End of the Year Top 10 List of Doom

What am I counting down? WHAT EVER I WANT TO COUNTDOWN!

10. The Lions Madden Controller was cute, but I couldn’t laugh at it because it misspelled “Weird” as w-i-e-r-d. I understand the “I” before “E” except after “C” should have come into play with this one, but it didn’t.

9. Tim Tebow and the New York Jets… Read: Back-up/3rd string QB and the second fiddle major market team or Publicity Stunt and the Guy who has a foot fetish.

8.Clear Channel is to Radio what Hostess is to the Twinkie.

7.Tomas Holmstrom still hasn’t announced his retirement.

6. Calvin Johnson’s record (Formerly Jerry Rice’s) should be no less respected than Barry’s. Hearing Detroit sports radio callers say it was easier made me wish Clear Channel owned both sports stations in town.

5.When the NHL returns it will be without Nick Lidstrom and you’re still mad he won’t take a hometown discount. Think we can convince him to be motivated play 50 some odd games?

4. Maybe I’ll just take a knee here.

3. Will the NHL or Fiscal Cliff get solved? Which do you think happens first?

2. The Ilitches are still filthy rich. Detroit and its government are just lousy at running a city. (duh)

1. The USA and Canada play Sunday Morning at 4:30am EST on NHL Network and NHL.com, and I plan to wake up/ stay up to watch. Your move lock-out.

0. That’s how many more Piston games I am going to watch this year.

Reasons I want the NHL back (I Tried a Lions Blog)

I started a Lions blog.

It turned into incoherent babbling.

So instead here is a list of reasons I need the NHL back.

I’ve lost interest in the NFL and the Lions…

The NFL is king, and being a hardcore puck-head I am reminded of this constantly. I gotta admit, in the fall months it has held me over….but now that we’re in December with the Lions making football painful to watch again and my fantasy team out of the running I am pretty much over the NFL.

Sure, I’ll watch the playoffs.

But what else is on?

Please, Bring back the NHL!

I like college bowl games…

BUT unless it’s a prime match-up or I have a rooting interest, I like to have options.  Please forgive me, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl for not being able to sit through the entire game not wishing  the Blues and Wild were on NBC-SN/VS/OLN.

My Grandma is a HUGE Wings fan!

As much as I hate seeing the NHL locked out, my grandma hates it 10x more. Sure, she has other hobbies: crosswords, word searches, Sudoku, watching Charlie Sheen movies, Two and a Half Men ,or Anger Management on FX..But she REALLY loves her some NHL, and most particularly the Red Wings.

It’s always been our thing. Since I was little I would go over (I used to live next door to her) to my grandma’s and watch the Red Wings… I don’t make it over there as much anymore, but I do make an effort to  watch with her as often as I can. She’s just as feisty as ever and boy does she get into the games. Old lady swearing is always funny… so please- Bring back the NHL!

I have a new LED TV to watch on…

In my opinion no game has benefited more from HD from a broadcast standpoint than hockey. The audio they pick up now is amazing and in crystal clear HD, it’s hard to believe we ever needed a glow puck. Now, I have my own place and a new 39″ LED screen of my own to watch it on…the only thing missing is the NHL.

Other Hockey is good…

but it’s just not the NHL. On Saturday, in the absence of the NHL I visited Yost for the first time since 2005 (the last lockout and when it was still made of wood). The atmosphere there makes it a fantastic place to take in a hockey game. Unfortunately, the game on the ice (while it has dramatically improved through the years) just isn’t at the level of some of the other leagues out there. Luckily I have the OHL in my backyard as well, and though the upper talent level there is high…it’s still not the NHL.

I co-host an NHL Podcast..

I really love the NHL and talking about the NHL… So last season with two members of the Detroit media’s underbelly, we formed the “End-to-End” Podcast ( a spin off of Doug Todd’s hockey blog “End-t0-End,” hosted on WDFN.com)…and talked everything from trade deadline, to draft, and playoffs…and while we’re all very in tune with what is going on in the lock-out, it just doesn’t make for very good chatter… Especially since we all seem to agree on what has to happen for it to end.

Expanding the NFL Playoffs; Not a Bad Thing.

Oh Puh-leez!

The NFL is talking about expanding it’s playoffs and people are pooh-poohing the idea!?

I can understand being against 18 regular season games…but the whole argument about this 14-16 teams watering down the NFL  post-season is a crock.

Yes, PLEASE remind me one more time of the 7-9 Seahawks making the playoffs. You know what nobody seems to bring up after they make that point?  The part where they knocked New Orleans OUT of the playoffs after just getting in.

What about that 11-5 2008 New England Patriots team that missed the playoffs?

You’re telling me the Playoffs might not have been different had they gotten in?

I’m not asking you to feel bad for these teams… and I won’t feel bad if the NFL doesn’t decide to expand it’s playoff perimeters. Just remember that the Seahawks were the exception not the rule, and I am perfectly OK with the Seahawks being in at 7-9 as a division winner. That’s how the NFL was set up. Win your division and you’re in. In fact, unless you win a very bad division, it would be nearly impossible to get in under .500 as a wild card.

If you fear that expanding the playoffs will allow more under .500 teams to get in, let me remind you the very fabric of the NFL is set up to where you’re going to have some very good teams jammed up in the middle of the pack.

In 2011, there were 8 teams that finished 8-8.

In 2010 the Giants and the Buccaneers both went 10-6 and MISSED the playoffs. Meanwhile the Packers DID get in at 10-6 and ended up winning the Superbowl.  In the AFC, the Chargers (9-7),  Raiders (8-8), and Jags (8-8) all missed the playoffs and were at or above .500.

In 2009 The Steelers, Falcons and Texans missed the playoffs at 9-7, and five other teams were 8-8.

The NFL is a pretty even footed league. Year-to-year there might be a couple teams at the top of the heap, but the section in the middle can often include some very talented teams… Teams that often miss the playoffs by a petty tie-breaker.

Adding a couple more middle of the pack teams won’t hurt the top of the heap’s achievements if you format the playoffs correctly, and you’ll have more fan bases tuned into their teams later in the season.

And just making the playoffs shouldn’t be considered an achievement anyhow, and you sure as heck shouldn’t hang a banner for it… (Looking at you Ford Field).

B1G to add Maryland and Rutgers

Like a lot of people, I see this simply as a money grab and a way to extend the B1G into the mass media markets on the East Coast.

I’m sure traditionalists will but up in arms about this move, because (and even I can see this) Maryland and Rutgers are just not up to the caliber of most B1G schools on a lot of levels.

This is the new college athletics landscape and it’ll take some getting used to… but my initial reaction, like many of you is:  “Meh.”

It’s not making what is currently a weak incarnation of the conference any more strong, but it could help in recruiting east coast talent both for Rutgers and Maryland, thanks to an improved competition level, and on a conference level thanks to exposure via the Big Ten Network and visiting schools.

A Truly Dizzying Intellect. (Lions Logic)

I am not usually a gut feeling kind of guy. I don’t ignore my gut, but I generally like to factor in numbers and history before making a prediction.

That just doesn’t feel right this game. HA!

The Lions are not the same old Lions….but this upcoming game with the Packers feels all too familiar.

Heading into the game, word on the street is that the Lions will probably get roasted, and who am I to argue? I ‘m the guy who thought the Packers without Matt Flynn was a lock, once upon a time. Boy did that blow up in my face.

Still, my internal optimism machine built with a Lions logo on it reminds me the Packers are missing significant pieces of their defensive backfield.

Stafford and Johnson could hook up a TON!

How can you pick against the Lions?

Wait!.. is Aaron Rogers still playing?

Hmm… Ya, he’s never been super successful against the Lions. In fact we’ve knocked him around pretty good.

They’ve lost to the Titans, so we know the Lions can’t be very smart.

but they beat up Michael Vick the Eagles, so the Lions must be a little bit strong.

So I can’t pick the Lions, because that’s what you expect me to pick!

But I can’t pick the Packers, because surely you thought I would pick against what I actually wanted to pick, so the pick that I pick can’t be the pick you thought I would pick.

You know what they say, never bet on the Lions when football is involved.

Therefore I pick the Lions, because I’ve spent years building up an immunity to them.

Lions 27, Packers 24.

And because I watched the Princess Bride a couple days ago.

The Results Are In…

Ya, ya.

I am on again off again with this sports-blog thing.

MVP

This isn’t going to be a post where I proclaim that Miguel Cabrera was the right or wrong choice.

Miguel Cabrera is the American League MVP and a lot of people aren’t happy. If you’re one of  ’em?  Deal with it.

I have a problem with the way we Americans seem to be doing things lately; whether it be elections, American idol, or picking MVPs in sports.

Why can’t we just let the debate be settled when the results are in?

I don’t need you to be happy with the choice, but stop trying to discredit the choice after it’s already been made. Prior to the election, vote, or game; debate the merits, skills, flaws– whatever — to your heart’s content. THAT’S rational.

When it’s over, it is over. Accept it. Move on.

It’s like when Michigan and Michigan State play. The day after the game there are people with the audacity to debate the results. Why even play the game if nobody on the other side ever has to eat the humble pie?

Back to baseball, There is not going to be a recount to re-decide the MVP. You made your case (a damn good case) for Mike Trout leading up to the vote.  The people who decide that award, decided something different from your opinion. You guessed it! Move on!

“Shaggy” Matt Culbreath, a good friend of mine, suggested perhaps Angels fans would consider a petition to secede from the American League… but I don’t think the Angels could hack it as their own  independent  baseball league.

Lidstrom a Bargain at 6.2 Million

There will be draft stuff up later!

For now..

I honestly don’t know how I didn’t think of this before. Thanks to Sean Baligian for helping to make this point that should be the be all, end all of Nick Lidstrom “hometown discount” arguments.

Find a player on the list of the highest paid defensemen in the NHL below that is a better bargain than Nick Lidstrom:

Here is a hint, YOU CAN’T!

Nick Lidstrom is still a top 5 D-man in the league and he is paid the 14th most in the league. So He is ALREADY taking a “hometown discount” playing at 6.2 million dollars.

So the folks asking him to take a “hometown discount” (who are most likely the same people calling him Nick Lindstrom) can rest assure that he IS giving a hometown discount, and has been for some time now.

Sure, It would be great if Nick decided to play for 3-4 million dollars, but that’s just unrealistic. You’re not going to get an (still) elite defenseman for the price of a slightly above average one.

Again, Find me a better bargain, find me a bigger discount.

Thanks to CapGeek.com for t his list:

Player Pos Team Age Length Amount

1. Ehrhoff, Christian » D BUF 29 10 $10,000,000
2. Chara, Zdeno » D BOS 35 7 $8,500,000
3. Keith, Duncan » D CHI 28 13 $8,000,000
4. Pronger, Chris » D PHI 37 7 $7,600,000
5. Weber, Shea » D NAS 26 1 $7,500,000
6. Campbell, Brian » D FLA 32 8 $7,142,875
7. Seabrook, Brent » D CHI 27 5 $7,000,000
8. Bieksa, Kevin » D VAN 30 5 $7,000,000
9. Wisniewski, James » D CLB 28 6 $7,000,000
10. Boyle, Dan » D SAN 35 6 $6,666,666
11. Bouwmeester, Jay » D CGY 28 5 $6,600,000
12. Phaneuf, Dion » D TOR 27 6 $6,500,000
13. Redden, Wade » D NYR 34 6 $6,500,000
14. Lidstrom, Nicklas » D DET 41 1 $6,200,000
15. Doughty, Drew » D LAK 22 8 $6,000,000
16. Markov, Andrei » D MTL 33 3 $5,750,000
17. Ohlund, Mattias » D TBL 35 7 $5,500,000
18. Komisarek, Mike » D TOR 30 5 $5,500,000
19. Gonchar, Sergei » D OTT 38 3 $5,500,000
20. Martin, Paul » D PIT 31 5 $5,500,000