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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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NFL Picks Week 9 – Doc Brown Special

Last week was somewhat of a struggle for Doc Brown who went 6-7 ATS and 7-6 SU. The good news is his Top 3 went 2-1, keeping the season percentage at 75%. Now that’s what you should be banking on when you peep the picks each week. Full analysis of this week’s games is after the picks chart, but here are some thoughts on the Top 3 picks.

One of the first games to which I gravitated was the Bears at the Bills. Chicago is laying 2.5 points which doesn’t seem like too much. The strength of this team is defense, and I expect the Bills to struggle scoring against the D. Chicago’s offense is the major question mark. Jay Cutler has been throwing picks as if he can hit a million dollar bonus by getting to 30 on the year. Their offense has been brutal and that’s because of their inability to protect the quarterback. What makes me believe this game will be different is that Buffalo’s pass rush isn’t nearly as potent as Seattle’s or Washington’s. I think the Bears will be able to protect Cutler and score enough points to cover in Toronto.

I’ve been big on the Dolphins all year. Their defense is extremely underrated and one of the better units in the league. I think this will be a game of field goals and very close, coming down to the final five minutes of the game. Baltimore can come out on top, but it will be by a slim margin.

Drew Brees may or may not be playing with a knee injury, but it doesn’t matter. He looked great in the second half last week against Pittsburgh and seems to have turned the corner. Carolina may have played them tough before, but they’re one of the worst teams in football. I think the Saints will look like the team on display last weekend and annihilate the weakened Panthers. Analysis on the rest of the games following the picks chart.

DOC BROWN’S NFL PICKS WEEK 9:
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

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Drew Brees Reportedly Playing with Torn Meniscus and Knee Fracture (NO Denies)

We’ve been wondering where the Saints offense has been for most of the season. Drew Brees hasn’t been the same machine he was last year and New Orleans’ offense is putting up the Arena numbers we’re used to seeing from them. In some senses Brees was so good last year it would have been hard for him to replicate the performance, but he hasn’t even been coming close. Part of the problem is that running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush have both been hurt most of the year, taking away some of the Saints’ key weapons. Another issue that seems to make a lot more sense is that the knee injury Drew Brees sustained earlier in the season is much worse than the team let on.

I kind of believed that was the case to begin with because teams constantly hide their players’ injuries. It happened with Tom Brady last year and it’s likely the same thing is going on with Brees. After getting hurt against the Falcons, he began wearing a brace on his knee. Brees hasn’t had the same accuracy since then, throwing nine interceptions to give him 11 for the season. Now, Pro Football Talk has passed along a report from WIST radio in New Orleans that Brees has been playing with a torn meniscus and fracture in his knee. That seems to make a lot of sense and I think most people would believe that Brees is playing with a busted knee. It’s just another example of how beat up these players are and the types of injuries they play through each week. Oh yeah, and Doc Brown is still taking the Saints this week in his picks.

UPDATE: Just as I was about to hit publish, Saints reporter Jeff Duncan said Sean Payton completely denied the report. He denied it for the same reason nobody reported it or talked about it before — they don’t want it being public.

Giants Fans Love Their Buster Posey

My buddy Jason finally got revenge on me for the Angels taking out his Giants in 2002. All was forgiven after the Giants won the World Series this year, and he was one of the thousands on hand for the parade Wednesday. That’s pretty impressive considering he trekked from LA to SF for the shindig. While he was there, he came across these willing ladies:

The ladies love their Buster Posey. And Tim Lincecum too. It makes sense — those girls seem to be about the same age as the batterymates.

Raptors Coach Jay Triano Drops F-Bomb During TV Interview (Video)

If Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano is frustrated enough to be dropping f-bombs on live television after a 1-3 start, it could be a long season for him in Canada.  Chris Bosh decided he was more interested in being on TV than staying with the Raptors, so it’s probably going to be a tough year for Triano’s squad.  Toronto has already lost some close games, and it appears their coach was frustrated with the teams inability to stop Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.  Here’s the casual, but humorous, Jay Triano f-bomb video, courtesy of Slam via SbB Live:

Unlike Ozzie Guillen, I don’t think the TV network encouraged Triano to curse as a means of boosting their ratings.  Gotta love the enthusiasm.

Video Credit: Twitter user sigD

Cristiano Ronaldo Takes an Embarrassing Dive Against AC Milan (Video)

This is why people in America make fun of soccer.  You can call it ignorant, arrogant, misinformed, ill-informed, or whatever you want to call it, but these are the images that are burned into the minds of people who hate on soccer.  I’d rather see Cristiano Ronaldo spitting at a cameraman than doing something like this.  Check out this video of Cristiano Ronaldo’s dive against AC Milan, courtesy of Deadspin:

The best is when a soccer fan uses the excuse of “that’s just part of the game.”  You’re right, it is, and you should be embarrassed that that’s the case.  I wish I could ref one of these matches just for a day.  I’d slap a red card on every player I saw doing something like this and maybe even force them to wear a blond wig for a game when they returned to action.  Actually, some of them would probably like that.

Video Credit: YouTube user Tperfew

Kevin Love: There Are Some Games You Circle on the Calendar

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been known to speak his mind and say some unwise things. Players like him make following sports much more fun, because we all know how boring generic cliches are. It’s Love’s personality that makes his new blog at GQ a fun read for fans, similar to the way Gilbert Arenas’ nba.com blog was a few years ago.

Love has written funny lines about his teammates, gone into detail about his coach’s style, challenged Bill Simmons, and already gotten into trouble for his R-rated language on the blog. He offers the type of insight that takes players behind the scenes, and thank goodness, he doesn’t use cliches.

You know how athletes all say each game means the same thing and we take them one at a time? Well Love actually admitted what we really know is the truth — you do circle some games on the calendar. “Every game is important, but the fact is, there are some games you circle on your calendar and this is definitely one of them,” Love said prior to Tuesday’s game against the Heat.

The T-Wolves lost that game 129-97 to give you an idea of how bad they are if they went all out for it, but that’s not a surprise. It does fit into what we said before — Miami is polarizing and the hated teams inspire the best play from opponents. Everyone will be out to get the Heat, but most won’t be able to beat them. Fact.

Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Isiah Thomas on Miami Heat: Being Hated Is Not a Bad Thing

The Miami Heat is one of the best shows on television and the biggest reason why is because they’re so polarizing. Everyone has an opinion on the Heat: you either like them and want them to win or you hate them and want them to lose. Either way you’re watching their games to see what they do. For that reason and more, Isiah Thomas told our buddy Jorge Sedano on 790 the Ticket in Miami that being hated is not a bad thing:

“Hate is not a bad thing in sports. You need the good guy and the bad guy and not everyone can be the good guy. When you have the good guy matched up against the bad guy, that’s what we all want to see. We don’t want to see two good guys go at it. We want to see the adversaries and the rivalries. Right now I think it’s great for the NBA and it will be great for all these guys in their careers as time moves on that having a little hate and being a little despised that’s not bad all the time. That means that you’re pretty good, you’re touching people’s emotions, a little controversial, and you’re being talked about. That’s what sports is all about. It’s not about the good guy all the time. If they’re chosen as the bad guys that means they’re going to be on television a lot, they’re going to be written about a lot, and they’re going to win a lot of games.”

Between his days on the Bad Boy Pistons and as coach and GM for the Knicks, Isiah knows exactly what it’s liked to be hated. See, the thing is it’s only good to be hated for the right reasons. Being hated because you’re good and the team that always wins is the right reason to be hated. Being hated because of this, this, and this are the wrong reasons to be hated. Good thing Isiah was clear he was talking about being hated for the right reasons considering he knows how bad it is to be on the other end. And after the Heat wins a title this season, they’ll be even more hated.

(thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for the transcription)

Clipper Fan Darrell Officially on Strike

The Clippers are 0-4 to start the season and have already disappointed their fans. Baron Davis admitted he came into camp out of shape and had to miss their last two games because of a knee injury. They’ve had three home games and still lost — albeit to good teams. They were blown out by the Warriors on the road. Their fans are dissatisfied and even the most loyal, dedicated fan of all has voiced his displeasure.

As The Basketball Jones pointed out, the legendary Clipper Darrell has gone on strike. CD is so big time he notified the world in the third person, “All I want to see is love & passion 4 the game …CLIPPER DARRELL IS NOW ON STRIKE!!!! I’m hanging the suit up in the closet.”

If Clipper Darrell has gone on strike then you know things are really bad. I’m heading to watch my first Clippers game of the season as they take on the Thunder tonight and will be able to see for myself whether they lack the effort Darrell says they do. I’ll also be able to report if Clipper Darrell has stayed true to his word. You just know things are really bad when he’s dropped off the band wagon.

Kevin Garnett Backing Off Charlie Villanueva Cancer Comment Is Even Worse

Kevin Garnett’s desire to get inside Charlie Villanueva’s head with some trash talk Tuesday has backfired. Villanueva wrote on his twitter page that KG crossed the line calling him a cancer patient because CV doesn’t have hair. For anyone who knows Garnett’s history, the comment is not surprising. What is surprising is that KG denied the comment on Wednesday:

“I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league.’ I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment.”

When you’re in a sane frame of mind you would not be insensitive towards cancer patients, but when you’re in the heat of the moment and trying to win a game you sure as heck would. Who is buying Garnett’s backtracking? Why is he denying it? That just makes things worse because we know he’s lying. Nobody talks trash in complete sentences! Yeah, I’m sure he said “You are cancerous to your team and our league.” Now that phrase just rolls off the tongue. No contractions either. He should have just apologized and admitted he crossed the line. Then we could have respected him for saying he was wrong. Now he just comes across as having even worse judgment than we thought.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Duane Burleson

Ryne Sandberg Leaves Cubs After Losing Out on Managerial Job

Many Cubs fans were heartbroken (what else is new?) when the team announced they would drop the interim tag for manager Mike Quade. Quade took over the job in August when Lou Piniella announced he was stepping down to be with his mother. The Cubs had some success under Quade going 24-13 and that was enough reason for the organization to retain him as the team’s manager.

The decision upset many Cubs fans who were eager to see franchise legend Ryne Sandberg get a shot. Ryno had been managing in the minor leagues since 2006 and was named the PCL Manager of the Year for the Iowa Cubs this past season. The Hall of Famer was understandably upset that the Cubs passed him over for the job and he has responded by leaving the organization.

Sandberg was offered the chance to go back to Iowa to manage their Triple-A team but he’s decided to move on to another organization. GM Jim Hendry says he’s hopeful the organization will be able to hook up with Ryne in the future, but I’m guessing it will take plenty of time for Sandberg to get over the snub.

This sounds like a Mike Scioscia situation in the making. Scioscia was a fan favorite serving as a catcher for the Dodgers his entire 13-year career. The Dodgers overlooked him as the team’s manager so he went to the Angels and has become one of the best and most respected managers in the game. Hendry better hope the same thing doesn’t happen with Sandberg otherwise this will go next to the Billy Goat on the list of Cubs curses.

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