Monday, September 30, 2013

One Game Playoff Time!

Two teams are fighting for one spot tonight. In one corner is the team that always makes the playoffs, only to just slide off in seconds...the Texas Rangers.
And in the other corner is the team that's moved up simply by bashing the Yankees over the head numerous times...the Tampa Bay Rays.

Who will win? Hopefully, neither. I wouldn't like to see either in the playoffs, because there's a good chance of them beating the Indians to actually advance, and I don't want that.

So, I'm going with the lesser of two evils. Go Rays. I guess.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Football Predictions: Week 4

Last week was another nice week for football, and another good week for my predictions, even though I predicted both the Vikings and the Falcons to win. Right won out over wrong 9-7.

Now, it's another week of nice matchups. Let's see what we've got.

1 PM Games:

Ravens vs. Bills:
Who should win: Ravens. The defending super bowl champions have had a rocky start, yet they still won out over the Texans last week, which was a nice victory for them. Now, they're facing another team, this one not really as good as the Texans. I think they could definitely win this one.
Who will win: Logistically speaking, it's the Ravens again. The Bills have won 1 of their last 3, and they should definitely have won last week, but they're still not an excellent team. True, they do have EJ Manuel, but there are a lot of holes in the defense that might kill them today. Still, you never know. The Ravens are fickle this season. But I still think they'll win it.
Overall: Ravens over Bills. It could be close.

Bengals vs. Browns:
Who should win: Bengals. In a battle of two teams that should not have by any means won last week, I'm picking the one with the much tougher team. The Bengals are 2-3, and you could argue that their sole loss was a bit of an unfair decision. They're incredibly tough, and there's a reason why they took down the Packers last week.
Who will win: Bengals. The Browns, as much as I love them, are going up against a stronger team this week, one without too many fissures, which is how they took down Minnesota. I imagine they might put up a valiant effort, but the Bengals defense might not allow it.
Overall: Bengals over Browns, a nice margin.

Bears vs. Lions:
Who should win: Lions. This is a tough one, because these are two NFC North teams who have really surged this season. The Bears are plowing the house down this season, but the Lions are also doing a really nice job, especially under circumstances like these. I'd prefer seeing them win, because I like them better.
Who will win: Ultimately, Da Bears. I just saw, last night, the new Statefarm ad with Aaron Rodgers on a plane with Rob Smigel and George Wendt as the Superfans (because Mike Myers wasn't that cheap, I guess). As bloodthirsty as that team is, you have to remember that the fanbase is blood-thirstier. I think the Bears will come out on top because of sheer power, but it could really go either way. I just think the Bears are the better team, the tougher one.
Overall: Bears over Lions in a squeaker.

Giants vs. Chiefs:
Who should win: Chiefs.
Who will win: Chiefs.
Overall, Chiefs 1,000,000, Giants 0. Maybe the Chiefs won't score that many, but they'll crush them.

Cardinals vs. Buccaneers:
Who should win: Bucs. It's really a lesser of two evils. This is a matchup between two mediocre teams, two that probably aren't going to matter in January (though you never know). I'm just going with the one I like better, which is the Bucs. I think they're a nice young team, and I think Josh Freeman is an underrated talent.
Who will win: Bucs again. The Bucs have a lot more to them than the Cardinals, and I think this will be the main factor. As good as Carson Palmer has been the last few games, I think that he's probably going to struggle with the opposing defense, and the rest of the team will probably not do well.
Overall: Bucs over Cardinals. Low scoring game.

Colts vs. Jaguars:
Who should win: Colts. As 'okay' as they are this season, you have to give them credit. They've gone into a few uncertain matchups, and come out with a win. This week's is a bit less uncertain, because the Jaguars have certainly underwhelmed this season. The Colts should have no problem.
Who will win: Colts again. Even though the Colts have lost a lot of what made them great, they haven't lost nearly as much as Jacksonville. Their star player is having a down year, their QB is mediocre, their defense is questionable, and their rookies aren't breaking out. The Colts have a lot more certain, and will probably take them out.
Overall: Colts over Jags. Low scoring, but large margin.

Seahawks vs. Texans:
Who should win: Seahawks, because they are unstoppable this season. I am really liking their game this season, and this is a turnaround from a few seasons ago, where all they had was Marshawn Lynch. They've developed a strong team, with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, and some excellent coaching by Pete Carroll.
Who will win: Seahawks, though it's really a toss up. These are two excellent teams, both of which could do a lot of damage in the long run. I think that the Seahawks will win solely because of what I've seen. The Texans lost to an ailing Ravens squad, which is probably why they're down a ways. But again, it might go in their favor.
Overall: Seahawks vs. Texans. High scoring game, but it'll be close.

Steelers vs. Vikings:
I'll say this before I begin: you have an opportunity to host a game at Wembley Stadium, one of the largest arenas in the world, and one of the most attended in the UK, and which teams to you book? Two teams that were mediocre last year? But again, it's not my decision.
Who should win: Vikings. I know they lost last week, but they're the frigging Vikings. They're still tough to beat, and they'll still be even tougher today. AP will probably have another nice game, which really helps matters.
Who will win: Vikings, solely because of their adversary. The Steelers have basically nothing left except a subpar Rothliesberger. The Vikings should definitely take advantage of this.
Overall: Vikings over Steelers.

4 PM Games:
Jets vs. Titans:
Who should win: Titans, because they're playing the Jets.
Who will win: Jets, because somebody, somewhere, really, really hates me.
Overall: Jets over Titans, probably large margin.

Redskins vs. Raiders:
Who should win: In terms of who I want to win, the Raiders. I think Terrelle Pryor is a nice alternative to uncertainty and mediocrity (or Jason Campbell). I think the team, while still awful, is still doing things sort of right.
Who will win: I am going out on an absolute limb here...but the Raiders. Solely because they're going up against the Redskins, and they're uncertain. RG3 could have a great game, or he could have an awful game. I just think the Raiders could win. I don't know if they will, but they could.
Overall: Raiders over Redskins, though the 3rd quarter will be huge for Washington.

Eagles vs. Broncos:
Who should win: Broncos. They are currently one of the best teams in the league, and Peyton Manning is playing better than he has in a while. Also, the squad is consistent and works really well with Manning, especially Thomas.
Who will win; Broncos again, because the Eagles are awful this season. Say what you will about Chip Kelly, but other than week 1, he hasn't produced much at all. I want them to win so badly, but I don't think it's going to happen.
Overall: Broncos over Eagles, large margin.

Cowboys vs. Chargers:
Who should win: Chargers, because I hate them less.
Who will win: Cowboys, because I don't run the NFL.
Overall: Cowboys over Chargers, though it will be close. Too close.

8 PM Game:

Patriots vs. Falcons:
Who should win: Falcons. As much as the Patriots are awesome, I like the Falcons better. Matt Ryan is a great QB, who deserves much better numbers than he gets. Also, the offense is consistent and strong, and one of the best in the league. I think that if they really push today, they could win.
Who will win: Patriots, because that probably isn't going to happen. Brady will not allow his team to lose, and neither will Belichick. The Pats, even without Gronk, are still a strong, overbearing, powerful team, and I think they'll win again here.
Overall: Pats over Falcons, though it'll be a nailbiter. Might even go to overtime.

Monday Night:

Dolphins vs. Saints:
Who should win: Saints, because they're having a really nice season. Drew Brees' performance this year is rivaling that of his 2009 season. Also, they've built up their young defense again, and they're still dominating each game.
Who will win: Saints, because the Dolphins, as good as they are this year, still won't stop them.
Overall: Saints over Dolphins.

It['ll be interesting to see how today goes out, especially since the Packers have a bye.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Uehara Edition

Welp. As much as the rest of the AL tried to prevent it, it's happened again. The Red Sox are heading to the playoffs.

But, I'll give them credit. They didn't get to the top by scheming, and by being awful and hateful. They got to the top by being better than everyone else in the AL. Which is kinda new for them. (awaits boos).

Alright, I know I'm gonna get heat for that one, but in 2004 the Sox were sort of the underdogs, as you'll remember. They snuck in as the Wild Card, and bested the team that actually clinched, and got to the top that way. In 2007 they tied for first in the league with Cleveland, so you could sort of say they were flat out dominant, but nobody saw a clear cut path for them.

This year, I'm not gonna lie, it could happen again. Not that I want it to, but it could. The Red Sox could potentially get to the end this year. Their surefire competition would be the Tigers and Athletics, who could be interesting matchups. But really, the playoffs are theirs to lose right now, because they've built themselves up to be so great.

All I'm saying is that I'll be content if the Sox make the world series. I just don't want them to.

Coming Tomorrow- A rookie pitcher for the Athletics.

Football Custom of the Morning: Ryan Edition

I feel like Matt Ryan is thiiiis close to being an elite QB. Like, inches away. He just can't make it.

Matt Ryan is an excellent quarterback, and he's been an excellent quarterback ever since he took over for Michael Vick. He's probably outdone his predecessor in a number of ways, and he got the Falcons to the NFC Championship last year, which was pretty nice.

But, really, the problem with football today, which isn't really a problem per se, is that the game is overstocked with excellent quarterbacks. I can name five on one hand. Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Manning. I guess Eli's a bit of a stretch, but the other four are consistent, versatile, and elite. Matt Ryan is very close, but he hasn't played long enough, and hasn't gotten enough accolades in the postseason to really register.

I mean, he's great. But this season he needs to really do something big.

Coming Tomorrow- Probably one of the five quarterbacks I listed today. Keep in mind that I already did 2.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Early Departure

It's hard to succeed when the whole country is counting on you to lose.

That's the one downside of being a Yankee fan. The entire rest of the league hates you, and wants your team to lose. And whenever you try to rebut their argument, they'll just keep laughing at you, and calling your team awful. It's really infuriating.

Last night the Yankees were knocked out of contention. And it was a long, hard fought season for the team, because they were going against the expectations of being awful, and not making the playoffs. And there were instances where we played extremely well as a team, and when we really fought hard. But the entire time, we had two teams that were better than us in the standings, and the whole rest of the league saying 'the Yankees better not win here'.

And I get that the whole league hates us, but please. Don't beat a franchise when it's down. Don't laugh at us when a lot of our team is still on the DL. We wouldn't do the same to yours. We did the best we could this season under the circumstances, and even if the Yankees didn't make the playoffs, they still finished above .500. Which is nice.

Still, this only means the team has more to improve on for next year. Hopefully things will be back to normal in 2014.

If not, I blame the Red Sox.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Wilson Edition

Well, doesn't THAT look weird?

Not just Brian Wilson. Although Brian Wilson is pretty weird by himself. No, what's weird is that he's playing for the Dodgers, and he's going back to the postseason with his old team's rival.

Of course, knowing Brian Wilson, that's all perfectly sane.

I mean...look at this custom. HIS BEARD HAS A SCRUNCHIE! Think about this for a second. His beard has gotten so out of hand that he needs a hair tie to attempt to compose this madness. It's failing miserably.

I feel like he's channeling a bunch of other closers who were popular in 2010. Like, he shared a bullpen with Brandon League, and his tats remind me of Jon Rauch's. Plus, this turncoat-ness is almost reminiscent of Papelbon.

Still, I'm glad Brian Wilson's back, as I look forward to watching this madness go on for a little while longer.

Coming Tomorrow- The hottest middle reliever in baseball.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Morneau Traded Edition

I know it's old news, but really, it still works. Also, it's a bit surprising how weird Justin Morneau looks in yellow. Almost as weird as Andy Reid wearing a red coat.

This card may be old news, and this team may be old news, but the season's almost over, and it looks like they're gonna be news for at least another week. I mean, I know that the Cardinals unfairly womped them in the standings (I know, womped SHOULD be a word), but really, people are still gonna be talking about the Pirates, because exactly five years ago they were awful. Actually, no. July 2009 was the absolute low point. That's when they got rid of their two huge contracts, and all they had the rest of that year was Andrew McCutchen.

So really, the Pirates are meant to be talked about. At least in 2013.

Coming Tomorrow- The closer for the Dodgers. Yep. I already made the custom, so there's no way any Giants fans can stop me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Football Custom of the Night: Geno Edition

We're three weeks in, and ALREADY this is an insane football season. It took three weeks. THREE WEEKS. That should be some sort of record, even though it probably isn't.

Case in point- the Jets are 2-1. Think about how awful they were last season. They weren't just awful. They were downright pathetic. Mark Sanchez spontaneously turned into Jimmy Claussen. Not good. It took a couple of unloaded contracts, a crapload of new blood, and Geno Smith, to turn this team into a 2-1 team. Their only loss thus far was against the overstacked Patriots.

I have no idea if this streak is going to last much longer, but wouldn't it be fun if it did? Wouldn't it be like some sick practical joke Rex Ryan's playing on everybody. Hell, at this rate the Super Bowl is gonna end up being the Ryan bowl.

Actually, I hope not.

Coming Tomorrow- A terrific player for the Seahawks. So basically, I could be talking about anyone in their core offense.

Custom Card of the Day: Wacha Edition

Oh, Cardinals. Why must you be so good at things?

I mean...the Pirates HAD this one. They were gonna clinch the NL Central for the first time since 1992. And you had the GALL to send them fighting for the wild card...which they'll probably win, BUT STILL.

I mean....that is kinda mean, especially considering the fact that you're already the St. Louis Cardinals. You've been giving noogies to the Cubs for a damn near century. But THIS? I mean, back in August, the Pirates were indefinitely the best team in baseball. No Red Sox could rebut this. And, knowing you, you had to stay in the race and knock them off their horse. It's kinda maddening, too.

Still, I really hope somebody does to you what you just did to Pittsburgh. And I hope it HURTS.

Coming Tomorrow- Ironically, a Pittsburgh Pirate.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Football Predictions: Week 3

First of all, I love that custom. So effing awesome, even if I don't love the Bears.

Anyway, last week was an okay week for my predictions. I got a lot of easy ones wrong, and I picked the Chiefs to lose and the Eagles to win their respective games. I also said the Niners would crush Seattle, when in reality they'd only score 3 points. Also, the bots really attacked the post last week. Will this become a regular thing? Let's find out:

1 PM Games:

Packers vs. Bengals:
Who should win: Packers. They're coming off an amazing win against the Redskins last week, where Rodgers had a great game, and RG3 nearly burst. The Bengals are a tougher team than Washington, and I think it'll be very close, but the Packers should be the favorite, as they're the better team.
Who will win: Packers, I think. As I said, this could be very, very, VERY close, and since both teams are terrific this year, it could go either way. Dalton is basically learning from Rodgers at this point, and you could see a series of totally different outcomes play out. Personally, I think the Packers can take it, solely because last week proved that they're still a force to be reckoned with. But I could be wrong, and possibly will.
Overall: Packers 42, Bengals 41.

Rams vs. Cowboys:
Who should win: Rams, because they are not the Cowboys. Week 1 proved that they at least have enough in them to win. Last week was a setback, but that was because they were up against a team that was stronger than them. Now they're up against the Cowboys, who can still win games, but they're not as tough as they used to be. If all goes according to plan, the Rams should take it...
Who will win: ...however, not everything will go according to plan, so the Cowboys. You never know at this point. DeMarco Murray could have the game of his life today. Tony Romo could have a great day. But at the same time, Bradford could be unstoppable. I'm still going with my gut and saying the Cowboys will take it, solely because I have a gut feeling that they will.
Overall: Cowboys 28, Rams 21.

Chargers vs. Titans:
Who should win: Chargers, because did you even see what they did to my Eagles last week? They played a very nice strategic game, that consisted of keeping the ball away from Chip Kelly. And I like that, I think it's smart. It will likely be in play today, against Jake Locker and his misfits. I think that the Chargers will win because last week proved that they can. And who knows: maybe the Eagles home game law will fall in their favor.
Who will win: Chargers. Thinking on paper, this will probably also go their way. Philip Rivers is far more versatile than Jake Locker, though that doesn't diminish the latter's efforts. They have a stronger offense than Tennesee, and then have a bit more meat on them. I think they'll make a huge splash this week, if all goes according to plan.
Overall: Chargers 31, Titans 17.

Browns vs. Vikings:
Who should win: Vikings. This is an obvious one, really, unless something goes horribly wrong for Christian Ponder and the gang here. The Vikings should win because of their opponent being the Browns. The Browns may be a good team, but they don't really have what it takes to be a great team, an elite team. The Vikings are that; they have people like Adrian Peterson to run around and break records. I think they'll pull off another one here.
Who will win: Vikings again. We're talking about one of the stronger offenses in the NFL, a young, yet playoff-experienced quarterback, and a nice defense, going up against the Cleveland Browns. Yeah. I really hope this isn't massive irony.
Overall: Vikings 35, Browns 7.

Buccaneers vs. Patriots:
Who should win: Patriots. Gee, I dunno. BECAUSE THEY'RE THE PATRIOTS. THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO LOSE! BELICHECK DOES NOT *LET* THEM! I mean, they're still not as good as they were when they won those Super Bowls, but they're still the friggin' Patriots. The Bucs are a bit of a disappointment this year, as well.
Who will win: Patriots. Even if the Bucs finally have a tremendous showing, and even if Freeman posts his best numbers, they're still playing Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Overall: Patriots 28, Bucs 21.

Cardinals vs. Saints:
Who should win: Saints. 2013 is the New Orleans Saints' comeback season. It is their Permanent Vacation, it is their The Next Day, it is their Steel Wheels. Only difference they have from Aerosmith, Bowie, and the Stones, is that I think they're back to the same level, if not a higher level, then they were back in 2009. Now they have another good matchup, but I think they'll come out on top, even putting into account that the Cardinals butchered the favored Lions. Nope, I'm still picking the Saints.
Who will win: Saints again, because they have so much more going on than the Cardinals. I know that the Cardinals have the comeback season of Carson Palmer going, but a comeback story from one player is a lot less impactful than the comeback of an entire team.
Overall: Saints 21, Cardinals 17.

Lions vs. Redskins:
Who should win: Lions. I think they're going to be excellent this season, judging by what I've seen in the last two weeks. The reason that Stafford's Lions haven't gotten too far as of late is because there hasn't been enough for Stafford to throw to. Now he has Reggie Bush, and this is a partnership that most teams should envy. I think they'll easily overpower Washington here.
Who will win: Lions. Week 1, I say that the Redskins are the favorite. Eagles crush them. Week 2 I say the Redskins could be tough. The Packers have they for dinner. The Redskins could be a tough adversary for Detroit this week.
(please oh please oh please kick their asses, Stafford).
Overall: Lions 24, Redskins 14.

Giants vs. Panthers:
Who should win: Giants, because something tells me they're still a good team. I know they're been routed for two straight weeks, but a win here would be nice for their storyline.
Who will win: Panthers. Because it would be hysterical to see the Giants go 0-3. And also, because the Panthers are supposed to be so much better this season. Though I'm basically saying this knowing it'll be a stretch. I just think that this might happen.
Overall: Panthers 31, Giants 23.

Texans vs. Ravens:
Who should win: Ravens, because I like them slightly better.
Who will win: Texans, because they're the better team.
Overall: Texans 35, Ravens 24.


Falcons vs. Dolphins:
Who should win: Dolphins, because I like the way they're doing things this season. Tannehill's finally improving, they've restocked their offense, and I think they've become a better team, as evidenced by last week's win over the Colts.
Who will win: Falcons, because they've become stronger than the Dolphins, and I think this will translate to them having a much better game than the Dolphins. Both teams are fun, but I think the Falcons will come out on top.
Overall: Falcons 28, Dolphins 21.

Bills vs. Jets:
Who should win: Bills. I know this is a battle of two subpar teams with rookie quarterbacks, but I think the Bills are definitely more favored, solely because the Jets are, well, the Jets. They're obviously not as good as they were in 2010, and they're obviously only going to get worse and worse. Plus, their quarterback changes by the day, and they're really unreliable. The Bills are slightly stronger, and have more elite faces.
Who will win: Bills, barring catastrophe. EJ Manuel is much better than Geno Smith, at least in the NFL. Just putting that out there. Also, the Bills have a much stronger offense than the Jets, and that will probably be the deciding factor.
Overall: Bills 19, Jets 10.

Colts vs. 49ers:
Who should win: 49ers. Both teams were delivered setbacks last week, so really it comes down to which team is better, and this case I'm giving it to Kaepernick's Niners. They have the strongest defense in the NFL, and they have a surging, prominent offense. The Colts are being picked dry more and more every season.
Who will win: Colts, because even the NFL believes in irony. This may not happen, and the Niners may mop the floor with Luck, but something tells me the Colts are gonna have a surprise victory, and come out on top suddenly. This is a long shot, but who cares.
Overall: Colts 21, Niners 14.

Jaguars vs. Seahawks:
Who should win: Seahawks. There's a reason everybody's predicting them to win the whole thing. Their quarterback is excellent, they just restocked their offense with a major threat at WR, adding to the already stellar offense. The Jaguars are...the Jaguars. This one should be a no-brainer.
Who will win: Seahawks. Going in terms of schematics, the Hawks will outmatch the Jags in most categories, including QB, offense (as in aside from Jones-Drew), and especially defense, with no offense toward rookie Luke Keuchly Joeckel.
Overall: Seahawks 35, Jaguars 10.

8:00 GAME

Da Bears vs. Steelers:
Who should win: The Bears. In the last two weeks, the Bears have gone up against two teams favored to win, and made upsets. They're been strong every week, and Jay Cutler is totally redeeming himself for two seasons of underperforming, by his standards. I think they'll have no problem with the Steelers.
Who will win: Bears. The Steelers have basically three star players left: Ben Rothliesberger, Troy Polamalu, and Heath Miller. I know they have a lot of young running backs and recievers, but these people will either be dealt or out of the pros in five years. The Steelers are an aging team, nowhere near the level they were at in 2010. The Bears will easily defeat them.
Overall: Bears 42, Steelers 17.

Monday Night:

Raiders vs. Broncos:
Who should win: The Broncos, because they're the Broncos.
Who will win: The Broncos, because they're playing the Raiders.
Overall: Broncos 1,000,000, Raiders 0.
Just kidding, dad. Broncos 35, Raiders 14.

So, that's my spiel. I have a lot of risky picks in there, and a lot of seemingly easy picks in there. Time will tell which ones are right and wrong.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Him too?

I mean, we all knew it was coming, but man! With the whole 'Mo retiring' thing, now we have another big time Yankee star leaving the game. And it's kinda sad, because Pettite was a pretty awesome pitcher, especially for my team.

I'll miss Pettite, and I hope this means Cooperstown in 6 know, unless he comes back in another two years.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: Charles Edition

Tomorrow night is a football event that will no doubt be talked about by local teenagers and network talking heads. Tomorrow, Andy Reid returns to Philadelphia, bringing his 2-0 Chiefs back home. It will be a very interesting game, as since his departure from the Linc, Reid has somehow regained the ability to perform as a head coach (yet word is still out on the ability to not look like a walrus during press conferences). Meanwhile, the Eagles are slowly regaining their stuff, despite being beaten by the Chargers in a very close match last week.

So who will win this one? Well, it's a bit too early to call the game's outcome, but I can already predict which factors of the game will win/lose.

WINNER: Lincoln Financial Field. No doubt numerous amounts of fans will want to journey down to Philly and catch Reid again, or maybe boo him. Plus, it's an Eagles game. People go to those.

LOSER: Chiefs fans at Lincoln Financial Field. Actually, even worse...

LOSER: Eagles fans who will have to sit next to Chiefs fans at Lincoln Financial Field. Especially considering the amount of alcohol that is sure to be in the air, or on the ground, or flung at fans.

WINNER: Andy Reid, who finally gets some good press back in Philly now that he's home.

LOSER: Anyone who has to watch Andy Reid wear red. A.) It isn't exactly flattering, and B.) For a guy that spent so many seasons in black and green, it just doesn't look right.

WINNER: Alex Smith, because he doesn't have to play the Eagles again after this, and succumb to the Philly fans. Matter of fact, he's a winner because he doesn't have to go back to Seattle, St. Louis or Arizona, and get crap from their fans. Or Candlestick. Man, he hates Candlestick. But then again, who doesn't.

LOSER: Anyone who had to read that whole paragraph.

WINNER: LeSean McCoy, because knowing him, he'll probably have a nice night.

LOSER: Anybody on the Eagles that isn't LeSean McCoy. Even Vick.

LOSER: Nick Foles. You know, unless Reid really wants to get back at Vick.

WINNER: NFL Network broadcasters.

LOSER: Anyone who has to sit through those NFL Network broadcasters just to see the game.

Either way, it's sure to be an interesting game, and knowing me, I hope the Eagles win.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: D'Arnaud Edition

Good gosh, this is old. I've been rather inconsistent in posting customs, so I forget when exactly I made this one. I think it was right after his Debut back in August, which is nice, I guess. I wish he were doing more for the Mets right now, but you can't carry a 4th place team on your back yourself. No, that's David Wright's job.

Coming Tomorrow- A rookie I've been saving since probably June. I know.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: Manuel Edition

The man you see above does not deserve this team.

I know he's been pitted against good teams lately (Panthers= good team???), but for whatever reason, despite EJ Manuel's great performances as a quarterback, and despite the presence of people like Steve Johnson and Fred Jackson, they only have one win.

I mean, for a while, they had the Patriots going in week one. Like, they had a hell of a matchup, Manuel had a lot of nice TDs, and it was just their lack of a solid defense that bit them in the ass. Now yesterday, it was the crappy defense all the way. Manuel didn't do that much, he just did what he could, when he could.

Next week they play the Jets. This could be a game used for redemption, to finally win against a team that's semi-beatable. Hopefullu Manuel will shine even more than he has.

Coming Tomorrow- A veteran for the Kansas City Andy Reids.

Two Hanger Boxes of Topps Football

I haven't gotten cards in a while. I blame this on school, and marching band, and the Cowboys. But either way, today I got two hanger boxes of football, because I feel like I haven't had enough Topps. Nevertheless, I bit in.

Box 1-
346- Bills team card. Always promising to start with a team card.
345- Jeremy Maclin, the sadly injured wide receiver.
310- Ben Roethlisberger, whose team is playing pretty badly so far.
369- Patriots
252- Chris Givens
275- Steven Jackson, photoshopped into a Falcons uni
177- Chris 'Not Clarence' Clemons
116- Brandon Browner
342- Ryan Kerrigan
81- Bruce Irvin. Man, a lot of Seahawks
254- Mohamed Sanu
231- Ndamukong Suh, always a favorite for lowbrows
280- Russell Wilson
325- Roddy White
364- Trent Cole
168- Darren Sproles
8- Antonio Brown GOLD #'D TO 2013. Glad it's someone I've heard of.
Gridiron Legends of Lawrence Taylor. Great player, awful human being.
Matthew Stafford 4000 Yard Club, which is awesome.
Sam Bradford '60 mini. I love these, and I'm probably collecting them.
Future Legends of DeAndre Hopkins
Jason Witten 1000 Yard Club
Legends in the Making of Aaron Rodgers, who's already a legend for replacing Brett Favre and NOT being awful.
Keenan Allen 1969 insert
276- Daniel Thomas
237- Dolphins team card. One of the few moments of glory depicted
115- Michael Floyd
295- Thomas DeCoud
166- Terrell Suggs. I love this card, and I think Suggs is fun.
423- Datone Jones
83- Sylvester Williams
271- Cobi Hamilton.
372- Matt Elam, the 1st round pick of the Super Bowl winner, which doesn't say much.
378- Darius Slay
173- Cornellius Carradine
294- Christine Michael. Hm. Quite the name there.
426- Matt Schaub, ending rookie-fest
50- Andrew Luck, coming off a great rookie season
283- Vick Ballard, currently on the DL
286- Dwayne Allen. 3 Colts in a row.
306- Golden Tate.
262- Robert Turbin. Man, are they just grouping teams together?
326- Andy Lee and his golden foot.
170- Michael Crabtree
336- Colin Kaepernick. No way this is a coincidence.
18- Danario Alexander
140- Brandon Marshall, who's playing awesomely again
344- James Laurinitis
335- Luke Keuchly ROY
329- Thomas Davis
152- Brian Cushing
216- Janoris Jenkins.
111- Stevan Ridley, who is becoming one of the Patriots' lone asset.
304- Tim Jennings
214- Chris Johnson. Man, I keep forgetting he exists.
240- Maurice Jones-Drew, the lone impact man in Jacksonville
196- Fred Jackson.
92- Steve Smith, who's surprisingly still playing
38- Brandon LaFell
24- Browns tc
160- Trent Richardson
402- Aaron Dobson
63- DJ Swearinger
224- Vance McDonald. A lot of second rounders.
208- Margus Hunt. Another round 2 draftee.
376- David Amerson. Last five cards have been draft pick No. 59, 57, 55, 53, and now 51. Do I hear 49? 49 going once. Twice...
403- LeVeon Bell. Okay, #48. Close enough.
363- Kiko Alonso. #46. Oh my gosh, these are in order.
131- Darius Butler, who joke...41st overall in 2009. Man, this is a chain!
151- Dwayne Bowe.
391- Reggie Bush, the man of the hour.
giveaway card. Blah.

Box 2-
2- Devin McCourty
210- Rob Gronkowski, who should just go away.
121- Vince Wilfork. Wow, three Pats in a row.
258- Kyle Rudolph
328- Christian Ponder. Did somebody sort these?
164- Davone Bess
354- Andre Brown
392- Jason Pierre-Paul, who's one of the few elite Giants left.
359- Antonio Cromartie, who I haven't seen on a Topps card in years.
25- Richard Sherman
396- Kroy Bierman
a bunch of doubles
156- Kawann Short GOLD #'D TO 2013. Also, draft pick #44, continuing the chain. This is just weird.
Gridiron Legends of Roger Craig, which is awesome.
Tom Brady 4,000 Yard Club
Aaron Rodgers mini. Always nice to pull a Rodgers.
Brian Hartline 1,000 Yard club.
Future Legends o Sam Bradford. He'll be a future legend if he gets a good team.
Legends in the Making of Antonio Gates.
135- Eric Reid CAMO #'D TO 399. This is pretty awesome, actually.
Montee Ball 1969 rookie.
14- Joe Haden
194- DeMarcus Ware, who has the same pose on every card.
290- Von Miller. Oooh. This is awkward.
21- Matt Scott. Because I guess the Jags didn't want Tebow.
278- Miguel Maysonet
215- EJ MANUEL ROOKIE. Wow, that's a hell of a one-two punch.
248- Justin Hunter
239- Marquise Goodwin
135- Eric Reid
340- Wes Welker, on the Broncos, which is a nice sight
424- Jerod Mayo. Why would they do that?
182- Victor Cruz
316- And Tim Tebow. Four straight players I despise.
53- Cecil Shorts
233- Russell Allen
64- Derrick Johnson
171- Tamba Hali, organizing by team again
355- Curtis Lofton
330- Jimmy Graham. Do I hear 3?
179- Marques Colston. 3 Saints in a row! These are some very odd boxes. No eagles or Packers.
213- Navarro Bowman
3- Leonard Hankerson
337- William Moore
191- Rams tc
9- Ronnie Hillman
134- Brandon Spikes, cousin of Takeo Spikes, all around awesome person.
243- Reuben Randle
301- Bilal Powell
38- Doubles
59- Khaseem Green
332- Tyler Wilson, backup of the backup. Poor guy
88- Alex Okafor
357- Bacarri Rambo. Replace an R with a D, and you have a drunk Stallone's next project.
147-Rex Burkhead, going into the tradition of subpar players named Rex.
438- Jawan Jamison
44- Zac Dysert, future backup to a backup.
382- Brian Hartline
giveaway. meh.

So, those were some pretty nice boxes, with a lot of nice players.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Helton Edition

Back when I heard the news of Chipper Jones retiring, I went into a full on backstory on my history with Backyard Baseball. And because I thrived so much from that game as an 8 year old, one of these days I might need to do another post on the game. As for right now, another one of the players I met through that game has just announced his retirement.

The people who made the game were never very flattering when it came to physically rendering stars into animated forms. Randy Johnson was a tall, skinny kid with a mullet. Ichiro was a pale, quick kid. Ken Griffey was a smaller black kid. Thome, Thomas and Bonds all looked massive. But Todd Helton had a very minimalistic design. He was an average height, kinda skinny, white guy, only distinguishable by his Rockies uniform.

I don't remember if I played him at all, but I imagine I might have. He was useful in leadoff positions, like Chipper Jones, but I remember him being more of a raw hitter in the game. And around that time, which was 2002, I had begun sorting my dad's baseball cards on a whim, and he had picked up one or two packs of newer cards. One of those cards was a 2002 Topps Own the Game insert...of Todd Helton, which was awesome. I remember looking on the stats on the back, and being glad that he was as good as the version of him in my computer.

Todd Helton announced his retirement today, and like with Chipper Jones, I knew it was coming eventually, but I feel like Helton has more to do. If he kept at it, he could hit 3,000 hits, or maybe get some more home runs, and further cement his borderline Hall of Fame career. But he's leaving after this month, and it'll be sad to remove his cards from my active binder, and put them in the retired binder.

Still, there will always be Backyard Baseball, and there'll always be the thin, skinny, beardless computer simulation that kept on going.

Coming Tomorrow- A Blue Jays prospect traded for R.A. Dickey, who's now one of the few people still doing alright on the Mets.

Football Predictions: Week 2

Last week I predicted the outcomes of all 15 weekend games. They all went pretty well, and 8 out of 15 were right, which is a solid over .500 average. Also, last week about 5,000,000 people/bots saw the post. Will more people view this one? Let's find out.

The 1 PM Games:

Rams vs. Falcons
Who should win: Last week the Falcons lost to the Saints, though it was close. The Rams won their match against the Cardinals. I think that the Falcons should have a better time of it here, as the Rams still aren't the best team, and the Falcons are still improving.
Who will win: Though it could go either way, I'll say the Falcons again. As we found out last week, the Rams are capable of winning a few games, and when matched with a good enough opponent, they can rock things. I just don't see them getting past the Falcons, even if they seem depleted from last year's squad.
Overall: Falcons 28, Rams 20.

Panthers vs. Bills:
Who should win: Bills. This is a tougher matchup, as neither team is particularly amazing. Still, I think the Bills have more of a chance to win here because they have more to them than the Panthers. The Panthers have a great quarterback in Cam Newton, but he's not as good as he was in 2011. The Bills have EJ Manuel, and Manuel proved he was ready last week. I hope he finally wins one.
Who will win: Bills. I think the Bills have a better defense, and offense, than Carolina, and I think that they can very easily shut them down. Only problem is that there's a chance the Panthers could win, simply because I'm very good at being wrong, and I thought the Eagles would beat them last year. So really, they could theoretically have a shot, but looking at it realistically, the Bills should have an easy matchup.
Overall: Bills 24, Panthers 7.

Vikings vs. Bears:
Who should win: Bears. This is an extremely tough matchup, because I don't think there is a single bad team in the NFC North this season. All four teams are consistently good and strong. These two will probably be either the middle two or the bookends, but they're both great. Though really, if I was going by last week, I would say the Bears would take this one. Last week they seemed like they were really tight, like Cutler was back to his old self again. The Vikings have lost a lot of pieces, and I think last week was the result of that.
Who will win: Surprisingly, the Vikings. I know I just bashed them, but something tells me they might be able to win this one. It could go either way, and I could be very wrong here, but I'm going out on a limb here and I'll say that Adrian Peterson will have a great day.
Overall: Vikings 37, Bears 31.

Redskins vs. Packers:
Who should win: Packers, because they need to redeem themselves after last week unfairly-scheduled matchup against San Francisco. The Packers are a great team, and while they've lost a lot of the pieces that gave them the trophy, they're still in it to win it. Today they have a team that they can probably beat, and I think they'll have a field day.
Who will win: Packers. As evident last week, RG3 is not the same player he was last season. His injury took a lot of oomph out of his gameplay, and last week was an atrocious showing for him. I think the young, fit Packers can get away with this one, and the Redskins might have another embarrassing game on their hands.
Overall: Packers 28, Redskins 14.

Dolphins vs. Colts:
Who should win: Colts, because I like them marginally better than I like the Dolphins. Also because the Colts are a better team, and Andrew Luck needs to have a couple nice games this season if he wants to be taken seriously in the NFL.
Who will win: This one could go either way, but I'm gonna say the Dolphins. I know, it's a risky choice, but I think the Dolphins have more to them than the Colts, and I think the Dolphins will be a stronger team today, while the Colts might have weakened their defense over the offseason. But again, I could be very, very wrong today. You never know.
Overall: Dolphins 21, Colts 16.

Cowboys vs. Chiefs:
Who should win: Chiefs. Andy Reid has suffered many losses at the hands of the infuriating Cowboys. This will be the game that he can really test himself against, now that he has a new team, a stronger team. Plus, I really, really don't want the Cowboys to win...
Who will win:...but the Cowboys probably will. I'm not saying this because they pummeled the Giants last week. I'm saying that the Cowboys have managed to really rebuild themselves, through people like DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. Something tells me they're gonna make it past the Chiefs, because the Chiefs are a little more spread out, and they don't have everything together. But it could go either way. Man, not a lot of easy choices this week.
Overall: Cowboys 27, Chiefs 20

Browns vs. Ravens:
Who should win: Ravens. The Ravens were stymied last week in Baltimore Denver, because they were outmatched, and they were facing a much better quarterback. Now they finally have an easier team to beat, and an idea of how things might go. I think the Ravens' storyline would benefit from a win here, because it's the Browns, and they're only slightly menacing this year.
Who will win: Ravens. Unless something's really gone wrong, the Ravens should have no problem beating Cleveland. The Browns, while they have improved, are still playing with a weaker 2nd year quarterback, and their offense and defense consist of younger, not all tested players. The Ravens have a team that's, while depleted, still stronger and faster than Cleveland's, and I think they'll come out on top.
Overall: Ravens 21, Browns 10.

Titans vs. Texans:
Who should win: Texans. In the battle of the teams that used to be called Oilers, I think the newer incarnation will come out on top, solely because they're the better team. The Texans had a great campaign last year, while the Titans were circling last. I think that, in terms of story, the Texans would probably need a win here.
Who will win: Texans. While the Titans were strong enough to counter an aging Steelers team, I don't think they'll be able to stop the Houston defense, which is still consistently strong, especially considering Ed Reed. Also, the Texans, as usual, have a lot more to them than the Titans, who are still relying on Jake Locker to be consistently okay. I still think the Texans are the better team, and that they'll win today.
Overall: Texans 35, Titans 14.

Chargers vs. Eagles:
Who should win: Eagles, of course. This is their first game, and in the past three seasons whoever they've played in their first home game goes to the Super Bowl and wins. Thankfully, the NFL schedules put an end to this hokey curse, and got them to play a crappier team with no chance in hell of winning the Super Bowl, also known as the Chargers. I think the Eagles should be alright today, as the Chargers basically have no one.
Who will win: Thinking strategically, the Eagles also have the win. Chip Kelly's new coaching tactics have been working marvels, as evidenced by last week's blowout victory against the Redskins. Now they're facing another 'meh' team, and I think that if they do similar things, and keep giving Shady McCoy the ball, they'll have no problem.
Overall: Eagles 42, Chargers 21.

The 4:00-ish games:

Lions vs. Cardinals:
Who should win: Lions, of course. Last week's victory was a sign of a changed team, as they was consistent gameplay out of Reggie Bush, Megatron, and Matthew Stafford. Going by this week, where they have a much easier team to defeat, I think there'll be another nice victory at hand.
Who will win: Lions again. The Cardinals are doing a lot to cover up the fact that all they really have to give a damn about is Larry Fitzgerald. I mean, they have an aging Carson Palmer, plus a few okay rookies, but in all honesty, the Lions are more than a one trick pony, and I think that their defense will have no problem overpowering the depleted Arizona offense. This may seem like an obvious pick, but I'm going with it anyway.
Overall: Lions 28, Cardinals 7.

Saints vs. Buccaneers:
Who should win: Saints. Last week's victory over Atlanta was huge for them, after two seasons of being subpar. Now they have another strong-ish team, one that faced a loss last week due to some bad luck. I think the Saints will have another win here, and solely because of Drew Brees having people to throw to again.
Who will win: Saints. The Bucs, while still rebuilding, are still the Bucs. They're not an elite team, they're just somewhere in the middle. The Saints have a lot more than them, and their quarterback is more trusted. I think that, analytically speaking, the Saints have a better shot, because their offense is stronger, and polished.
Overall: Saints 35, Bucs 17.

Jaguars vs. Raiders:
Who should win: Raiders. Think of it as a lesser of two awfuls. Besides, Terrelle Pryor looks a lot better than Blaine Gabber this season.
Who will win: Jaguars, because the Raiders just loooooove dumb luck. I'm not saying it will happen, but I'm saying that, knowing the Raiders, it might.
Overall: Jaguars 17, Raiders 14.

Broncos vs. Giants:
Who should win: Broncos. In a battle of the Mannings, Peyton is the more accomplished, more consistent, more experienced, and more decorated. I think that Peyton has a better team too, and he has a lot more targets than Eli. It really could go either way, but the Broncos have a better chance.
Who will win: Broncos again, because the Giants have lost a lot of their main pieces from 2011, and the Broncos have gained a lot of important players to make them contenders again. The Giants, while still strong, probably won't be able to outrun the Broncos offense, and Peyton will easily stop Eli from taking this one.
Overall: Broncos 41, Giants 35.

8:00 Game

49ers vs. Seahawks:
Who should win: Seahawks, because I like them better, and because they don't have a roster of players that make me want to punch someone in the face.
Who will win: Niners, because common sense. It could be really close, and the Hawks may take it, but the Niners are too strong to lose here.
Overall: Niners 49, Seahawks, 40.

Monday night:

Steelers vs. Bengals:
Who should win: Bengals, because they were this close to winning last week, and they should really get a victory, because they're a great team this season. Andy Dalton is turning into an elite quarterback like we all thought.
Who will win: Bengals, because the Steelers are cooked.
Overall: Bengals 28, Steelers 10.

So those are my bold predictions. 8-7 right, I make a custom of whoever you want. 8-7 wrong, I'll do a custom of a team I hate. Let's do this, week two.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: Manning Edition

So I have to go over a few things, because right now things are getting very weird over at Mint Condition. Like, Rick Ankiel in 2001 weird.

First of all, my readership has spiked aggressively in the last week, because either a lot of readers or a lot of bots are really liking my RG3 post/Incredibly Wrong Football Predictions. I mean, it's possible that the post was filled with so many good thing about different teams that a lot of people have read it, but I don't think that about 800 people would flock to my blog in a week's span just for a post on football predictions. After all, this is primarily a football card blog.

Besides, the bots are usually good at spiking posts that really don't need to be spiked. I had a post in January 2010 about simply waiting for 2010 Topps, that wasn't much more than a few sentences and a Michael Vick slam. The bots really ate that one up, so much so that last year I rewrote it and made it worthy of that much viewership.

Besides, usually the bots go for posts with banal sounding names, or scantily clad women. Last time I checked, Robert Griffin III is not a woman (though he sure played like one last Monday). I guess people really like the post because of it's length, or something. It's a mystery to me.

Nevertheless, I will post another prediction post tomorrow, which is a challenge to any bots reading this. Go ahead. Make my day.

Speaking of football predictions, I should probably go over the ones from last week.

Patriots-Bills: I predicted a Pats win, and that's exactly what happened, save for a nice fight by EJ Manuel. Point for me.
Bengals-Bears: I predicted the Bengals would win by three, and the Bears won by three. How's for that kinda irony. It was close, though. 1-1.
Dolphins-Browns: I obviously chose the Dolphins to win, which they did. Go me. 2-1.
Falcons-Saints: I predicted a very, very close match here, though I said the Falcons would come out on top. They didn't. The Saints ran away with it. 2-2.
Buccaneers-Jets: Of course, being a man of common sense, I predicted the Bucs would win. However, the Jets somehow snuck past them and won it. This is disappointing, though at least the Patriots got them back on Thursday. 2-3.
Titans-Steelers. I predicted a Steelers win, and the Titans, the largely pathetic Titans, ran away with it. 2-4.
Vikings-Lions. I predicted a high-scoring game that the Vikings would win with 35, the Lions with 24. The scores were exactly flipped. Gah. 2-5.
Raiders-Colts: I guessed it would be an all-out-bloodbath, but the Raiders actually played a decent football game. Yet the Colts still came out in the end. 3-5.
Seahawks-Panthers: I did end up with the right outcome, but I guessed the Hawks would in by 21, when it was a much closer game. Still, I'll take it. 4-5.
Chiefs-Jaguars: I bet on Andy Reid taking it, and I bet on Blaine Gabbert losing it. In Vegas, I'd have gotten myself a nice say. 5-5.
Packers-49ers: I'm a Packer fan, and even though the game was evenly matched, I still saw the Niners coming out on top, which they eventually did. It wasn't a pleasant one to predict, but I still got away with it. 6-5.
Cardinals-Rams: This, to me, was a battle of who was the least awful. In my book, the Rams barely edged out the Cards. It also actually happened. 7-5.
Giants-Cowboys: This one is infuriating, simply because HOW ON EARTH DID THE COWBOYS WIN THIS ONE? I honestly thought the Giants were the better team. Grrr... 7-6.
Eagles-Redskins: Another embarrassing one. I thought the Redskins would take this easily. I should have seen the writing on the wall during RG3's preseason games. Well, the Eagles damn near crushed them. And I thought that they'd be crushed. Me, the Eagle fan. Augh. 7-7.
Texans-Chargers: This one was basically common sense, but it was a lot closer on the ballfield. The Texans, in my opinion, were much stronger than the Chargers, and it turns out I was right. 8-7.

So, I guess I won that one, 8-7. This week, I'll do a custom of whoever I want. Probably somebody from the Eagles.

Coming Tomorrow- Newly traded veteran running back, who had a great day in Week 1.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Custom Card of the Morning: Bogaerts Edition

Now is not the greatest time for the Red Sox to be the best team in baseball.

April and May were good times, because it had an 'aww, that's cute' factor, like when the Rockies and Brewers were on top. But now is the legitimate worst time for the Red Sox to be really, really good.

First of all, unless the rest of the team collapses, they're making the playoffs. Like, nothing is stopping this. No stupid luck, no last-minute-Baltimore-steal. And of course, this is bad news for fans of the fourth place Yankees (wow, that feels weird), who are still two games back from the wild card spots. Because really, even if we get a wild card victory, we're still gonna eventually have to play them. And it would be really, really nice if we could succeed, but they're the Red Sox. They're good at baseball this year.

And it's almost inexplicable, seeing as they brought in like 5 or 6 guys who were okay and had nothing in common except for having the same pointy beard (seriously, like five guys have a pointy beard now). They've been bringing up people like Jackie Bradley, and this guy, Xander Bogaerts, who's actually been doing pretty well. Right now they're doing everything right, even without Ellisbury.

Still, when it comes time for the postseason, I really hope they are still beatable, because I'm not too keen on the whole 'Red Sox winning the world series every couple years' thing.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the game's most storied veterans, getting absolutely no publicity.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Eaton Edition

Not much else to say tonight, because I'm currently transfixed on my Philadelphia Eagles. How are they actually winning?

Coming Tomorrow- Hopefully a more thought-provoking post.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: RG3 Edition

So I'm going to be making week by week predictions for football this year. I'm doing this because football is easier to predict than baseball, because 17 > 162, and it's easier just to do one every sunday, rather than doing one every day. Besides, I've been wrong enough times this year, and I wanna be wrong some more. So here we go:

1 PM Games:

Patriots vs. Bills.
Who should win (read: who I'd like to win): Bills. It'd be a great football story if the underdog Bills came out right off the bat and took down the Patriots, who have been among the best teams in football for the last decade. Besides, it would be great if EJ Manuel had an RG3-esque debut, and it would be great if the Pats lost some games.
Who will win (probably): Patriots. This should be a no brainer. Though the Bills are slowly rebuilding, I imagine that Brady and the gang will mow them over in a heartbeat. Unless the Bills throw a surprise out, and EJ Manuel impresses, or unless the Patriots spontaneously combust, this should be a victory for NE.
Overall: Pats 21, Bills 10. Sadly.

Bengals vs. Bears.
Who should win: Tough, but I'll go with the Bengals, because I like them slightly better, and because they're not in the same division as one of my favorite teams. Besides, Andy Dalton's the most underrated QB in the game.
Who will win: In that matter, the Bengals, because they're the better team. Cutler's a great QB, and he's got a great offense, but I think the Bengals are a tad better. I could be wrong. The Bears could definitely kick ass here, but I'm seeing a Bengals victory, because I feel that being on Showtime's slate for the last two months has made them tighter.
Overall: Bengals 17, Bears 13. It will be close.

Dolphins vs. Browns.
Who should win: I'd prefer seeing the Browns win, regardless of the fact that I have a higher chance of growing a third arm than the Browns have of succeeding this season. Still, even though they have absolutely no chance of winning, it'd be nice to see them win for once.
Who will win: Yet I still have to give this to Miami. They've been inconsistent the last few years, but I think they're better than the Browns in multiple areas, such as they have a QB that's trusted, rather than one that they stuck on the roster because they couldn't find anybody else. Also, the Dolphins' best player isn't a defensive player who's highly revered by the fans, regardless of ability. Sorry, but I think Tannehill's gang should prevail here.
Overall: Dolphins 21, Browns 7. That's assuming the Browns will be tight enough to actually score a touchdown AND a field goal.

Falcons vs. Saints.
Who should win: Another tough one, because these are two great teams. Yet I'd rather see the Saints win, and it's because even though the Falcons are tough, I feel like they have enough power in them to overpower them. Besides, I prefer the Saints ONLY SLIGHTLY, because of their awesome fanbase. That being said...
Who will win: Falcons, easily. They're one of the best teams in football, they have a strong offense, even after losing Malcolm Turner, and they have greats like Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez. I just think they're a better team than the Saints, and this is assuming that they're both on the same page as they were last year, because it could go either way.
Overall: Falcons 13, Saints 13. Falcons win it in overtime. It'll be very close.

Buccaneers vs. Jets.
Who should win: Bucs, because they've improved so much over the last few years, from simply being one of the 'bad teams' to actually holding their own last year. And I happen to like Josh Freeman, regardless of his sudden and inexplicable demotion from captainship (which is totally bull). Also, the Jets suck.
Who will win: Bucs. The Bucs are stronger offensively, defensively, and actually have their stuff together, to a point where they can actually work cohesively to win games. The Jets lack all of this. Also, the Jets suck.
Overall: Buccaneers 24, Jets 7, although, like the Browns, that's being very generous towards Jersey.

Titans vs. Steelers.
Who should win: This is a conundrum to me, because these are two teams that weren't very good last year, plus two teams I don't particularly love. I just have to pick the team that I feel will suck the least, which will probably be Tennessee. Besides, I think if Jake Locker tries hard enough this season, he could become a much better quarterback.
Who will win: Steelers, because even everybody just left this year, I think they still can possibly win a few games this year, against opponents such as the Titans. I don't know if they will win, but they very well might.
Overall: Steelers 20, Titans 14, I guess.

Vikings vs. Lions.
Who should win: Vikings, because they have a bit more meat on them than the Lions. The Lions, with a few exceptions, have become a weak team again. Sure, they still have Megatron and Suh, but they have a lot of question marks, and they're kinda screwed being in a division with three great teams. So the Vikes will probably take it.
Who will win: Vikings again. They're the stronger team, even though Harvin just left. I think they can easily overpower the Lions, even though it's pretty evenly matched. This will be the season where Ponder breaks out, I think. If not...then I'm just wrong again, I guess.
Overall: Vikings 35, Lions 24. This one might not be as high scoring as I predict, though.

Raiders vs. Colts.
Who should win: Colts, obviously. If the Raiders weren't the worst team in football, and actually had tried and true talent in positions other than running back, I'd give this more consideration, but as much as I should like the Raiders for my dad's sake, they really have no chance.
Who will win: Colts, again. Andrew Luck is a question mark, as his numbers told the real story that his hype hid, but I imagine that now that the team is young again, they'll have no problem steamrolling over the Raiders. Like, I'll be surprised if the Raiders actually score.
Overall: Colts 21, Raiders 3.

Seahawks vs. Panthers.
Who should win: Wow, another overstacked matchup. I have to pick Seattle, because I like a lot of elements about them, and they seem like the better team of the two. Besides, I really, really, really like Russell Wilson. I think he's great for the game, and he's a terrific leader, as the tape shows from last year. I think that, without factoring in logistics, the Seahawks have a better chance of winning.
Who will win:...and when you DO factor in logistics, the Seahawks win anyway. They have two great wide receivers, who coincidentally used to play together in Minnesota. You have Marshawn Lynch, who's probably one of the best running backs in the game. You have, as said already, Russell Wilson. Also, the Panthers have just run out of steam, and Cam Newton is slowing down, as evident last season. Unless he gets his stuff together, the Hawks are gonna run right through him.
Overall: Seahawks 35, Panthers 14.

Chiefs vs. Jaguars.
Who should win: Chiefs. Here we have two thoroughly unspectacular teams, separated by how they performed during the offseason. The Jaguars mulled around getting Tim Tebow, but ended up doing basically nothing but picking up one or two minor stars and draft picks. The Chiefs got a new head coach, a new quarterback, and are heavily favored to at least do better than last season. From the getgo, it looks like Kansas City has their stuff together, unlike the Jags, whose quarterback is still kinda there because nobody else is a better choice.
Who will win: Chiefs, solely because Alex Smith will play better than he did last season, and because they have more versatility than just having one trusted player like the Jags do. Jones-Drew will do alright, but a team cannot survive with one good player. They have to have several, and Andy Reid did a nice job of stockpiling the team.
Overall: Chiefs 21, Jaguars 7.

4:25 PM Games, all two of them:

Packers vs. 49ers.
Who should win: Packers. First of all, WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY DO THIS? San Francisco has already crushed Green Bay twice last season. Do they wanna just put them through the pain again, gimme some more heartbreak? These Packers are the only team I root for, besides maybe Baltimore, that actually wins Super Bowls every once and a while. But either way, while this matchup is still kinda unfair, I would rather see the Packers pull out than the Niners, solely because it makes sense. They've lost a few times before. Maybe now they can beat them, and maybe Clay Matthews will tear Colin Kaepernick's tats right off his body. I'd pay for ringsides to see that.
Who will win: Ultimately, 49ers. As much as I love the Packers, I don't think they're as good as they were in 2010, and I don't think they can defeat the Niners. I think it'll be very close, closer than most of the other games on here, but because the Niners have the game's strongest defense, and the most durable offense, they'll run away with it. And this pains me, because I could be wrong. But never know.
Overall: Niners 42, Packers 31. Though I could be wrong, and I hope I am.

Cardinals vs. Rams.
Who should win: Rams, solely because they did more during the offseason to make up for their own incompetence last season. And I'll agree that both teams are bad, but I think that, from the getgo, the Rams are less awful. Sam Bradford looks like he's improving, and Tavon Austin looks like he could be a good target.
Who will win: Rams, I guess. Again, with two subpar teams, it's hard to call it, but I say the Rams will pull out solely because their team looks tighter than Arizona right now. But right now, it's a tossup. It might be close, because both of them are kinda awful.
Overall: Rams 21, Cardinals 14.

8:30 PM Game:

Giants vs. Cowboys:
Who should win: Oh, gosh this is tough. It's like picking dying of cancer or dying by gunshot. It's a lesser of two evils here, which is sadly New York. They have better performers in each area, and I think they're a better team. Besides, I hate them a lot less than I hate the Cowboys. Tony Romo is lucky Jerry Jones likes him so much, or else he'd be playing for Jacksonville by now.
Who will win: Giants again, because they're so much better than the Cowboys. They have better running backs, a stronger defense, a much more consistent quarterback, and they have an advantage because they're not the Cowboys.
Overall: Giants 20, Cowboys 13.

The Monday night games:

Eagles vs. Redskins:
Who should win: Eagles, because I'm from the Philly area, and everybody around me keeps saying that 'oh, Chip Kelly's gonna turn it around', and 'Relax, Michael Vick's gonna be great this year', and 'Oh, RG3 was a one time thing', and 'Naw, the defense seems a hell of a lot stronger than last year', and 'Oh, it'll be like Andy Reid never existed', and 'It looks kinda hazy, but it's still our year'. And that says something, because they're so optimistic that this year's gonna be the year, that the skies are gonna open up, the Redskins are gonna fall apart at the half, Desean's gonna run the ball like crazy, and Chip Kelly will be chiseled next to Rocky in the heart of Philly. So the whole surroundings are really intent that the team will be great this year.
Who will win: Redskins. Because they're the Redskins. And because there's a difference between listening to what you want, and common sense.
Overall: Skins 28, Eagles 14. Unless I'm wrong, and unless the Eagles actually manage to be great this year, which I sincerely hope it true.

Texans vs. Chargers:
Who should win: Texans. I know everybody just seems to love Philip Rivers, but a great quarterback does not a Super Bowl make. Matt Schaub surrounds himself with an entire team of people who are good at their jobs, and he also has a great defense, so I have to give it to them, because they're the better team.
Who will win: Texans again. The Texans are easily going to shut down the Chargers' offense, mainly because the Chargers' offense consists of mostly rookies, aging players, Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews. And it's the exact opposite, too, in that the Chargers have little to no defense, while the Texans' offense is actually pretty good. Plus, I happen to think that Matt Schaub is better than Philip Rivers, especially now.
Overall: Texans 21, Chargers 10.

Again, I could be wrong, and I probably will be, but this is just what I think will go down. And in a few days, I'll see how absolutely wrong/right I was.

But let's throw something else in here. If 8/15 or more of my predictions are right, and what I mean is the prediction of who wins, not the score, I'll customize whichever football players you guys want for the next week. If 8/15 of more of my predictions are wrong, I'll have no choice but to customize a Cowboys, Giants, Steelers or Patriots player. So either way...

Coming Tomorrow- I need to make more, but expect...somebody.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Balfour Edition

Phew. If this wasn't a throwback, it would just be the same old shot.

Seriously. The curse of doing this for five years is having all the shots look the same. Like, for every really original shot, there's one that blends in with all the other ones. And that sometimes is pretty pathetic.

For closers, it can be one of two shots. It can be either them pitching, which is usually pretty unoriginal, or it can be them celebrating after getting a save. And I'm sorry, but all of them look the same. Rafael Soriano, Joe Nathan, Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Papelbon. They all have the same thing. Balfour's is pretty similar too. So really, unless you have a different shot, or unless you have a sweet throwback, like here, you're Schmidt out of luck, which is weird, because Mike Schmidt has generally good luck.

So yeah. Whenever you have a really bad, overused pose...always be thankful for throwbacks.

Coming Tomorrow- A kinda-hyped rookie for Arizona. No, not that one. Or that one. Or even that one, Goldy's a third-year. Yeah, THAT one.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: Rice Edition

Tonight, in Baltimore Denver, the 2013-2014 NFL Season will officially begin. And already, people are asking who is going to win the Super Bowl. And I don't see the point in that. It's like taking thirty two average people, and predicting which one is going to live the longest. Makes no sense to me.

However, if someone were to ask me who is going to win the Super Bowl--this one in the Meadowlands, which, despite being the first Super Bowl to be relatively close in distance to me, is not one I'd enjoy attending. Bring on Arizona--I wouldn't just give one answer. You have to put into account several different factors.

If everything goes according to how things look at the beginning of the season: Broncos vs. 49ers. Broncos win.
If Joe Flacco has another immaculate season: Ravens vs. Seahawks. Seahawks win.
If Joe Flacco has an awful season: Ravens vs. Seahawks. Ravens win.
If the 'Eagles curse', saying that whoever faces off with Philly in their first home game will take home the trophy, enacts itself: Chargers vs. 49ers. Chargers win.
If Andy Reid manages to actually have a decent season in Kansas City: Chiefs vs. Falcons. Falcons win.
If Terry Bradshaw ruled the world: Steelers vs. Packers. Steelers win 84-0, yet Antonio Brown will be limited to 54 points.
If the Mannings had a bet going before the season: Broncos vs. Giants. Giants win in a squeaker.
If John Harbaugh decides that last year's Super Bowl was absolutely unfair: Ravens vs. 49ers. 49ers win.
If Jim Harbaugh decides he really enjoys kicking the crap out of his brother's team, just to see how he'll react: Ravens vs. 49ers. Ravens win 56-3. Boldin is carted off field, quoted in saying "Okay fine, I should have stuck with the Ravens, BUT DON'T QUOTE ME!"
If Brett Favre suddenly decides to come out of retirement sign with Jacksonville: Jaguars vs. Packers. Packers win. After the game Brett retires, and then five days later signs with whoever finished last in the NFC, because screw you.
If Tim Tebow had his way: Patriots vs. 49ers. 49ers win 11,000 to 3, and Belicheck keels over and dies.
If somebody up there really, really hates me: Patriots vs. Cowboys. Whoever wins, I lose.
If these big overhyped rookies are as good as people say they are: Dolphins vs. Rams. Rams win. Tavon Austin gets MVP.
If the Chargers actually decide to play Manti Te'o: Chargers vs. Seahawks. Chargers win. Manti's girlfriend gets MVP.
If hell freezes over: Raiders vs. Eagles. Raiders win. John Madden gets so excited he has a heart attack.
If I was in charge: Ravens vs. Packers. Packers win. Rodgers goes over Favre's place and gloats.

So yeah. It's gonna be a hell of a season nonetheless, though.

Coming Tomorrow- If I get to posting a football one, expect a sophomore year overhyped quarterback.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Rios Edition

Jeez, it feels like the Rangers just got everybody after they lost everybody.

Like, they gave up Hamilton and Young before the season, which was a lovely idea, and then half the roster got injured, including Lance Berkman and Neftali Feliz. And now they snapped up people like Alex Rios and Matt Garza in an effort to do...exactly what they do every year, just snatch people.

Does this pay off? Well, I haven't heard a damn thing about both Rios and Garza since they were traded, so it doesn't really appear so.

More reason to root for the Athletics.

Coming Tomorrow- The closer for...hey, I was just talking about them, the Athletics!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Football Custom of the Day: Revis Edition

Man, somebody looks happy to be out of Rex Ryan's hair.

It'll be interesting to see how Revis fits into the Bucs' team. Already this is a nice, tight young team, with a totally underrated quarterback, a couple of nice young players, and a lot to prove.

Still, I hope the Bucs at least exceed expectations heeded by the last couple seasons of not making the playoffs.

Coming Tomorrow- Hey, wow, one of the few people the Ravens actually held onto.

Custom Card of the Day: Holliday Edition

You can probably guess why posting Cardinals customs has become such a chore for me. I don't particularly love the team, but when they're playing well, I kinda have to make some customs. Good news is that every once and a while I get to make a good custom I don't really hate too much, like Holliday up there.

The reason I'm posting this Genuinely Awesome Holliday (or GAH) so damn early is because today is the first day of my senior year of high school, and I need to kick things into full gear yet again. So I'm getting up exhaustingly early and throwing the custom out there early enough that I don't end up forgetting it late at night, you know, like I've done 3,000,000 times this year.

Good news is I'm on my last lap until college, which is fitting, because the MLB season's in its last month until the postseason. I imagine the postseason will be slightly less exciting than my college education though.

You know, unless the Yankees squeak in there.

Coming Tomorrow- I'm like a month late on this one, but a former White Sox star traded to (where else?) Arlington.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Simmons Edition

The end of August marks another one of those 'Month in Review' posts I've been doing. So, let's see how messed up this month was.

First, let's see the five predictions from last month, and see if they were apt at all.

1. The Yankees to finally reclaim their stuff and get right back in the race.' Well...sort of. Though they are still nine games back, they aren't really out of the race yet. Like, if they have an awesome month, if the players who are hot now remain hot, and if there are no more embarrassing defeats, there could be a chance.
2. The Cardinals to cool down and let the Pirates stay at the top for a while. Sort of again. The Pirates and the Cardinals are tied for first at the NL Central. So...yeah, you could say they stayed at the top.
3. No random waiver deals that screw up the Update set. Unfortunately, this one is far from apt.
4. The Dodgers to keep playing really well. The Dodgers are still very far into first, and playing extremely well. So yeah.
5. Yoenis Cespedes to keep hitting a decent amount of homers. He's hit four since July. Four isn't really a decent amount of anything, save for wives or helpings.

Now, five things that surprised me during last month:

1. Injuries for the best players. Matt Harvey and Miguel Cabrera, more specifically, who were ruling the season before having annoying little injuries. Cabrera will probably bounce back soon enough, but Harvey's out for the rest of the season, and the Mets already have Johan Santana for that. Still, very shocking, especially this far in the season.
2. Chris Davis slows down. Before the All-Star break, Chris Davis was having an unbelievable season, hitting tons of home runs and making Matt Williams in 94 look minuscule. However, since the All Star game he's only hit ten home runs. To put it into perspective, Alfonso Soriano hit more homers than that in August alone. Hopefully he'll rebound, but it's odd that it happened this quickly.
3. Standings stayed mostly the same from July to August. That almost never happens.
4. No huge rookie call up. Really. Usually in early August there's a decent sized one. Hm.
5. A-Rod started hitting right when he got off the DL. Normally I'd blame the roids, but I'm very surprised.

And, of course, five things that didn't surprise me at all during August:

1. Red Sox, Cardinals, Rangers and Braves held a firm grip on their divisions. Maybe not as much in St. Louis, but the bad guys are winning, guys.
2. Max Scherzer continued to win more games than everybody else.
3. A bunch of waiver deals continued to screw up the Topps Update set.
4. Tim Tebow blew another golden opportunity. I know that isn't baseball, but who cares.
5. Despite having a subpar season, and despite being on a third place team, Jim Johnson still has more saves than anybody in the AL. Happens every year.

Finally, five things I want to happen in September:

1. Great baseball stories, like the rise of the Pirates and Dodgers, to reach fulfillment, and not keel over and die come postseason.
2. Somebody to stick a fork in the Rangers', Red Sox' and Cardinals' seasons.
3. Mariano Rivera to finish out the regular season strong, and if his final season ends there, I hope it goes out with a bang.
4. The Phillies to at least not finish in last.
5. A setup to a playoffs that won't have me shaking my head and turning on the Eagles game.

Coming Tomorrow- A strong outfielder for St. Louis who I don't despise. And it ain't Carlos Beltran.

Hey, wait a minute...

...I thought the big trades were supposed to happen at the end of July, not August.

All three of these are huge, especially the Morneau one. Still, I (and Topps), would have preferred them make these trades a month earlier. But oh well.