Bears vs. Vikings: Not quite the ‘good scene’ in a ‘bad movie’

So I thought I smelled upset…it turned out to just be stench of asswhip…also known as complete and total domination. I know, they totally have a similar aroma. The Bears actually did show us exactly who they are today while getting smacked around by the Vikings. I guess some movies…well, they just completely suck and should not be viewed. Can someone call up Bill Cowher and see what he’s doing next year?

In other highlights:
Jay Cutler continued his poor play while the rest of the team continued not to play.
The Cover 2 defense proved once again that it is not designed to stop a slant or a post route…ever.
Orlando Pace continued his false start/holding penalty streak (let’s keep building on that).
Matt Forte is changing positions from running back to ‘really fast walking’ back.
And the defense was ‘stingy’…giving up a measley 300 first half yards and smidge over 500 for the game. Stifiling.

I think we made some progress today. I can’t wait for the Rams.

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Bears vs. Vikings: Is it just me or does anybody else smell tease?

After a night out with the old lady and spending 50 bucks on a meal that left us both still hungry…I got to thinking about poor financial decisions. I can’t believe I got upsold on the wine…it all tastes the same after two glasses anyway. Being late Saturday night my next logical thought was about Bears vs. Vikings.

We’re all down on the Bears right? Same old shit…tampa 2…Rex is our quarterback…still a quarter left in the season…yeah…we’ve heard it all. After a couple of bad losses to Philly and San Fran, we have pretty much written them off. They are 4-6, what’s the point?

This is the problem with being a Bear fan or a fan of the NFL in general. Just when you think its all over, they tend to yank your chain. Just like a movie with a bad ending, right when you expect the credits to start rolling…they break into another scene. You stay tuned hoping for a better plot resolution.

The Bears and Vikings are that scene. Don’t get me wrong, this is a bad movie…very bad. But even bad movies have good scenes.

Every logical bone in my body tells me that the Bears don’t stand a chance against Minnesota. Orlando Pace trying to slow down Jared Allen…Farve picking apart a weak Chicago secondary…’All Day’ Adrian running right through the Bear’s D-Line. It all has the looks of an easy-breezy-lemon teezy Vikings win.

But that’s the beauty of the NFL and in particular the Bears. Right when you think you know something…you don’t. Just when a pattern emerges, it ends. And just when everyone thinks the Vikes will roll the Bears on Sunday, they won’t.

This is that one good scene in a bad movie. I don’t know why or how this will happen, but its got the classical set up for a Bear win. That one game where they put it all together for four quarters before regressing to who they really are. Their season is about over, they are coming off a couple bad losses, and the Vikings are simply a better team. Result…Bears win 27-24 on a Robbie Gould field goal and you wake up Monday morning hoping this movie has a better ending. Its classic, right when you think the Bears season is over, they come up with an unexpected win making you say, ‘You know, if they win the next 6 in a row….’

This is why we watch bad movies – even the worst ones can still be entertaining for a period of time.

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Top 10: NBA players you should know but don’t

While the glory years of Jordan, Magic and Bird are long gone, the NBA is currently grooming its future stars right under your nose. Do you smell it? No, its not the King James-Kobe Bryant-Dwayne Wade headline acts you’re used to getting hyped about. These are the up and comers in the NBA; these are the players plagued by bad teams and bad markets…the finest of the NBA underground. I’ve compiled a list of the NBA’s most underrated and least talked about ballers who have ridiculous upside. So wake up, get your coffee and don’t sleep on the following:

CDR leads the Nets in scoring.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: I love guys with two last names. The second-year stud who was a teammate of Derrick Rose at Memphis has come into his own depsite playing for the woeful Nets. He is currently averaging over 18 points and 5 rebounds per game while leading the Nets in scoring. At 6’7” Douglas-Roberts is an above average perimeter defender and getting better.

Luis Scola: The 6’9 import  from Argentina made a little name for himself last year during the Rockets series with the Lakers. But this year he has taken it to a new level averaging a double-double (15 point and 10 rebounds). A scrappy defender, Scola has that ability to get under the skin of opponenets and do ‘dirt.’

Jason Thompson: In his second year removed from uknown Rider University, this power foward is making strides for the Sacremento Kings starting in every game this year. While we hear little of west coast teams other the Lakeshow, Thompson has an impressive 14.5 point and 9.5 rebound per game average. The Kings are +20 when he’s on the court.

Russell Westbrook: Oklahoma City does have a team, the Thunder. He will soon be a household name; Westbrook has been a star since last year coming out of UCLA. His points and assists are up from his rookie year and he fills up stat sheets: 16.4 points, 7.1 assists, and 5 rebounds per game as a 6’3” guard.

Is Marc better than Pau?

Marc Gasol:

While his brother gets all the ‘pub’ in L.A., dare I say Marc in Memphis is as good? Known as a good back to the basket and help-side defender, Marc is having a career year with 15 points and 11 boards a game. He is shooting over 60% while leading the team in blocks and ranks second in steals.

 

Kevin Martin: This kid has been on the rise over the past two seasons, and if you haven’t heard of him, you should. Despite only playing in five games this year, the 6’7” skinny guard (a career 17 point per game scorer) is averaging 30 points per game and shooting 44% from the arc. He is a scoring phenom.

Granger is the modern day Scottie Pippen.

Danny Granger: Another player that you should know about. Probably the most known on this list, Granger is the Pacer’s do-it-all guy. Having a career year with 24 ppg and just under 7 rpg, the versatile 6’8” forward is a modern day Scottie Pippen and fills up the offensive and defensive stat sheet.

Brook Lopez: I hated this guy in college, but the big man out of Stanford is one of the only good things happening for the New Jersey Nets. In a league with no centers, Lopez is developing into a guy who can score in the post and defend the basket. He’s getting 17 and 9 while blocking 2.7 shots per game.

Ryan Anderson: By no means a star, Anderson has added another piece to the 2009 Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic.  Hedo Turkoglu departed for Toronto, but the 6’11” sharp shooting Anderson will be a key to Orlando’s success. A spot starter averaging 13 ppg and 4 rpg in his second year, Anderson can stretch the defense giving Dwight Howard room to operate and an option to pass out of double teams.

Tyreke Evans:This kid is turning out to be a personal favorite of mine. The rookie who took over for Derrick Rose after leaving Memphis is another young talent in Sacremento. His physically imposing 6’6” 220 lb frame makes him a tough match up for any NBA guard. Evans is getting 18, 4.5 and 4.5 in his first 11 games with the Kings and should challenge Brandon Jennings for rookie of the year. Still developing, Evans has a tremendous upside offensively and has shown good insticts on the defensive end.

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Maybe Next Year

‘I feel like we’re still in the mix.’ – Love Smith after the Bears lose to Philly and drop to 4-6 on the season.

Despite Lovie Smith’s delusional outlook on the remainder of this season, the proverbial shit hit the fan last night against the Eagles and inevitable conclusion is near. This team is going no where.

Lovie Smith is holding out hope for a Bears playoff appearance

Lovie, enough is enough, you can only fool your fan base for so long. This team hasn’t played a complete game since week 2 against Pittsburgh and the product has seemingly gotten more problematic every week since. Gap control defense? Doesn’t that mean people are suppose to be in the gaps?

Matt Forte, you look old. Despite what Emmit Smith told you, the NFL is not Dancing with the Stars. Why are you so shifty? Just make a god damn move and cut with some explosiveness. You haven’t broken a run since a touchdown in your first game as a rookie. Speaking of first games, I’m looking forward to Khalil Bell getting more reps.

O-Line, or Old-Line, where to start? While your play seemingly improved against Philly, let’s be realistic. I don’t remember the last time Jay Cutler wasn’t scrambling around the pocket before making his second read or throwing a ‘fade away’ off his backfoot like Jordan in the mid-90’s. You’re lucky Orton’s not back there or you guys would have given up twice as many sacks this season.

The saftey play is inadequate at best. Never believe announcers when they comment on how the coaching staff is ‘really impressed’ with their sixth round draft pick. This is never the case…all the coaches are really saying is ‘we have no depth at this position.’ Yesterday on third and short in the fourth quarter when McNabb ducked under center and attempted to pick up the first down conversion, Craig Steltz (yes Craigs Steltz was on the field) wrapped up the Eagles quarterback and had him stopped. Sixth round rookie Al Afalava (with no blocker on him or anybody in front of him) was caught watching. Instead of finishing the play and pushing McNabb back to prevent the first down, Afalava thought it’d be a good time to play ref and start measuring the spot before the play was over. Just the tip of the iceberg, the safties have missed tackles, been out of position, and have not made any ‘big’ plays (Manning’s interception against the Browns doesn’t count, we’re talking about making plays against real football teams here). It really makes you wonder why the Bears let the likes of Brandon McGowan (now starting for the Pats) and Chris Harris (now starting for Panthers) just walk away.

The D-line is just not 'who we thought they were'

The defensive line, you are no longer the stength of this team. You are the biggest questions mark. Aging and inconsistent. Even when they do play well, it seems that the rest of the team can’t ‘put it together’ and the effort is wasted. Despite getting to McNabb a few times on Sunday night…on how many times did he have all day to throw the ball?

Jay Cutler, bet you didn’t expect this huh? Now I know you haven’t had a lot of time to throw the ball and we as fans have often relied on you to bring the Bears back from usually large deficits. But the picks (18) and overthrows of wide open receivers have become glaring. Despite always having a d-lineman in your face, you need to be better. However (I’m not making excuses), I do think that with time you will be better and a cornerstone of this team. But currrently, you are below average on your decision making.

Lovie Smith, you are not ‘in the mix’. You are on the hot seat. This team is spiraling out of control. I don’t care what quarter of the season we are in right now or that there is more than a quarter of the season left. Four quarters of bad football against the Vikings and you can consider yourself ‘a quarter of a season’ away from being fired and it doesn’t matter who your quarterback is.

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Ice it…

Do you like winning??  Without second thought, hell yes should have been your answer… and if you want to win this weekend, you came to the right place.  I’ve had Ice water running through my veins lately and this weekend will be no different.  Get to the window, and get ready to fill those pockets with some coin.

Cal @ Stanford / Stanford giving 8…

This Pac-10 beauty has the #17 Cardinal hosting the #25 Cal Bears.  Sure, Cal brings in a wonderfully talented running back Jahvid Best, averaging 6.1 yds a carry and an impressive 12 TD’s.  Only one slight problem, Best is out with a concussion.  Sure, Cal was able to handle #17 Arizona last week, but Arizona hadn’t scored 139 points over the last 3 games destroying the #8 and #9 team in the country.  That distinction belongs to the Jim Harbaugh led Cardinal.  These future lawyers and doctors are crushing teams as of late, and that doesn’t stop this weekend.  Giving only 8 to a Bestless Cal team… Cal is toast.  Stanford wins this game by at least 17 making this win a breeze for us gamble Gaters.  Take Stanford and enjoy the show.

Oregon @ Arizona / Ducks giving 6

Next up for my parlay pleasure, brings me back to the Pac-10 for some west coast delight.  The Ugly Ducks of Oregon are traveling down to face off against the Desert Swarm.  Big problem for the Swarm, they have yet to face a Top 25 this year and Oregon brings in the #11 team in the country and horrible uniforms.  I am not sure which is going to be uglier, watching Arizona’s defense try to stop an offense averaging 37.1 PPG or the terrible yellow/green combination that Oregon wears on occasion (and what the hell are those feathers on their shoulder pads).  Lagarrette Blount, the kid who threw the punch heard around the world, is back in the lineup for Oregon.  I don’t anticipate seeing much of him, but Oregon isn’t going to need him to knock these guys out.  Giving Arizona less than a touchdown, Oregon wins big.  Take them and rejoice.

UConn @ Notre Dame / ND giving 6

Interesting game… The tubby Weis has his hands full with national speculation that he is out at the end of the year, and I don’t disagree.  Mr. SuperBowl rings hasn’t done squat (and I mean nothing at all, not the exercise squats, although those are clearly not being done either) since taking the job nearly 5 years ago.  He has some nice talent on that squad with more than a few guys moving onto a Sunday schedule in the near future.  That just makes his failures even more concerning.  All that talent, yet not one victory against a Top 20, ever, ouch big fella.  An inspired UConn team comes to South Bend getting 6 points and I am all about it.  UConn has lost their 5 games by a total of 15 points.  Couple that with ND’s traditional Stanford match-up next week, and you have a recipe for a UConn win.  This game being at ND makes no difference to me, UConn on national TV getting 6, I love it… Take UConn, look for the snotty nosed Weis to be whining on the sideline all day, and laugh all the way to the window as you collect your winnings, baby!!!

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LeBrown James

Here is a little poem i wrote:

Roses are red, violets are blue, if I ever have to watch a Browns game again, punch me in the face.

Eric Mangini's job is on the line

I can think of at least 3 things that are brown that I like more than watching the Browns play football:

1) Hashbrowns.

2) Brown-nosers.

3) Dirt.

 Maybe even four if I get creative.

Seriously, with that anemic offense…I’d rather chew on a light bulb than have to watch that team for one quarter. Derek Anderson…Brady Quinn…Derek Quinn…does it even matter? This team’s horrible. You know when your team captain is a washed up running back who was charged with intent to distribute 5 kilo’s of coke, you got some leadership issues.

Mangini, wow you’re in a tough spot. What do you do? You got a terrible team, no hope, and probably going to lose your job. But there is a ray of light: Lebron James?

LeBron James stated if he put time into it, he could be 'really good' at football.

Yes, Bron Bron. After LeBron’s latest comments, Mangini entertained the idea of LBJ playing for his putrid Browns and even went as far as to offer the allstar an invitation to come join the team. Job security? I don’t care if you guys go 0-16…if ManGenius can get Lebron to play ball for the Browns, I’m putting him in the category of Belichick, Shanahan, and Cowher. You’re a total winner in my book bro.

I’ll take it a step further, I don’t care if Cleveland doesn’t win a game for the next 3 seasons. If LBJ is split out at receiver or tight end next season, I’m buying the NFL Sunday Ticket and tivo-ing every  single one of those Browns games and making a point to watch ’em.

Maybe there is some hope if you look deep into the Cleveland Brown…you might be able to pull something out of that mud. Lebron James. Now that would be one of the best coaching jobs I’ve ever seen.

 

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High Above the Rim; Getting High-er

Despite questions on how his game would translate to the NBA, Noah leads the NBA in rebounding.

‘I love you mommy’ – Joakim Noah yells to the UC crowd after the Bull’s 125-123 triple overtime win in Game 6 against the Celtics.

 

Questionable. Until Joakim Noah took the ball from Paul Pierce and went the length of the court in the third overtime of Game 6 in last year’s epic Bulls Celtic series, Noah had more question marks surrounding his name than ‘The Riddler.’ Despite a stellar collegiate career at Florida (before it was Tebow Land), there were questions on how the 9th overall selection in the 2007 NBA draft, the 7-ft lanky center with limited offensive game,  would translate in the NBA. More importantly, he had what some people in NBA draft board rooms would call ‘character issues.’ 

Homeboy did have his share of issues too – clashing with head coach Scott Skiles during his rookie campaign – his child-like interviews with the media –  his 2008 mishap with Gainesville police where they found open alcohol and weed in his car (what a surprise!?!…redefining the meaning of a high draft pick).

Regardless of that, this kid’s a different breed, no doubt. How many people do you know who have a professional tennis player for a dad and a mom who was named Miss Sweden in 1978? Probably not many, and if you do, then you need to bring your friends around more. We should chill.

Noah looking highly amused-nice assist

But seriously, just look at the dude. His physical appearance resembles a 7-foot tall Bozo the Clown with longer hair and a bucktooth smile.. not to mention looking like a distant relative of Cheech or Chong. It’s no wonder fans would question what kind of player he would turn out to be.

But the past is the past, and the present is now…unless of course you just got high in which case time demensions can be confusing….I digress.

Point being: The kid who was a one-time questionable draft pick is currently morphing into NBA stud…a ‘chronic’ double-double machine…a ‘habitual’ and ‘potent’ offensive rebounder…an overall ‘dank’ center (ok, you get the point).

Does his jumpshot look like a special olympics shot-put event? Yes. Does he often look like he hit the UC hardwood immediately after attending a Cypress Hill concert? Absolutely. But looks can be deceiving and 12-games into the season, Noah finds himself leading the league in rebounding (12.4) and is currently averaging a double-double. Throw in a couple blocks a game while hitting on 56% of his shots…ladies and gentlemen we have a legit NBA center in the building.

But the most valuable aspect of his game is his ‘energy’ (I hate the term ‘energy player’ more than calling a quarterback a ‘game manager’ – but he is exactly that). Who ever said smoking weed makes you lazy? Noah runs the floor like he’s trying to escape the Gainesville police and avoid his second marijuana misdemeanor…hustling back on defense and closing lanes…hitting the offensive glass for put backs…beating his man down the floor for an easy bucket…he’s a crowd igniter…he’s charasmatic… he has an identity.

It's been said that former Bull head coach Phil Jackson thought so highly of Noah that during the 'Kobe's fleeing L.A. for Chicago' rumor, the former Gator was the instrumental piece that allowed the Lakers to flirt with the idea of trading Bryant to the Bulls. 'I like the (lanky) centers more than the power (guys),' - ha, take that Shaq.

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