanked at home by the Lions!  In those 4 games, they were outscored by 39 points, and their vaunted defense gave up an average of 33 ppg over the 4 weeks.  They are reeling more than people think.  Add in one of the best homefield advantages in the NFL (although they were only 5-3 there this year), and this one looks easy to me.

Seahawks 30 - Dallas 17

New York (A) vs New England

This one should be a good one.  The Jets have played New England very tough this year, splitting the season (with the Jets win coming in New England), and Mangini seems to relish playing Belichick the way Shanahan loves giving it to the Raiders.  BUUUTTTTT… you don’t pick against Belichick and Brady in week one of the playoffs.  They are the Genius and the Golden Boy.  Brady is the anti-Manning, no choke in him.  Can’t happen, right?  (although Brady has taken some lumps this year, including losing his hot-as-hell Hollywood girl)  Hmmmm… nah, gotta go with the Pats.

Patriots 20 - Jets 13

New York (N) vs. Philadelphia

Again, these are just teams moving in different directions.  The Giants went 2-6 to end the year, plus you can visibly tell they hate playing for Coughlin.  The Eagles have won 5 straight, including beating these Giants by 14 in Week 15.  I really don’t see any need to get into specifics of offense/defense, etc.  One team is playing well and for each other, one team is not with a lot of dissension on the sidelines.  The Giants should be able to stay close though, maybe the power of Tiki can allow them to pull off the upset.  Otherwise, it will be a sad end for this team, and more importantly, for Barber’s career.

Eagles 20 - Giants 16

I know, I took all 4 of the home teams, and road dogs have done very well all year in the NFL.  Maybe the playoffs will work the opposite way. 

Just in Case You Need Some Help…

nfl-logo.jpgIn this year of no heavy favorites to even make it to SuperBowl XLI, let alone win it - it could be hard to figure out who to root for (unless you are maybe from San Diego, which the way I see it, is the only strong favorite of the 12 teams to make the SuperBowl). 

Anyway, point is, the NFL understands this is a tough year for the average fan to pick a bandwagon - so they have decided to help you out!  Kind of silly, but actually pretty goofy and fun for the No Fun League.

 

WOW!!!

Has to be one of the craziest finishes to a college bowl game ever!

Fiesta Bowl - Boise St vs. Oklahoma

CHOKED!

choking-cartoony.jpgI can’t believe how many teams spit the bit this past week.  From playoff teams just utterly crapping the bed to bad teams (see Cowboys, Dallas and Bears, Chicago), to teams just needing to win at home to stay in the playoff picture or go to the playoffs (see Bengals, Cincinnati and Broncos, Denver), this weekend was painful to watch. 

I am trying to absolve the Bears a bit (hey, I’m a Chicagoan).  Football is a hard enough sport to play - play it without any motivation, and it becomes much, much harder.  Let’s face it, the Bears could have lost by 100 and it wouldn’t have mattered, and the Pack was playing for the last hurrah of Favre.

Easy to forget about the Bears when you have the Cowboys though!  Still in it to win the division when their game started, and they just totally shat themselves in front of the home fans.  What makes this particularly galling though, is that it was vs. the Lions!  The freakin’ LIONS!!??  The Lions of the 2nd worst 6-season stretch in NFL history?!  The Lions who can’t even lock up the #1 pick correctly!  See what the Cowboys fans are saying today.

And then we move to the real chokers!!

Cincinnati should be in the playoffs right now.  They easily could have beaten the Broncos last weekend (should have at least gotten into OT), but still only had to beat the Steelers at home to get in (thanks again to the Broncos!).  But what happened???   They

 choking-2.jpg!!!!!  (See what their fans are saying about them!)

Then, we have the Broncos.  After that bit of luck against the aforementioned Bengals, all they have to do is beat the 49′ers at home to get in.  Most people would view that as a makeable putt.  Plus, in Denver?!!  Aren’t they supposed to be incredible in Denver - cold, lack of oxygen, loud fans, etc.?  But whoops!!!

As my man Ozzie would say - choking-3.jpg!!!

Should make for some interesting playoff picks, since about half the teams in the playoffs this year don’t look like they belong. 

Fantasy Withdrawl - How to Cope

First in a series… 

For those of you already having fantasy sports withdrawal symptoms from the end of the fantasy football season - What If Sports provides the ultimate in fantasy team ownership.

header.jpg Hardball Dynasty

They have some interesting games, including dynasty type games for college football and basketball, plus fantasy leagues in which you can draft players form the entire history of the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.  Cool stuff!!!  And pretty cheap as well.  Might be able to tide you over until the FF magazines come out next summer!  I am signed up for a Hardball league in the Greenberg League - join in!

I am also signed up for a college basketball dynasty - you start in DIII and try to move your way up!  I am tiny Illinois College in the Tarkanian World. 

what-if.jpg.

 

There will be a quiz!

So, just to make sure we are all clear - here is how the playoff picture in the NFL shapes up for the last week of the season. 

All I can say to this is - WHAT!!!!!!! 

Even our intrepid leader can’t figure it out!

bush-confused.jpg

 

TonyHomo.com - Yes, you read that right.

Chalkboard Football by Brian SHere’s the reason you read The Extra Point, at the end of the year you get all sorts of great lists, and this year is no exception.  Over at ValleyWag, they had a post about 13 great blogs you are not reading

Well we have selected the one blog you should be reading and aren’t.  TonyHomo.com.

Remember twice-lost-his-job-to-a-better-backup Drew Bledsoe?  Yes that Drew Bledsoe who first due to injury lost to already-in-the-hall-of-fame Tom “Superbowl” Brady, and now to been-sitting-on-the-sidelines-for-years Tony “Don’t-call-me-rookie” Romo. 

Well good ol’ Drew decided to let the fans hear his side of the story.  Drew is an articulate writer and passionate about his topic.  His blog, starting with the title, pulls no punches

Gosh I’m getting so angry just thinking about all this bad publicity. I better go relax and play some Madden ‘07 on the new PS3. My ‘96 Patriots team vs. Homo’s Cowboys. It’s gonna be a bloodbath. And not just because I play as Homo and run backwards for safeties on every play, but because teams rely on veteran leadership and experience to win the big game and Homo has none. (Though the -742 rushing yards doesn’t help!)

Another classic post is his open letter to Byron Leftwich after gettting benched for David Garrad, an excerpt talking about when they both played the Houston Texans:

Actually, let me just pull up some stats from both of our games… I was 17-28, 168 yards passing, two scores and no picks. Solid outing. Then again, when am I not? You were 14-28 for 125 yards and no scores. Hm. That’s actually pretty embarrassing, dude.

After the loss to the Eagles I am sure Drew has a great post coming up.

Fantasy Rant

With the huge popularity of Fantasy Football, I just wanted to throw out an idea for those of you in leagues run by popular websites like ESPN or Yahoo.  Fantasy is supposed to mimic real life, right?  Player does well in the real game, then he does well in Fantasy.  Then why, why, why do the big leagues all reward Touchdown’s way more than other stats!  Look at these two lines:

49 rushing yards  1-7 receiving  2 TD (3,14)

92 rushing yards  0 Rec  1 TD (14)

Who helped the team win more?  And don’t get stuck on “Well, points win you ballgames, so it is the guy who got you more points”.  I mean, honestly, would a coach rather have the first, or the second line.  Yards get you the ability to score 3-yards TD’s.  Yet, and here is the kicker, in a league such as ESPN, the line on top scores 16 points, while the line on the bottom scores 15.  (just for ccomparison sake, the league I am in the bottom line wins 24 points to 20 points). 

Marion Barber (the 1st line above is his Week 9 line) is outscoring Jullius Jones (the 2nd line is Mr. Jones Week 9 line) in ESPN fantasy 138 - 130.  Whose season stats would you rather have?

567 yds. rushing  14 rec.  146 rec. yards  

993 yds. rushing  8 rec.  132 rec. yards

Pretty easy choice, huh?  (again, Marion Barber on the top, Julius Jones on the bottom)   But because Barber is the short-yardage favorite of his coach, he has that aforementioned 138-130 Fantasy Point lead.  Stop the insanity people!  Fantasy is a lot more fun rooting for every play - not just rooting for who gets the ball when the Cowboys are inside the 5!  If your league doesn’t account for this, get together with some buddies and make up some fair rules, where every play has an impact on the bottom fantasy-line. 

Just in case you were wondering, in The ExtraPoint league, Jones has 263 points to Barber’s 206, which looking at the above lines, seems a lot more fair.  Before next football season, we will post our rules so you can see how much fun it is to have every play accounted for.