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A Roll of the Dice (StatDragon’s Picks to Beating Vegas Weekend of Dec. 13)

Follow StatDragons advice to beating Vegas this week.

Follow StatDragons advice to beating Vegas this week.

I re-watched Rounders ( best Vegas movie ever) last night and it made me homesick for Clark County, Nevada. Well, I guess, “homesick” isn’t the correct terminology, but god***n it sure made me want to win some money. Right as I was about to put my credit card down on fulltiltpoker.com, I came to the impeteous realization that my poker carrer, to date, is about as sucessful as Ryan Leaf’s NFL career. Bummer. Mom, if you are reading this, send rent immediately.

Then I said to myself, “Hey StatDragon (yes I do call myself that…and I am close at getting my girlfriend to as well), you certainly are the fountain of sports knowledge, why not throw down a parlay for the weekend and make some fresh dough off a few NFL victories?”  And here’s what I came up with:

Pick 3: New York Jets over Buffalo

It’s not easy to pick the Jets with confidence, especially after they looked pathetic this past week against San Francisco, and just as bad the week before against Denver. That said, they are now tied with New England and Miami for the division lead, and it’s now or never for them. Can you think of a better now-or-never man than Brett Favre? The Jets will come into this division matchup fired up and ready to go—and will pound a floundering Bills squad. Yes, the Bills do have “beast mode” Marshawn Lynch, but keep in mind that Lynch really has only gone into “beast mode” twice this season (one of those outings against a pathetic Brown’s D)

Pick 2: Indianapolis over Detroit

There simply is nothing to be said here. Daunte Culpepper might not be able to play, and to compare the Vikings offense to the Colts offense would be a travesty. Detroit could not stop Tarvaris Jackson (the man benched earlier this season for 37-year-old journeyman Gus Frerotte) from marching down the field. How do they expect to stop a blazing hot Colts team? The Colts are riding the hot handed Peyton Manning who could put up 4TDs this week as easily as Wilt Chamberlain got laid in the 60’s

Pick 1: Philadelphia over Cleveland

Cleveland defense is inept. Ken Dorsey is starting his 11th game in 6 years. And the Eagles need 3 wins to make the playoffs. Picking Philly here, is like choosing to watch The Godfather over Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | NFL, Stupid Athletes, Talkin Trash, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vijay – Stop Pussyfootin’ Around

Vijay Mallya, owner of Force India F1 and a lot of other things

Vijay Mallya, owner of Force India F1 and a lot of other things

Toward the end of the 2008 Formula 1 season, then current drivers Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) and Adrian Sutil (GER) said that they had solid contracts for the 2009 season. And management stated to the same, from Colin Kolles, team managing director, and Vijay Mallya, team owner.

Now, however, Mallya has gone on the record that he has not made up his mind about who will sit behind the steering wheel of the 2009 Force India F1 racecars. What’s the deal here?

Right after the end of the season race in Brazil, Mallya canned technical director Mike Gascoyne (who was brilliant when he was at Toyota F1, but not so brilliant at Spkyer F1 / Force India F1) and managing director Colin Kolles (not brilliant at Midland F1 / Spyker F1 / Force India F1) for lack of results, I would presume. I believe that Mallya was correct in canning these two, as they couldn’t figure out what to do with the brillian Ferrari V8 engine.

Now that Force India F1 has a technical partnership with McLaren Mercedes, they will reap the rock solid Mercedes powerplant and transmission related components from Woking. So perhaps sensing that 2009 might turn out to be a semi-competitive year (if they get the chassis and aero into proper shape), Mallya is perhaps seeking drivers with more clout. Or perhaps McLaren has dictated some sort of a driver swap as a part of the technical partnership. Will old Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa get a chance to race once more? Will young Gary Paffett get the chance to drive some races? Who knows.

But what we do know is that Fisichella and Sutil do have contracts. And for Mallya to pull the plug on existing contracts is the same old driver shuffle bullshit that we’ve grown to know and love – recall the Jenson Button Honda – Williams contract fiasco? I guess when you are filthy rich and have billions at your disposal, you can flip the middle finger at anyone and pay ’em off if necessary to shut them up. I guess he really doesn’t give a shit that the Italian / German duo did what they could with a crappy car all season long and even showed some promise in the latter half of the season.

And to cap it all off, Mallya stated:

“One McLaren test driver has already tested our car.”

“They bring the McLaren experience with them.”

“We haven’t finalised anything on the race seat. I will discuss this issue with McLaren and take this decision at an appropriate time.”

Looks like Ron Dennis has a puppet at his disposal in the F1 paddock. Hate to say it, but this is resembles English colonialism in India just a tad too much for my tastes.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Formula 1, General, Motorsports, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taylor’s Injury Opens Door For MOJO in JAX

The time has come for Jacksonville Fans to bid adieu to their beloved, yet sometimes very absent halfback, Fred Taylor. The Jaguars announced today that Taylor will miss the rest of the season due to torn ligaments in his thumb. Although Fred Taylor has mounted (arguable) Hall of Fame numbers in his 11 year NFL career, the 32 year-old halfback’s job in Jacksonville may have come to an end. Plagued by injuries, Taylor has missed 25 starts in the last eight years, earning him the nickname “Fraglie Fred.” Taylor ranks 16th on the all-time rushing list with 11,271 yards.  As there have been talks though out the year that Taylor might not return to the Jags next year, the legitimacy of this rumor may have become bolstered by the recent injury. The injury in and of itself isn’t the straw to break the camel’s back, but it serves as a reminder that small market team such as Jacksonville can’t afford to keep around a 33 year old injury risk.

So what does this have to do with STATDRAGON’s Fantasy Football Advice??

Make way for Maurice Jones-Drew to join the upper eschelon of Fantasy running backs. The resilient, young, sure-handed back has already made quite a name for himself in the NFL. His 211 fantasy points this season (in a yahoo ppr league) better the likes of elite backs such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Ryan Grant and Joseph Addai who’s numbers aren’t affected by a dual-back system. Now (theoretically), give him the opportunity to carry the ball 100 (+) more per year, and you have got an absolute fantasy monster!

MJD Fantasy owners, who are still in the playoffs,  have struck gold with Fragile Fred’s seasonal departure. Jones-Drew looks at Green Bay and Indianapolis’ defense in the following two weeks who are ranked 27th and 25th, respectively.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Screw Potential. I Want Results!

Sports is replete with overused cliches and guilded phrases, none of which irk me more than “potential.”  We’ve all heard it from Mel Kiper, Jay Bilas, any number of draft analysts, talent evaluaters, talk radio show hosts, and sports news meat puppets.  When coming out of high school before being selected #1 overall NBA scouts gushed and creamed themselves over Kwame Brown’s potential.  What came of that?  Oh, a terrible player is what emerged from the golden egg of potential.  Two years ago the “Greg Oden has the potential to be the next Bill Russell” chatter began littering the sports world and blogosphere.  Harold Miner had potential to be the next Jordan.  Ki-Jana Carter had the potential to be the next Earl Campbell.  Potential, potential, potential.  Keep your potential, damnit.  The FlyMaster is interested only in results.  Straight up. 

The idea of potential ties into the larger issue of the “Wussification” of America.  Back in the day people either did it or didn’t do it.  There was no evaluation before anything happened.   Did the Founding Fathers sit around in Philadelphia talking about “We’ve got the potential to make a country”?  Hell no, they just did it.  Did Thomas Edison say “I’ve got the potential to make a light bulb”?  No.  He just failed until he succeeded.  Did Jesse Owens say “I’ve got the potential to humiliate Hitler in his own crib”?  No.  He just did it.  Talking about potential only diverts focus from going out and doing.  Potential is a try, and the great wise man, Yoda, once said, “there’s only do or do not, there is no try.”  That little green son-of-a-Degoba bitch knew what was up.

Poster Child for Potential?

Poster Child for Potential?

 In honor of all these folks tooting the horns of the upside and potential of the sports flavor of the month, allow the FlyMaster to make some “potential” calls.

  • Tim Tebow has the potential to be a waste of a draft pick
  • Any player from FSU or Miami has the potential of wearing gold fronts, speaking the worst English ever heard, and entering the league’s substance abuse program
  • Fat kids have the potential to become fat adults
  • Dumb kids have nothing but the potential to become dumb adults
  • The sun has the potential to rise in the east and set in the west
  • The Clippers and ThunderSonics (or whatever they are now) have the potential to suck for the forseeable future
  • A rubik’s cube has the potential to drive you batshit
  • Smoking weed has the potential to get you high
  • Pac Man Jones has the potential to make it rain on a whim
  • Itchy nuts means you have the potential of rockin’ the crabs

Take that.  When the wells of potential run dry what’s left?  Either you did or you didn’t.  So become the next Jordan.  Become the next Bill Russell.  Damn, become the next Shavlik Randolph or any other sorry Duke sucka that was doused in potential and the burned in failure.  Just bring it, don’t sing it.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!  Potentially.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, Stupid Athletes, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments