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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Brew's Predictions - Week 3 - (17-13)

NCAA

TCU @ * Okla St. - (-13.5)
* Wash. @ Colo. - (+11.5)
Oregon @ * ASU - (+14.5)
* Notre Dame @ Michigan St. - (-4.0)
* USC @ Cal. - (17.0)

NFL

* Rams @ 49ers - (+2.5)
* Browns @ Colts - (+1.0)
Texans @ * Patriots - (-13.5)
Seahawks @ * Titans - (-2.5)
Giants @ * Eagles - (-6.0)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Brew's Predictions - Week 2 - (12-7)

Welcome to the Corner

This weeks picks are all very similar. I took a lot of road underdogs this week, simply because I felt the spreads were too big. Anyway - Here they were:

NCAA:

  • * OSU @ WASU (-21) - L
  • Tex @ * USC (-15.5) - L
  • * UO @ Wyo (+14) - W
  • * Clem @ Louisville (+3) - W
  • * UCLA @ Memphis (+3) - L
  • UC-Davis @ *PSU (n/l) - L
NFL:
  • * SF @Sea (-13.5) - W
  • * Minn @ Pitt (-6) - L
  • * NE @ NO (+6.5) - W
  • * Buf @ CAR (-7) - W
  • * Cleve @ Bal (-8) - L
Total week 5-6 - Overall - 17-13
Only real disappointment here was how poorly PSU played. I was at the game and it was simply awful. 

Keep your eyes on the prize....

Friday, September 08, 2017

Brew's Predictions - Week 1b (4-3) - 2017

Welcome to the corner!

So I went 4-3 last week. Let's see how this week goes. I have 12 games to pick:

NCAA:

  • Nebraska* @ Oregon (-13.5)  - So Neither team finished well last year. I like Oregon, but 13.5 is an awful lot of points. Not liking the spread here. Oregon to Win, Nebraska to cover. NEB.
  • Minnesota @ Oregon St. (-2.5) - I changed my mind on this one. They are pretty even. Not sure if the Home Field is worth 2.5, but I'll take my chance. ORST
  • Georgia @ Notre Dame (-5) - I don't trust ND to deliver, and since I am getting points, I'll take the Bulldogs to win plus the points. GA
  • Stanford @ *USC (-6) - Changed my mind on this one also. USC isn't much better than Stanford, but this the best game this weekend. In the end, I'll take the Trojans to Win and Cover. USC
  • Boise St. @ *WASU (-10) - May be the first time I have ever taken the Cougs to cover a 10 point spread. If they ever do, it will be here. WSU
  • Montana @ *Washington (n/l) - This is not a runaway. Montana won the Big Sky last year, they'll keep it interesting, but the Huskies will pull away. UW
NFL:
  • *Chiefs @ Patriots (-8.5) - Anytime there is a bigger than a touchdown spread, it better be a Top 5 team against a bottom 5 team. Not the case here. the Pats should win this one, but the Chiefs are the best they've been in decades, they'll definitely cover. KC
  • Steelers @ *Browns (+10) - Did you see the rule above? This applies as well. The Brownies should at least cover the 10 at home. CLE
  • *Seahawks @ Packers (-3) - This one is really tough because the line is exactly where it should be. I am taking the Seahawks to cover, but the Packers might win this big at home. SEA
  • Giants @ *Cowboys (-4) - Same scenario as above, however, this time I'll take the Cowboys at home. No reason except a hunch. 'Boys to win and cover. DAL
  • Panthers @ *49ers (+5.5) - I'll make the homer pick, plus the 5.5 points are tasty. SF
  • Saints @ *Vikings (-3) - Again, I like the line here, but that makes it difficult to pick. Everyone is loving the saints in this one, so I'll go the other way. Vikings to Cover the tray at home. MIN
Keep your eyes on the prize!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Brew's Predictions - Week 1a (0-0) 2017

Here is week ones predictions in College.

  • *Mich @ Fla (+5.5) -- The Wolves are much better. They will win and cover. -- MICH. - W
  • *BYU @ LSU (-15.5)  -- LSU should win this, but 15 points is a lot. Tigers won't cover. -- BYU - L
  • WestV @ *VTech (-4) -- Tech should cover.  -- VT - W
  • PSU @ OSU (no line). -- I hate to say this, but it might be close. The Viks are up, the Beavs are down, but they should win this one handily. -- OSU - W
  • TEX A&M @ *UCLA (-3.5) -- Both Schools need to win. Ill take the Bruins to win and cover at home. -- UCLA - L
  • CSU @ *Colo (-5.5) - The Buffalos are finally good. They should cover at home. Watch out for the Rams though, they should win the Mountain West. -- COLO - W
  • *FSU @ Ala (-7) -- Awfully big spread fr these two teams. I'll take the Tide to win, the 'Noles to cover -- FLORIDA ST.  - L

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Shooters


Shooters

With everyone donning the title of "Best shooter ever" upon Steph Curry for the recent championship run, I find it difficult to see him as the best shooter ever for two reasons. First, I cannot accept that you can truly compare people from different eras. The rules are different, the teams are different, the challenges are different, and the competition is vastly different. Second, people forget how good some of those from the past really were!


Since I feel so strongly that is should not be done, here is my attempt at doing exactly that. I started watching the NBA in the 1969-70 season with the Knicks winning that year. I never saw Bob Cousy, Lenny Wilkens in his prime, Maurice Stokes, Elgin Baylor, or Tommy Heinsohn. I have heard about what great shooters they are, and have seen some film, but I have not included them. I also wanted to give extra credit to someone that was the best of their era, even though they may not compare directly to others on the list. I wrote down all the good shooters I could think of, then pared it down to 20. 

You won't agree with me, but here I go...

20. Lloyd "World B" Free - (Several teams - 76ers): He moved around the league a lot and was also a great dunker for 6-2, but he could fire from anywhere. He would have greatly benefitted by a 3-point arc earlier in his career.

19. Freeman Williams - (Clippers): Okay, I only added him because he went to Portland State. I went to several games and watched him in person in college. (Students could watch the games for free.) He invented the of the "Shooters Jog" that Reggie Miller later perfected. (You shoot from 40-feet out, then start jogging back to defense, because it was definitely going in. Do not worry about rebounding.) He also gets bonus points for his performance as "Duck Phillips" in White Men Can't Jump.

18. Klay Thompson - (Warriors): The other half of the "Splash Brothers" can always be counted on for that key three. (Unless it is the NBA Playoffs!)

17. Paul Pierce - (Celtics, Wizards): He was awesome at Kansas, and each year found another element of shooting to improve. He was at his peak at the best time for him and the Celtics, a championship season.

16. Dan Majerle - (Suns, Heat): Great shooter. Killed the Blazers several times, but not as many as....

15. Jeff Hornacek - (Suns, Jazz): I hated him when he was on the floor playing against those great Adlemam/Porter teams. He was truly money and a Blazer-killer. (Note: I refuse to call it the "Drexler era.")

14. Kobe Bryant - (Lakers): During his prime, like Kareem, Magic, and Michael before him, he was the simply best player in the world. He also became a great shooter, mainly because he spent 12 hours a day in the gym. He was not in that class his last couple of years, mostly because he was walking bandage. I choose to remember the best.

13. Steve Nash (Mavericks, Suns, Lakers): Not sure how he did it but didn't it seem like he was never guarded and always open as a shooter? Not sure he'd make the list if he was ever defended by anyone.

12. Drazen Petrovic (Blazers, Nets): One of three Blazers on the list. He was truly an awesome shooter. Might have been even better had he lived longer. Loved the long bombs from just in front of the bench.

11. Dirk Nowitski (Mavericks): One of two big-men on the list. Always like watching the turn-around jumper from the corner. 15+ years in the league, he's still got it.

10. Pete "Pistol Pete" Maravich (Hawks, Jazz, Celtics): You are probably wondering where I'd put him, I put him here. You could make a good case for him at #1 and #20. I don't think you can NOT include him on the list. He was the best shooter I can remember when the game was NOT on the line. I loved watching him, but I do have one of his contemporaries ranked higher. (Gee, Blazer fan, I wonder who THAT could be.)

9. Steve Kerr (Bulls, Spurs, Blazers): The "second" Bulls had Uncle Phil, MJ, and Scottie, but "the tringle" always needed a "Banger" and a "Hit Man." Rodman was the banger and Kerr was the hit man. A great guy who won 5 rings as a player, was a successful GM, was great on TV as a color analyst, and now has a couple of rings as a coach. A phenomenal shooter.

8. Chris Mullin (Warriors, Pacers): A Perfect pure shooter, I am sure you'll agree.

7. Steph Curry (Warriors): He's only been in the league six years, and many have anointed him the best shooter ever. I always balk at "best ever" arguments and it prompted this column. All that said, where does he belong among giants? I have him at seven. He was impressive this year. He'd then have cold games and start hoisting up bad threes like Clyde used to. Once he can put the bad games behind him, he might make the top five. Still, in this company, #7 is pretty awesome.

6. Ray Allen (Sonics, Celtics, Heat): One of four players (along with Miller, Bird, and West) I want to have the ball when it's all on the line.

5. Geoff Petrie (Blazers): My favorite team ever was the 1970-71 Trail Blazers (There was a space between "Trail" and "Blazers" back then) and Petrie was their best player. He's been a good exec in the league and was highly respected as a player. He had an overhead shot that was very unique. (I tried to imitate it as a 10-year-old, and couldn't get the ball 10 feet.) His career was very short, and he had difficulty guarding a bar-stool much less a real player. Lenny Wilkens ate his lunch for four years. (Early on, Portland and Seattle played several times a year, to cut travel costs.) Contrary to the legend it was NOT Petrie, but Jim Barnett, that made the shot that began "RIP CITY!" He probably truly belongs around 17 in this company, but it's my list and I am entitled to at least one "homer pick". However. I could never justify placing him ahead of.....

4. Rick Barry (Warriors, Oakland Oaks, Rockets): Best free-throw shooter ever. He definitely would be higher with the three-pointer. (Remember, he DID have a three-pointer for awhile. He spent some time in the ABA, with the Oaks and Nets, where the three point shot was already in place.)

3. Reggie Miller (Pacers): He is one of the best shooters ever, and one of the most fun to watch. He was on a team that was always competitive and played for great coaches. (Larry Brown, Larry Bird, Rick Carlisle.) I see his highlights on ESPN and they still amaze me. 

One player we didn't get to see on SportsCenter was.....

2. Jerry West (Lakers): Two of his nicknames were "Mr. Clutch" and "The Logo". He IS the NBA. He was often double-teamed and still found a way to get a great shot off. He was Pistol before Pistol Pete was. Don't believe me? Ask the Celtics and Knicks. You had to see him to believe it. I would have loved to place him at Number one, except for.....


1. Larry Bird (Celtics): I was thinking of any reason NOT to make him #1. Can't think of it. Can't think of a shot he could not make. He made them by himself, under pressure, in a trap, from a corner. He was offended when he was not given the ball at the end of a game. Known to have quoted Jimmy Chitwood in a huddle stating "I'll make it, coach!"

Who's missing? Here is my Honorable Mention: Robert Horry, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, Tony Parker, Michael Jordan, Kyle Korver, Mark Price, Gus Williams, Jack Sikma, JJ Reddick.

Who's on your list?

Don't let the bastards grind you down. - dsb



Friday, December 23, 2016

Brew's Predictions - Week 17 (77-66-7)

This week I have my Bowl predictions as well as 6 NFL predictions for the week.
I have rallied as of late and got back into the W column.

NFL

* NY Jets @ New England (-16.5) - I know the Pats can clinch a bye this week and the Jets suck, but for me a spread of 16.5 in the NFL is ludicrous. Jets will cover, Pats will clinch.

* Detroit @ Dallas (-7) - The Lions are trying to win their division. The Cowboys are just trying to remain healthy, Seven points is a lot to cover. I think they'll win overall, but will certainly cover the touchdown.

* San Diego @ Cleveland (+6) - Ok so Cleveland is at home and playing a fairly unimpressive Chargr team. But the Chargers are decent and the Browns simply aren't. Chargers should cover the 6.

* Arizona @Seattle (-7.5) - Anytime the spread gets over a touchdown I get suspicious. The Seahawks will make the playoffs no matter what and will probably beat the Cards, but 7.5 is a lot of points. Hawks win, Cards cover.

* Tennesee @ Jacksonville (+4.5) - Has anyone noticed the Titans are doing very well. Mariota is impressive and needs this win against one of the bottom 4 to make the playoffs. They should cover the 4.5.

Broncos @ * Chiefs (-3) - I have the Chiefs winning by three. Call this the best chance there is for me to tie. They have a little more going right now than the Broncos and they are at home.

NCAA

For my Bowl picks, I have made 12 picks - straight Win/Loss. Please understand that for purposes of me declaring myself Great, I will call an 11-1 record here perfect. You'll understand as you read on.

Rose Bowl - *USC vs. Penn St. - This will be a teriffic game. In My opinion, USC should be in the Final four along with 'Bama, Michigan, and Ohio St. (It is supposed to be the best 4 and not the most deserving. But that's an argument for another time.) USC has been unstoppable in the past 4 games and once again shown they are USC. Penn St. is outstanding and won the Big Ten. Can't wait for this one, May be the best game in the bowl schedule. USC by 2 in a tight game.

Cotton Bowl - Western Michigan vs. *Wisconsin  - The Badgers played a tough schedule this year. Western Michigan is strong, but I think the Badgers walk away. Wisconsin by 10.

Fiesta Bowl - *Ohio St. vs. Clemson - Ohio St. is right where they should be at #2. Clemson 'deserves' to be there, but the Buckeyes will be too much. OHIO ST. by a touchdown.

Orange Bowl - *Michigan vs. Florida St. - I have Michigan as the #3 seed, I think they'll beat the Seminoles handily, even on the road. MICH by 8 or more. (Sorry, Brian!)

Sugar Bowl - Auburn @ *Oklahoma - Like many of these bowl picks, I am just guessing here, but I think the Sooners win this one. OKLAHOMA by 3.

Foster Farms Bowl - Indiana @Utah - I am not buying Indiana, (AKA my "East Coast" school.) The Runnin' Utes should run away with this one. UTAH by at least a touchdown.

Russell Athletic Bowl - *West Virginia vs. Miami Hurricanes - Love the fact that the 'Canes will be dramatically outmatched. Mountaineers by at least a touchdown and I hope it is much more.

Outback Bowl - *Florida vs. Iowa -  You do not know how badly I want to pick Iowa here. they are the better team and played a tougher schedule. However, they are playing in Tampa where the Gators rule. The Gators finally have a coach that I don't dislike, and they always thrive in Bowl games. FLORIDA wins, not sure by how much.

Music City Bowl - Nebraska vs. *Tennessee - As much as I want to pick Iowa in the last game, I REALLY want to pick Nebraska here. I have family history at that school, and love Mike Riley as a coach. This will be a terrific game and I really want to see it. I think it is fairly even. Based on no other reason that home field advantage, I'm taking the Volunteers. TENNESSEE in overtime.

Sun Bowl - *Stanford vs. North Carolina - I think it is criminal that teams with 8-4 records are "rewarded" for their great season by a trip to El Paso. (Let's just say, Las Vegas, it aint!) There will be stars missing from this game on both sides. Needless to say, this game does not look that good. Taking Stanford only as a homer pick and because I don't know much about the Tar Heels. STANFORD wins, but this game will be dreadful.

Alamo Bowl - Colorado vs. *Oklahoma State - These teams are pretty even. I am taking the Cowboys mainly because they were better later in the season and it's theiy will likely have more fans in the stands. No Idea by how much. OK. ST.

Peach Bowl - Alabama vs. *Washington - Okay, you all wanted to know what I am going to do here
You know that I treasure my good prediction record, and love my Huskys. I already let everyone know how I feel about them being in the final four when there are at least two better teams than them that got passed over ( Michigan and USC). Nevertheless, we are in Atlanta, about 200 miles and a 24$ bus ride to Tuscaloosa where we will play against the Defending Champion that has not lost a game in a couple years, and has rolled everyone in their path this season. Can a bunch of bookworms from Seattle stand a chance against the mighty Crimson Tide? Hell, no! Of course not! Then why on earth are you picking them to win. Loyalty, my friends! I would rather eat the loss on my record than know I did not pick them in this bowl game. By the way, A Husky is a beautiful animal and a Crimson tide is...I am not sure exactly what a Crimson Tide is. So while the Tide Rolls, there will still be one alumnus that stuck by my Huskies. Oh, by the way - if by some chance, Washington wins, you heard it here first! - WASHINGTON - but not really. I just hope it is not humiliating.


On On Friends


Friday, June 17, 2005

Now Playing - Moonrat's top 5 Sports Movies

I recently read ESPN's list of the best sports movies - and I was a little dismayed at some of their conclusions. Especially the fact that some "chick flicks" also masquerade as Sports Movies, and we are supposed to by it. "Bull Durham" for example, you'll find as one of my favorite five movies...period. However, is it a Sports Movie that has "chick flick" elements, or a chick flick dressed in a sports movie. Tough call, right? It was tough for me to get to 5 - but I'll try.

At #5 - 61*
I know, it was directed by Billy Crystal, and his daughter played the female lead, but his attenion to detail and selection of actors, particularly Barry Pepper as Roger Maris, makes this a captivating film.

#4 - Remember the Titans
This film edges out "The Longest Yard" and "North Dallas Forty" as my favorite Football Film. Aside from the fact that it chronicled a great story and captured the moods of the racial difficulties that capsulated the early 1970's in the small southern community, I loved the way it emphasizes what Friday Nights in the fall are like in most communities. High School Football rules in most communities and the true atmosphere surrounding these games. This movie captures this mood as well as any movie I've seen.

#3 - Running Brave
To non-runners and people that have never heard of Billy Mills, you wonder what on earth I am talking about. But this video-biography of 1964 10,000 meter gold medalist Billy Mills is a story you just do not want to miss. The total story of this great Native American runner and ambassador is excellent. Having met the man twice., the movie does not really do justice to this true sports hero. But it is really very well done. Robby Benson is excellent in the lead. (Make a note of that last sentence, it is likely the only time you'll ever see it written by me.)

#2 - Bull Durham
Yeah, Yeah - I know...chick flick. Also a great Baseball movie, edging out "Major League" and "61*" as my favorite baseball movies. There are so many good ones that I almost neeed another list. (Maybe that will be another blog) My favorite scene, when the player tells Crash that they need a rainout to be able to have a chance with the skaters that were checking into hotel. Crash guarantees a rainout and proceeds to create it by breaking into the field and turning on the sprinklers. Great baseball movie. We can't forget Crash's famous monologue - "I believe in the soul...."

#1 - Hoosiers
I have to agree with ESPN on this one. This movie is the best basketball movie I've seen and a great sports movie in general. My father taught in Madras, Oregon in 1952 and their basketball team that year went to the State Finals. I noticed the parallels of the stories that he always talked about. Hickory Huskers vs. Madras White Buffalos - dunno who'd win, but this story tells it. Whenever I see a sports movie that requires some historical reference, I always look for errors, don' you. I only found two in this story. Many of the gyms had glass backboards in the movie. That was only in the biggest arenas in 1952. Same is true of the digital clocks. Most used the large face clocks that had only 8 numbers on them.

From the Hackman to Sheb Wooley, (yes - the role of "Cletus" the principal, is also the same person that gave us "Purple People Eaters") this cast is excellent. ESPN got this one right.

Here are my fav's by sport - in Top Five format.
The @ sign indicates possible chick flick. Acknowledged, with no apologies.

Football
1. Remember the Titans
2. The Longest Yard
3. North Dallas Forty
4. Rudy
5. Friday Night Lights


Baseball
1. Bull Durham @
2. 61*
3. Major League @
4. Pride of the Yankees
5. Field of Dreams @

Basketball
1. Hoosiers
2. Blue Chips
3. Finding Pistol Pete

Hockey
1. Miracle on Ice
2. SlapShot
3. Mystery Alaska
4. Miracle

Running
1. Running Brave
2. On the Edge
3. Personal Best @
4. Athens - 1896
5. Chariots of Fire

Other Sports
1. The Hustler (Can only be couned if Pool is considered a sport)
2. Tin Cup @
3. Rocky @
4. Raging Bull
5. Goal ! (Not a chick flick but its about Soccer!) @

BTW - Here is ESPN's List:
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=listranker/bestmoviesresult

"Don't let the Bastards Grind you Down!"

moonrat