Saturday, January 23, 2010

Try to Block This Out

I have been trying to think happy thoughts about Agent Zero's contract, but have been hearing from several sources that it is extremely unlikely the Wiz can get out from the Arenas albatross. Hearsay, I say, but then I read this piece from ESPN's legal writer, Lester Munson. As he states,

"The constitutional provision specifically limits commissioner David Stern's powers over gun violations. He can suspend a player for a "definite or indefinite" period, and he can fine a player as much as $50,000. But that's it. That is the beginning and the end of any punishment for a gun violation. There is no provision for terminating the player's contract."

(Image courtesy of

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Conference Championship Picks: Please Peyton

Out goes the Cowgirls and Norv Turner, now only Mark Sanchez and Brett Favre to go, and both of those guys are underdogs.

This Redskins offseason has already been a success, with the hiring of competent management and coaches, and all the NFC East rivals going down before the Conference Championship. Let's hope this hot streak carries through the draft.

On to the picks..........FO's 'locks of the week' are 11-15 with no 'locks' this week, their 'reasonable' picks are 32-41, and their 'stay away' picks are 88-69. Please note that differences in total games picked is a result of us using slightly different spreads.

The standings (with pushes excluded):
Sports Guy: 3-1 last week 136-121 overall (52.9%)
FO: 1-3 last week, 131-125 overall (51.1%)
DCLS: 2-2 last week, 116-126 overall (47.9%)

As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence with home teams in CAPS.
  1. New York Jets +8 over INDIANAPOLIS -Let's see, I want the Colts to win, realize Peyton over Sanchize is the biggest mismatch I can think of since the random dude at the bar in Jersey Shore over Snookie, but I think 8 points is just a bit too high. That said, I'm hoping for a lot of the above picture on Sunday. That said, Rex Ryan at media day would be phenomenal.
  2. Minnesota +4 over NEW ORLEANS - FO has the Saints with a 51% chance of winning this game straight-up, so has these two teams virtually even. I still am not a Vikings believer, and although Reggie Bush had an out of body experience last game that he will not repeat, I still like the Saints to win. Yeah the Redksins played the Saints close and this fact pisses me off, but Favre going to the Super Bowl would be intolerable. On the bright side, Brad Childress at media day would be phenomenal.
If everything breaks our way, we will be Favre and Sanchez free, and definitively having the best offseason in recent Redskin memory.

Update (1/23): I can't take backing the Jets anymore, its making me slightly dizzy. I also can't stand backing a team I don't think can win, so I just switched my pick to the Peytons.

(Image courtesy of

Caps @ Penguins, 7:30 ET

Caps vs. Penguins. Ovechkin vs. Crosby. Good vs. Evil. Man vs. Boy.

And if that doesn't do it for you what the hell will? here's some Bloody Penguin Baseball. Or just play the below video. On repeat, preferably.

Oh lordy do I miss hearing this music.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Worst Wizards Jerseys Ever

Welcome to the long-awaited 4th part in this painful series of worst jerseys for all of our beloved professional DC-area teams. The Redskin and Oriole lists were painful but maybe slightly therapeutic, while the Nats list was just pathetic.

With the Wizards season beyond the point of anger and bordering on disinterest, I think it is an appropriate time to reflect on the horrendous history of this franchise by ranking the worst Bullets/Wizards jerseys that a 'fan' can own today. Once again, here is the criteria for the list:
The jersey must be one that would make fellow fans either:
  1. Angry
  2. Disgusted
  3. Think the guy wearing the jersey is an idiot
Please note that any jerseys that are funny bad are not included, and with the pathetic history of the Bullets/Wizards, there are a lot of jerseys that are more humorous than anger inducing. Without further ado, our bottom 10 in reverse order (least terrible to most terrible):

10) Michael Ruffin #51 - In addition to being a bad NBA player who probably should not have been in the league, all he reminds me of is this play against the Raptors.

9) Ben Wallace #30 - The talent that has passed through the Wizards/Bullets in the past 20 years is startling and infuriating; here is the first example of several on this list. In his years with the Wiz, he was a fan favorite as an energy guy, and was a rotation player with the potential to be more because he was so athletic and had great defenseive metrics. So why did we give him up? To acquire Ike freakingAustin! Not only that, but Big Ben was not the centerpiece of that deal by any means, so it is hard to believe the Wiz couldn't have held onto him while still acquiring Austin. Frustrating in1999, and infuriating now. He would be higher, but he was such a likable player when he was here.

8) Rasheed Wallace #30 - Amazing, we drafted him #4 overall, gave him 1 year at the ripe old age of 21, and then, in one of Wes Unseld's first moves as GM, traded him for Rod Strickland and Harvey Grant. Wes, we'll get back to you, so let's move on.....

7) Jerry Stackhouse #42 - He was a big name when we acquired him, but was really just an inefficient high volume scorer. More importantly we continue the trend here of trading a great young player, Rip Hamilton, to obtain an older overrated player. Thanks MJ.

6) Ike Austin #8 - And now the waste of space who cost us Big Ben Wallace and was somehow supposed to solve all of our problems at center. I have no idea what Wes Unseld saw in a guy who averaged under 10 ppg and 5 rpg while shooting about 40% from the field as a center! He would have still made this list if Ben Wallace hadn't been involved in the trade, but that just puts him over the top. I bet he is ridiculously fat now.

5) Juwan Howard #5 - Is this the first guy to definitely hold the title of worst contract in the NBA? Sure, he gave us some nice years, but his ridiculous beyond ridiculous contract courtesy of Wes Unseld was an albatross. Imagine if that money had been spent on C-Webb? My liver is squirming.....

4) Mitch Richmond #2 - Now the worst of Unseld's moves, trading C-Webb for a 33 yr old shooter. Trading young for old? check. Big for small? check. Multi-talented for pure scorer? check. Tremendous future potential for minimal if any current gains? check.

3) Michael Jordan #23 - Maybe we shouldn't have been sucked-in, but he brought so much false hope and as we now know, is a complete asshole. If you haven't read Michael Leahy's When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan's Last Comeback, you should. The book shows Jordan's true side that we all saw during his HOF induction speech.

The one instance where this jersey is acceptable

2) Kwame Brown #5 - Labradford Smith and Tom Gugliotta jerseys are funny, Kwame's is not. Every time I get a glimmer of hope we will get the top pick and draft a franchise-changer, I feel feverish eyes thanks to memories/stories of Kwame crying in the locker room.

1) Gilbert Arenas #0 - I hope you aren't surprised. Where to begin? He isn't an all-star anymore, and will never be, dropped the fun personality, and is now the proud owner of the worst contract in the league.

Dishonorable Mention:
-Peter John Ramos #34
-Samaki Walker #52
-Courtney Alexander #4 - He should have been awesome after scoring 17 ppg as a 23 yr old, but was not.
-Jarvis Hayes #24 - I always hated him. Just a shooter who we wasted a pick and lot of minutes on. He missed making the top-10 by thismuch.

Gil is #1, hands-down, but what does everyone else think? Trust me, once you dig into the ugly memories, you will come out better, or at least not as pissed off about the current season.

(Images courtesy of and

Kiper Tabs Bradford as Skins QB of the Future...

...for now, at least.

From Mel Kiper's Mock Draft 1.0 (must be an ESPN Insider to read the full article):

4. Washington Redskins 
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Mike Shanahan and the Redskins can get a quarterback here who might have been the top player taken had he opted to come out last year. The Redskins need to find their franchise quarterback, and when healthy, Bradford is an exceptionally accurate passer with an underrated arm. Shanahan also hit on his last QB selection when he drafted Jay Cutler in Denver.

How do I feel about this? Not great. Not quite sure what Kiper is getting at with that last sentence, either. Since when was Jay Cutler considered anything but a mediocre quarterback? Oh, that's right, last summer when Snyderrato nearly traded for the little douche.

If Shanahan/Allen really want to draft a QB, then I guess I'm okay with that. But please not with the 4th pick, and please not if Russell Okung - or the Offensive Lineman du jour - is available.

A better idea - trade LaRon Landry for a 5th round pick, then trade our 4th overall pick back for LaRon Landry! I jest...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jeff Schultz Doesn't Need Your MVP-Caliber Goal Scoring to Feel Good About Himself

As we've all no doubt seen in the frenzy of recent profiles, tweets, blog posts, TV features and radio appearances, Jeff Schultz fever is (finally) spreading; more ink has been spilled over Jeff Schultz in recent weeks than has been spilled by the Jeff Schultz who spills ink for a living.

It's well-deserved, of course, for a player who, at age 23, has the second-highest plus/minus rating in the NHL, behind only his high-scoring teammate, Alex Ovechkin. It would be easy and perhaps logical to assume that the two statistics are related, that Schultz's +27 owes a great deal to Ovechkin's goal scoring exploits.


What if I told you that even-strength goals by Ovechkin account for only one-third of Schultz's plus/minus total?

What if I told you that even if all of Ovechkin's tallies were wiped from the scoresheets by some cosmic malfeasance, Schultz's plus/minus rating would still stand at +18?

What if I told you that a plus/minus rating of +18 would still place Schultz fifth among all defensemen, ahead of guys named Lidstrom and Pronger?

So while it would be easy to assume that Schultz's boat is being lifted by Ovechkin's high tide, it simply ain't true; Ovechkin has scored only nine even-strength goals with No. 55 on the ice.

Patient Capitals fans believed Schultz to be capable of this type of defensive prowess; his +13 at the end of 2008-09 hinted at it, at least. So what accounts for Schultz's dramatic statistical blossoming? Maturity and experience have to come in to play, for sure; the arrival of Bob Woods might certainly explain some of it, as well.

More likely, however, is that he's being paired with better teammates, specifically Mike Green and Tom Poti. Schultz's QualTeam has risen to .307 this season from .095 last season, placing him second among all blueliners except Green's "regular" partner, Shaone Morrisonn (.337).

With greater talent surrounding Schultz comes greater responsibility as well. Schultz's QualComp value has risen from -.006 in 2008-09 to .042 this season, which, among Caps blueliners with more than five games played, places him behind only Poti.

In short, Schultz is skating with more offensively-gifted teammates than ever before, while facing more offensively-gifted opponents. Put those two conditions into a calculator and the answer is +27, no matter who's scoring the goals.

Thanks to Behind the Net for the advanced statistics; for an explanation of QualTeam, QualComp and other stats, click here.

[Image via here]

Monday, January 18, 2010

Obligatory Make-Fun-of-the-Cowboys Post

For those who were wondering - yes, my buddy does have a Ween tattoo. Why the hell wouldn't he?!

And for the win (he was wearing this all game, brilliantly oblivious to that sad fact):