Friday, February 5, 2010

The World Has Righted Itself

The ESPN Stats page was looking weird for a while there. This is much better.

That's lucky 13. The all-time record of 17 straight is in sight.

Happy sledding.

Super Bowl Pick: The Joy of Rooting for Other Teams

What would it be like to not be a Skins fan? Supporting the Skins has brought us fans years of pain and anger, and this season, above all, was so bad that the final game brought me a sense of relief rather than frustration that Skins came up short again. So when the playoffs started, I needed to find another team to support to keep myself fully engaged.

Usually gambling does the trick, but my Skins anger boiled-over to the point that I had a strong rooting interest against almost all of the teams in the postseason; let's call these teams "Snyderratos". These teams include the Cowgirls, Iggles, Cardinals (Russ Grimm coulda/shoulda/woulda been our coach), Jets (Sanchez needs to have a bad career to prove Snyderrato wrong), Ravens (geographically close), San Diego (Norv Turner), and Minnesota (I can't stand Favre-mania). Add that up and you get 7 of the 12 playoff teams! With so many Snyderratos in the playoffs, along with the general bad karma for Skins fans, these playoffs were poised to be a continuation of the suckfest that was this season.

After wild-card weekend, things only got worse, as there were 8 teams left in the playoffs, and only 2 of them would not severely anger me by winning a Super Bowl; I prepared a pot of boiling water, vinegar, and exacto-knives accordingly. But then, a funny/amazing thing happened......the Snyderratos were all crushed. Check out the game-by-game results; every game went exactly as a Skin fan could have hoped. The Cards, Cowboys, and Ravens were all annihilated, Norv Turner lost a close playoff game to an underdog, and then Saints and Colts took care of Favre-hysteria and the extreme remorse I'd have that the Skins should have hired the Wisenhunt-Grimm combo. I had no idea how amazing it is to root for anybody who isn't the Skins. All these other teams don't crush my hopes and even exceed expectations. This leaves me with mixed feelings, as I enjoyed the ride of all of our enemies losing, but now realize, more than ever, just how pathetic it is being a Skins fan.

So who does a Skins fan root for on Sunday? I have no problems with the Colts, as they have no Redskin ties, but I have wavered on the Saints. Should I feel nauseous or proud that we almost beat the potential best team in the league? Should I hate any success of Gregg Williams, or support him because he was screwed by Snyderrato? Do I hate Mark Brunell for his 2 year suckfest in DC, or should I support him for his honorable service and the 1 year he led us to the playoffs? I don't really care about Brunell, he's just a holder, but Grilliams, aka Man Boobs, I have to support. I'd be upset if Man Boobs was having success as a head coach, but as a D Coordinator? He got jobbed by not succeeding Gibbs, and now lives separately from his family, who still live in VA. How can you not root for him? He's one of us! So I think Skins fans have to ride the Saints bandwagon on Sunday...........until Brunell enters the game.

The standings (with pushes excluded and differences in total games picked a result of us using slightly different spreads.):
Sports Guy: 1-1 last week 137-122 overall (52.9%)
FO: 1-1 last week, 132-126 overall (51.2%)
DCLS: 1-1 last week, 117-127 overall (48.0%)

New Orleans +6 over Indianapolis - That spread is huge, but get this, the metrics like the Saints straight-up! Not barely, but at 56%, which is significant. FO has the Saints as the better overall team, by 2 spots in their rankings. All that said, FO 'only' has this as a reasonable pick, despite the better team getting almost a touchdown.

So sit back and enjoy the fact that regardless of which team wins, Redskin frustration is least for 2 months until we draft a QB..................

(Image courtesy of

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Awesome Awesome Awesome. Crap Damn Crap.

I can't remember a night of such wildly extreme emotional swings in my life. On the one hand, you have the Caps coming out of nowhere to beat the Rangers 6-5 at MSG. Just an Awesome Awesome Awesome game. For 40 minutes I thought the streak was toast as the never-ending penalty parade picked up where it left off in November, allowing the offensively woeful Rags to score 5 goals. FIVE! What a terrible way to lose the streak; like losing your hot girlfriend to the kid with downs. That should never happen.

Then, THIS:

I feel like I betrayed you, Red Jesus, for ever doubting that you would skate through a world class defender and one-hand a goal over one of the best goalies in the world at a time when your team needed it the most. What an idiot I am.

Naturally, two goals and victory followed. YES! 12 WINS IN A ROW. WE'RE THE BEST TEAM IN THE NHL.

On the other hand, you have possibly the worst Caps-related news since the invention of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps' Eastern Conference kryptonite, the yin to their yang, the bore-you-to-death with D, playoff-tested, Stanley Cup approved Brodeur-led New Jersey Devils just added the one thing the Caps could least afford them to: the best pure goal scorer in the world not named Alex Ovechkin. NOOO.

If you haven't heard, that's Ilya Kovalchuk. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello absolutely McPhee'd (NHL slang term meaning "dominated in a trade") the NHL's version of Vinny Cerrato, Thrashers GM Don Waddell. New Jersey gave up a middling rookie (Bergfors), a defenseman who didn't fit (Oduya), one four-star prospect (Cormier, suspended for rest of season) and a late 1st round pick. I'm not convinced just dumping these assets and NOT getting Kovalchuk back wouldn't have made the Devils better anyways. That's barely an exaggeration.

Ovechkin - 15 goals/season - awesomeness + SuperDweeb = Kovalchuk

In sum, the Caps' scariest Eastern foe just strengthened its weakness like twenty-fold. Its strength remains a strength: the Devils have allowed the fewest goals in the NHL, and they only lose two replaceable roster players. See they play this system where the center forechecks and forces the opposing D to pick a si-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

My hope is Kovalchuk in Jersey ends up being a square peg in the round hole type situation, like Jagr on the Caps. Can such an offensively-oriented winger survive in such a defensively-oriented system like Jersey's?

My other hope is that it doesn't matter. The Caps are so hot right now. I can't even imagine a team in the history of time that could beat the Caps; maybe a team of 25 Ovechkins. Maybe. It'd be close. I hate you New Jersey.

[Image via RotoRob]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Olympic Hockey Poll Results

About 59% of the vote was cast in favor of Team Alex Ovechkin Russia, with Canada (20%), the United States (12%), and Sweden (9%) distantly following.

To quote cleverly named "Anonymous" in the comments section of this post, "Poll results are showing that this blog is nothing more than a pinko commie rag..USA USA".

Guess I can't really argue with that right now, can I?

Don't Fox With Alex Ovechkin

Or do. Seriously, Johnny Boychuk. I dare you.

Smells Like...Victory

Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win. Win.

See a pattern?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not So Breaking News: The Nats Are Not Thaaat Good

Maybe I jumped the gun a bit, but the abusrdly optimistic projection by Baseball Prospectus (BP) that pegs the Nats for 82 wins has since been changed, twice. The Nats projection dropped to 81 wins, and then 76. This means the Nats have already managed to lose 6 games in the span of a week, and it's only February.

Even though I am a huge stat nerd and believe in the BP metrics, I still am having trouble seeing the Nats win 76 games (76-86). Vegas seems to agree with me, as even though over/under win totals are not available, the Nats have been given the worst odds in the league to win the World Series, even worse than the Pirates. I'd love to be proven wrong, but Jason Marquis is listed as the #1 starter right now, which is all I need to know.

(Image courtesy of

Monday, February 1, 2010

Orioles and Nats Offseason Projections

Only 16 days until pitchers and catchers report, so the baseball offseason is amazingly all but over, and we can start getting a good idea of what next season holds for the Birds and Nats.

The biggest news to come out is that Nick Markakis now looks like he plays open mic night at Nanny O'Brien's, but the other news is that Baseball Prospectus just released their team projections for 2010. The highlights are that the 3 best teams all will reside in the AL East, the Yankees will be the 3rd best team in the entire league but miss the playoffs, and the Nats are projected to jump up to 82 wins! The Orioles? BP has the birds at a respectable 79 wins, which is impressive when the strength of the competition is considered.

The other exciting news is that Keith Law just ranked the O's farm system as #6 in the league, despite Baseball Jesus and Chris Tillman not counting in that ranking due to their 'graduations'. If that 1 guy and 1 god are included, the O's could very easily be #1 on that list. The bad news is that the Yankees still reside in New York, and the Red Sox and Rays have the #2 and #3 systems. The other bad news is that the Nats sit all the way down at #23.

Law also ranks the top-100 prospects overall, with Strasbourg #2 overall, Oriole Brian Matusz #11, Oriole Zach Britton #25, Nat Derek Norris #31, Oriole Josh Bell #61, Oriole Jake Arrieta #90, and Nat Drew Storen #92. Law also notes that future Nat SS Ian Desmond narrowly missed the top-100.

So where does this leave us? First, I have a new respect for Nick the Greek because of that savage beard. Second, Orioles will not surprisingly again toil below the MLB elite, who happen to reside in the same division. Finally, 2011 is still a big year for the O's, but the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays are all still better positioned (just wait until Joe Mauer is a Yankee in 2011), so expectations should be tempered, except for one thing.............we've got Wieters.........

(Image courtesy of

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Caps, In Video Form

That's 10 in a row now. Ten wins against good teams, great teams, Cup champs, bad teams, bubble teams, desperate teams, lazy teams, hard-working teams, defensive teams, offensive teams, hot goalies, smart coaches and all teams between. And most of them in dominating fashion.

They're 12-1 since Ovie was named captain. On a game like today's you just knew he'd come through with the GWG when it was 2-2 in the third.

Let's hope the Olympic break doesn't derail this momentum. I can't remember a world where the Caps looked beatable.