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The NL East, The Big East, and Dan LeBatard Eats

September 20, 2011 Randy Neil

Welcome back, boys and girls. It’s been a pretty amazing week. The Phillies clinched the NL East with a win over the Cardinals on Saturday. Chase Utley’s barehanded grab to make the last out was symbolic of our entire season. We could do things the more traditional way, but instead, we’ll just make it look easy. Get your cameras ready, we’re making a highlight reel.

College football is changing. Smaller schools and smaller conferences are starting to get bullied around by the bigger fish in the pond. The ACC is starting to make moves that strangely look like they are attempting to destroy the Big East Conference. Teams are leaving, teams are joining other conferences, everyone is playing musical chairs.

If it wasn’t for the disgusting greed behind these actions, I’d actually be in favor of consolidating conferences in some cases. Bigger conferences make for better competition among teams, better games, etc. Sure, it would hurt those smaller schools, but isn’t the illegal recruiting already doing that?

I’m curious as to what college sports will look like in twenty years. I imagine a mere 3 major conferences, all involving 20 or more teams, with players that are getting financially compensated and huge scandals. It’s getting ugly, folks, and I don’t see any signs of it slowing down.

Now, I have to take a brief moment of silence for someone dear in the sports community. The Florida Marlins’ fans. Does anyone down there have time in between gator hunting to check out America’s pastime? Last week, Sun Life Stadium hosted a whopping 347 total spectators for a Marlins’ game. THREE. HUNDRED. FORTY. SEVEN. Man, that’s sad.

Florida is talking about building a new stadium for the Florida Marlins, and honestly, I can’t imagine why. Obviously the days of combining a football and baseball stadium are somewhat faux pas (cough, OAKLAND, cough, SAN DIEGO) but still, if you aren’t drawing crowds in Florida with a good team (see Bay, Tampa) you probably won’t do it with a terrible team. Let us bow our heads….

Ok, now if you haven’t seen, or even heard of, the new Dan Le Batard (pronounced Leh-bi-tard) show on ESPN2, I strongly recommend you watch it. Le Batard has been a regular on PTI and writes for the Miami Herald.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The guys a douche, right? I used to think so, too, but his fast paced, bold attitude while interviewing athletes is perfect. His co-host happens to be his father, who truly has no business on television, but that’s what makes it funny. His thick Cuban accent makes interviewees very uncomfortable during questioning, and makes me very delighted.

I didn’t get a chance to see the Floyd Mayweather “knockout”, but from what I’ve heard, it was pretty unsatisfying. Look, truth is, he was going to win that fight anyway. I hate the guy, but there’s only one man on the face of the planet who’s better than him. We all know who it is, including Mayweather, which is why we’ll probably never see that fight take place. It’s pathetic, but I guess I wouldn’t have much an issue having people hating me if I was making $50 million dollars. I would just buy some of those people and pay them to like me.

Finally, I KNOW ya’ll saw my man Cam Newton tear it up. I fell into the hype of thinking he wasn’t going to perform as well against the Packers, so I sat him, again. It came back to haunt me once more, as I lost this week.

Week 1 : 422 Yards, 2 TD, 1 Int, 1 Rush TD
Week 2 : 432 Yards, 1 TD, 3 Int

Now those 3 picks look nasty, but in the fantasy world, they cancel out that 1 TD and I’m looking at a QB who threw for 432 yards. In most leagues, that equates to about 35 points. I’d take that anyway, and I should have.

Seeing how many yards Cam threw got me thinking…. Who the heck is this guy throwing to?? Steve Smith caught for a majority of those with 156, but who accounted for those other 276?

Well, Jonathan Stewart caught 8 passes for 100 yards. Jeremy Shockey got 46. Greg Olsen only caught 1 pass for 34. Brandon LaFell grabbed 4 receptions for 49 yards. He’s distributing the ball well.

Another thing that stood out was Carolina’s leading rusher. It’s Cam Newton. So far, he leads a team that boasts a duo of great running backs with 71 yards. Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams have a combined 74 yards in two games. This concerns me.

Ah well, 854 yards in his first two games. Cry me a river, right?

LETS GET TO THEM PICKENS!!

San Francisco (-2.5) over Cincinnati
Playing in Cincinnati, still like the 49ers in this one.

Buffalo (+9) over New England
Division rivals, plus Buffalo has a healthy run game. I expect this to be close enough to take the points.

Houston (+4) over New Orleans
The Texans are on fire. Even with Schaub being mediocre, I think they’ll win in New Orleans.

Eagles (-1) over New York Giants
The Giants barely scraped by the Rams. Philly’s home opener.

Cleveland (-3) over Miami
Meh… why not? Whatever. You got a good idea on this?

Denver (+7) over Tennessee
The Titans upset Baltimore last week, but I think this game’s gonna be close. Tebow is finding his way into the offense and Orton is solid enough to keep it close.

Detroit (-3.5) over Minnesota
I think D-town is gonna stay hot. I think McNabb is gonna stay losing.

Carolina (-3.5) over Jacksonville
Panthers first win of the season. Actually, J-Ville will probably win this one….

San Diego (-15) over Kansas City
Jamaal Charles is out. Matt Cassel looks terrible.

Oakland (+3) over New York Jets
The Jets travel to the Bay Area. I like what I’m seeing from dem Raydahs.

Baltimore (-3.5) over St. Louis
St. Louis is still trying to figure out their offense. Let Baltimore’s D figure it out for them.

Atlanta (+1.5) over Tampa Bay
I don’t understand how this is so close. Falcons upset the Iggles, Tampa Bay hasn’t won a game yet. This is fishy, but I guess I’ll take Atlanta.

Arizona (-3) over Seattle
NFC Division Rivalry! Oh boy!

Green Bay (-3.5) over Chicago
Hopefully Green Bay doesn’t give up 17 points in the first half.

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over Indianapolis
I don’t like the big spread on this, cuz I think ol’ Kerry Collins can keep you in a game, just not win it, but I’m going Pitt.

Dallas (-1.5) over Washington
How is Dallas getting all the night games? I think both of these teams are going to be (2-1) when all is said and done.

*Lines taken from SportsBetting.com

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