Wednesday, April 16, 2008

NFL Schedules Released, And Other Boring Stories

Tuesday's top stories were the Lakers winning the West, Pacman Jones continuing to be a jackass and the NFL schedule being released (yawn). Needless to say, I was not glued to the set for SportsCenter last night. Although the Sharks' come-from-behind win with 9-seconds to go in Calgary, David's Wright's single-handed demolition of the Nationals and the Ducks coming back to life did make me want to watch a little.

Ordinarily the team that wins a conference gains a gigantic advantage: they play a patsy in the first round and the get home court advantage. This year there is no real patsy, except maybe the Nuggets. The Lakers have wound up facing the Nuggets. In the regular season, the Lakers blew them out twice at Staples and won a close one at McNichols Arena (I know the Nuggets no longer play at McNichols Arena but I have always loved the name and am sticking with it). The Nuggets are the only team that has any a-hole power close to what Kobe Bryant brings to the court, so this series will basically be unwatchable. Kenyon Martin will definitely punch someone, Carmelo Anthony will foul out of at least three games and hide booze in his Gatorade bottles, Kobe Bryant will throw his hands out and make the "I-did-not-rape-that-girl" face no less than 8 times per game, Derek Fisher will win the series for the Lakers but not get noticed. Lakers in six because winning in Denver is tough, but the Nuggets are an implosion waiting to happen and can't beat a crappy 1-seed even if that team actually relies on Sasha Vujacic and Vladimir Radmanovich.

The Dallas Cowboys have apparently decided to abandon their "America's Team" moniker and are going after the "America's Slimiest Team" title instead. Perhaps they finally realized that everyone hates them. As if Jerry Jones existence was not gross enough, they signed Terrell Owens even after the incident at midfield at Texas Stadium. They then let Tony Romo fry for the totally innocent mistake of dropping a snap and losing a playoff game. Then again Romo crumbled down the stretch and got blamed for their losing this year. Then Romo went to Mexico with his girlfriend during the playoff by-week and took entirely too much flack for it...then they lost the following week (I had intended to show Romo was not at fault and gets blamed unfairly, but I think I proved myself wrong). Now they are going to trade half of the team in order to sign Pacman Jones, who isn't even allowed to play in the NFL because he keeps getting arrested.

Don't teams with white helmets all look like Jack's kid running around in those Jack-In-The-Box commercials? I love when the Titans play the Chargers.

The NFL released the schedules for 2008 and I can't remember if ESPN always makes this such a big deal or not - maybe it is just because they air Monday Night Football now. There was a live blog written as the schedules were released on the wires. There were bottom-line updates during programming. There was a whole prime time show dedicated to talking about it with reporters, columnists, coaches and players weighing in. Who cares? We have no clue what any of it means yet. They all say that the Giants' title defense depends on how they do in October based on the schedule. If I am not mistaken, the Super Bowl champion Giants were 0-2 and had been outscored 146 to -5 after the first two games last year. I'd say it is December and January that matters more. What is interesting is that because the AFC East was so incredibly bad last year, the Patriots' strength of schedule is by far the easiest in the NFL, and Jacksonville will play four games in 18 days in December. Actually, now that I think of it, that isn't really all that interesting. News is not news until it happens. The draft is not news because it takes a year or 5 for it all to shake out. The schedules are not news because who cares what your opponents were like last year? This is not an important story until about week 4 this upcoming season.

The Ducks and Sharks put the all-California Western Conference Final back in line yesterday with impressive wins. No Canadian team has won the Cup since Toronto was a fur-trading outpost, and if two California teams play one another for the chance to go to the Stanley Cup and then one of them wins it all for the second year in a row, I honestly think Canada might declare war on the United States.

David Wright was three-for-four with a homer and 5 RBI, and Jose Reyes was a homer shy of the Cycle. If I am not mistaken, the Mets questionable pitching staff has allowed the fewest runs in the league, and the "unreliable" Mike Pelfrey is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Seven players are averaging at least one hit per game. Screw the Phillies.

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