Sunday, April 29, 2007

2007 NFL Draft - The Ultimate Live-Blog: Day 2

8:35AM (Monday) - Nice time to lose web access for over a day. Blame ComCast for their shoddy service. So glad to be dumping them in a week when I move. At least I got to watch the Sox/Yanks finale. By the way, since I obviously spent a lot of time watching ESPN this weekend, let me put this out there: The SportsCenter commercial with David Ortiz, Jorge Posada, Orestes Destrade and Wally the Green Monster might be the best "This is SportsCenter" ad they've ever run. Just for the acting by Wally, dropping his tapes and running in horror when he sees David Ortiz in the Yankees cap. Classic.

Anyway, this weekend could not have worked any better for me personally, between a round of golf, the NFL Draft and the Pats' acquisition of Randy Moss (if New England is any worse that 3-1 Super Bowl favorites by the end of the week, jump on them now), the Sox taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees, winning the final weekend home poker game at my place, and still having enough time to drive to a friend's house to hang out and watch the WWE Pay-Per-View late Sunday night, it was absolutely perfect. I freely admit this live-blog kind of floundered by Sunday, mostly because I had no way to jump on here until I got to work this morning.

Oh, there were NBA & NHL playoff games this weekend? Must've missed those...

Unless something major happens between now and next Wednesday, I probably won't post again until after I move to Pittsburgh and get a little settled in (think mid to late-May). But if this is the last weekend I get to work with for awhile, it certainly was a good one.

12:25 - OK, so apparantely I missed a lot of big names getting drafted or moved the poast weekend. Here's my quick, mini-breakdown of some of the biggest stuff:

- Cleveland, San Francisco, and Oakland have completely rebuilt their teams. Of that group, the Niners were the most advanced before this weekend, and probably will have the biggest jump in next year's standings. With their offseason, I could easily see 3-4 more wins and a playoff berth.
- Oakland has done a real nice job rebuilding their offense. They actually had a fairly competant defense over the past could of seasons, but their defense was completely inept. Now they have their franchise QB in JaMarcus Russell, a highly regarded tight end in Zach Miller, and absolutely stole Michael Bush at running back in the fourth round. The AFC West is going to be a tough place to play next season. Of course, if they knew they were going to trade Randy Moss all weekend, it might have been nice to grab a wide receiver.
- I have absolutely no idea what the Dolphins were thinking thus far into the weekend. They needed a franchise QB, so they pass on Brady Quinn to take a glorified return man #9 overall. They then take a QB in John Beck in the second round. I know what you're thinking: "Who the hell is John Beck?" My point exactly. If you're going to reach for a QB, at least reach for someone your fan base has heard of - Troy Smith, Drew Stanton, etc. Hell, they could have drafted Chris Leak this weekend and at least appeased their fan base.
- If the Chiefs end up dealing away both Trent Green and Larry Johnson, I will immediately pencil them in for a 4-12 season. Between their collapsing offensive line, and now the possibility of losing a starting QB and the second-best running back in the game... they'd become the '06 Raiders, only with a worse defense. You know what... let's make that a 2-14 season.

That's enough of an update for now. I'm getting settled in for the Sox/Yanks finale in about a half hour, and I'll check in periodically with other draft thoughts.

12:08 - Just woke up... and the Patriots are getting Randy f'ing Moss. That's some good news. I'll be back shortly when I'm a little more coherant and I've had some coffee.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

2007 NFL Draft - The Ultimate Live-Blog!

7:55 - Alright everybody, here's the plan. I'm heading out to once again consume frosty beverages. Since just about every other site out there has closed up shop for the night, I don't feel nearly as bad about leaving. HOWEVER, I fully plan to wake up at some point tomorrow (God-willing) and put up some analysis of the late second and all of the third rounds... and then sit in my comfy bar-co-lounger for the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds and just space out, updating sporadically about whatever makes me smile. I hope my 10+ posts throughout the day have informed and entertained, anf if nothing else, I leave you knowing this: I got one rippin' sunburn today while trying to post using the PDA. I couldn't see the screen in th golf cart, so I had to hang out the side while I typed... directly in full sunlight. For those of us that are "Melonin-challenged" (i.e. one shade short of albino), this leads to a solid farmer's tan on the arms and a nice set of raccoon eyes from behind the shades. I'll make a solid impression at the bars tonight.

See you all tomorrow, at some point, hangover be damned.

7:35 - Keyshawn Johnson is "very excited" to have Dwayne Jarrett joining him on the Panthers... let's see how long that lasts once Keyshawn realizes he's going to be losing touches every game as the season goes on. By the way - I haven't seen the entire draft so far, obviously, but this Keyshawn/Jarrett interview via satellite/phone might be the worst idea of all-time. These are two guys who don't appear to have mstered the face-to-face interview yet, and we're expecting them to converse coherantly 3000 miles away from each other with a 3 second delay?

7:31 - Also, I should have mentioned... it's nice having Miami & Buffalo in the AFC East with the Pats. Can always count on them for at least one "Huh?" moment in every draft.

7:30 - Wel, that was an anti-climactic ending. Always tough when your best hitter ends the game in the on-deck circle. Anyway, some quick reactions to the draft so far today:

-- Cleveland Browns' fans are going to look back at today one of two ways - either they just completely revamped their team and put themselves in a great position to compete for the next five years, or they blew it big time, giving #3 money to an o-Lineman and trading away the future for a "System" QB. I think it's the former.
-- Here's's "analysis" from the Patriots' end of their trade with SF for the #28 overall pick: "The Patriots like to acquire future No. 1 picks." Oh, you think so doctor? I was convinced they would trade that pick right up until the point that I looked at the screen and saw Paul Pozlusny still on the board... but getting San Fran's #1 in '08 is huge. Great trade for both teams.
-- Denver got one hell of a player in Jarvis Moss... but they gave up three picks to get him. He'd better pan out - especially when the first of the three traded picks turned into Reggie Nelson.
-- Quick Reactions: Seattle is no gimme in the NFC West next season. Arizona got some serious help today, and obviously, San Fran has had a monster offseason to date. St. Louis... well, somebody's gotta finish last.
-- I'm always fascinated with trades like the one San Diego & Chicago made. Both teams were good last season. San Diego had one real pressing need - Linebacker. Chicago has one real pressing need - QB. So what happens? The Chargers give up three picks this year and one next year to draft a second round Safety. I'm sure this will all make sense once the alcohol wears off.

7:15 - Please forgive my ignorance. I went to take a shower (for some reason, I sweat an inordinate amount while golfing. Must be the alcohol.) and suddenly realized it was the 9th inning of a Red Sox/Yankees game. Needless to say, I haven't spent much of the past 45 minutes reading up on draft day happenings. I'll get back to you all shortly.

6:30 - Guys, it was a thing of beauty. Seriously, you should've seen it. Me and my buddy Jay pulled the golf cart into the 19th hole just as the Patriots' clock ran out for pick #24. I picked up the PDA, all set to offer instant analysis on the safety, linebacker, or trade that was about to be announced, only to see the following message: "Your battery has insufficient power to support the function you have requested. Please recharge and try again later." Ugh. Of the many things that have happened since the 3:35 update, let me say this - Brady Quinn slipping to the Browns (via trade) is ridiculous. I'm sure the ESPN guys have beaten this to death already, but the first thing I thought was - "He's either the next Aaron Rodgers or the next Joe Montana." I'm hoping it's the former, because I'd hate to have to listen to ND apologists for the next ten years. Cleveland has done a hell of a job so far in this draft - let me catch up on all the picks and trades and I'll offer some actual analysis in about twenty minutes. Then I'm going to go take a shower and probably get ready to head out drinking for the night, but the PDA is recharging, and provided Verizon Wireless can give me coverage in random pubs in Watertown, I'll try to check in a couple more times before the night is over. I think I just have to chalk this one up as a "Brett Favre" day - trying to do too much with too little. At least I had a decent round of golf and a handful of good beers and nachos. Back again soon.

3:35 - Right now, Notre Dame haters are rejoicing. Brady Quinn is likely to slip to AT LEAST 21st to the Jags... I had to relload the Yahoo coverage 3 times... I couldn't believe he's still out there.

2:25 - Marshawn Lynch and Ted Ginn... Those might be two of the biggest reaches I've ever seen in a first round. Also, we won't discuss that I'm shooting a 68... Through 10 holes.

1pm - 4 holes in, and I'm "Golfing by 4's" - I am only scoring in multiples of 4 so far... 8, 8, 4, 8. Solid round. Plus, I managed to hit a ball backwards without having it hit anything else. Looks like the first 4 picks have been pretty bland... Everyone going where they're "supposed" to go. More in an hour.

11:30 - Finally made it to the course... With a half-dry shirt. This will be a most interesting round of golf. On an NFL note, Peter King just reported on WEEI that Randy Moss absollutely would be dealt today. Just imagine if the Patriots parlay Deion Branch into Randy Moss... Wow.

10:38 - You know, my dryer takes much longer than it should to dry out one shirt. I'm glad my tee time isn't until about 11:45. Also, it gives me a chance to watch the Pre-Draft Pre-Game. I thought I'd miss Michael Irvin's antics on the ESPN NFL Crew but I've got to say, as much as I hated Keyshawn Johnson back when he was still playing, the guy actually knows his stuff about the game. Even if he just said that The Raiders could quickly become the next Patriots' by taking JaMarcus Russell #1 overall. Plus, he doesn't feel the need to scream all of his observations at me. Wait, what do you mean he's still playing? Are you sure?

10:31AM - Almost forgot to mention it - click here to read my "pseudo-prediction" (second comment on the page) for what I think could happen in this first round later today - ignore the part where I say I won't be Live-Blogging today. I just wanted it in writing, just in case it happens, so I can either look like a complete genius, or complete buffoon...

10:25AM - You really should see me right now. I'm half-dressed (the important half is covered), just waiting for my shirt to come out of the dryer so I can get in my car and drive to the golf course. I figured this would be an excellent time to start today's Live Blog thingy.

Unfortunately, half of the "suspense" from the draft - "Who's going #1?" Appears to be gone, as ESPN is reporting that, for once, the Raiders are doing something smart and taking JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick. I was really hoping they'd do something completely off the walls, like send Al Davis to the podium to draft Marcus Allen or something, just as a goof.

Anyway, I'm heading for the laundry room, followed by the golf course. I'll be checking in shortly after 11AM, and probably every half-hour or three holes on the course, whichever is easier. Of course, if my phone decides to lose coverage (a distinct possibility) or battery life (an even greater possibility), I might be checking in sometime around 4PM with my next update.

Enjoy the day fellas.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

This is just a test

This is just a test of the blogger email posting system.

Had this been an actual blog post, you would be reading disparaging
comments about Peyton Manning, Alex Rodriguez, and/or Kobe Bryant.

Thank you for your patience. Please check back later for your
regularly scheduled blog update - NFL Draft: The Ultimate LiveBlog!


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The Ultimate NFL Draft Live Blog

Alright NFL fans, this weekend is the second biggest news time for the league, falling right behind Super Sunday, and somewhere slightly ahead of the daily "When Will Brett Favre Retire" headlines.

Naturally, this is the best time for a young, aspiring, Internet junkie writer like myself to sit back, pop open a frosty alcoholic beverage or eight, and wax poetic about the "length" and "upside" of very, very large men, most of whom I will probably never meet.

So where do I plan to be while I do this?

Playing my first (and probably last) round of golf of 2007. But that will not stop me. Technology is an amazing thing, and presuming I have enough battery life and patience, I plan to blog via a handheld PDA/Phone in-between snap hooks off the tee and multiple attempts at getting out of sand traps.

There's a 50/50 shot my phone ends up in a water hazard in frustration, and an even better shot that by about the 10th hole I am rambling incoherently about how the Raiders are definitely going to screw up the first pick by not taking Reggie Bush (like I said - alcohol may be involved), but I'm going to give it a shot.

Some of you may remember my last shot at live blogging, during the second round of the NFL playoffs back in January (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3). It was a fun experience, even if I couldn't feel my fingers for about 17 hours after. As far as Saturday goes, I figured - what the hell. Shanoff put out the challenge on his page earlier today, so I might as well do my best to answer the call.

Please don't rip me apart for spelling errors - I'll be using a keyboard about 3"x2.5" in total length (by comparison, my hands are almost 11" in length - it's going to be tough), and my PDA lacks a spell-check system. But I'm going to do my best, and if all goes well, you might even get a chuckle or three out of the day. Also, feel free to jump in the comments as I go along. I get an e-mail every time you guys comment, so I should notice it shortly after it shows up.

So I'll see you back here, bright and early (i.e. sometime around 11AM) Saturday morning. Keep in mind that I'll be checking the picks via rather than actually watching the draft live as it happens, so don't expect too many random jokes about Kiper's hair, Stuart Scott's lazy eye, or Chris Berman in general. (Although I do have the capabilty to watch the draft on through the web, my PDA/Phone doesn't have the battery life to hold up much past a half hour or so. Also, I'd prefer not to get kicked off the golf course.) I also expect that will find some way to screw this up entirely - like making each update into a new, separate post (definite possibility), but it's worth a shot.

That's it. Let's get the clusterfuck underway.


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Just a random update...

So, a couple of life updates, and a couple observations from the first few weeks of the MLB season…

First, moving is tough. I have to be in Pittsburgh by May 10th, yet I still have nowhere guaranteed to live. I might be sleeping in the parking garage of my new office for the first few days. Pittsburgh isn’t too cold at night in May, is it?


There are some things in life that you just can’t un-see. Driving through Brighton on my way to Anna’s Taqueria on Harvard Ave in Brookline this afternoon (probably the food I am going to miss the most when I move, by the way… Although the fact that there is no Dunkin’ Donuts for my morning coffee within 40 miles is wholly unacceptable), I drove past an overweight, out of shape, excessively hairy, 70-something-year-old man, driving a Vespa… wearing nothing but a loincloth, a shoulder-strap messenger’s bag, and a bike helmet. I shit you not. I nearly caused a four-car pileup trying to avert my eyes – I made the mistake of shutting them while still driving forward.


Next, from among the ranks of the Blogdome... Dan Mega (is that really your last name bro? Just asking…) made one hell of a good argument in this post about revenue vs. payroll spending in the Major Leagues. Now obviously, there are adjustments to be made to the numbers. But when a team spends 30% of their revenue on team payroll alone… not counting Stadium costs, advertising, concessions, etc… there’s no way you can legitimately call them cheap. Nice investigative work there…


I broke my toothbrush the other night in the middle of brushing my teeth. This is of no significance to anyone else on this planet other than me; I just thought it was odd. Seriously – how messed up is it that a toothbrush can just snap in half while in use? I suppose I should expect that from personal care items that I buy at the dollar store (two for a dollar, no less! Such a deal!). If this had happened ten years ago, Seinfeld could have easily dedicated two and a half episodes to it. I’m convinced of this.


OK, onto sports related stuff (which is why I’m sure all four of you reading this page have come here in the first place).

The Red Sox are 11-5 after taking the first two of three from the Yankees (Bobby Abreu just flew out to end Game 2 about 90 seconds before I wrote this). The Dodgers are 12-5 to lead the National League, ½ game ahead of the Mets at 11-5. So I have to ask – which World Series would be more fun to watch? The 1986 rematch of Mets/Sox, or bringing the Dodgers into Fenway, meaning Derek Lowe, Nomar, and of course Grady Little would be back in Boston… for the opposing team? I fully understand that I’m assuming the Red Sox will advance through the American League and the rest of the playoffs… very big assumption, though they look pretty good now. Talk to me after the inevitable Manny/Drew/Schilling/Wakefield DL stints, and after the Yankees get Wang, Moose and probably Clemens back into their rotation… OK, I’m officially off the topic. Sorry ‘bout that.


I’m dying with anticipation to see how a bunch of ping pong balls fall in the next few weeks. Seriously – how bad is the quality of the NBA when the biggest story in the league, during the postseason, is who is going to get the #1 overall pick in the draft? I honestly had to look up the 16 teams in the playoffs just to be able to talk coherently about the playoffs with some buddies the other night. Sick. I used to love basketball. Now, I’ll watch it if there’s no baseball, football, golf, poker, hockey, UFC, and even WWE on ahead of it. It’s sad. Though I absolutely love ABC’s HD coverage with the camera that hovers about 10 feet over the floor. That thing is outstanding.


Now, the NFL Draft… I will probably sit in my room (wherever that happens to be…) and watch every pick, start to finish. I don’t know why, but I am fascinated by Mel Kiper’s ability to speak clearly and coherently about every pick. That, plus his hair has its own planetary system. Maybe that’s what keeps me mesmerized.

OK, I gotta go back to packing. Time to purge all my crap, cuz I don’t think everything’s fitting into my little semi-compact for the 8 hour drive…


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Saturday, April 07, 2007

2007 MLB Preview - National League (Shortened)

Hmm... So, a funny thing happened to me on the way to writing a 2007 National League Preview. I had all the papers ready to go, all my opinions formed, etc. I even was prepared to hand the reigns to the Mets’ preview over to my buddy Vinny, since he’s the biggest Mets fan I know, and probably knows more about the Mets than anyone else I’ve ever met.

Last week, just after posting the American League Preview, I went to Boston for the weekend to hang out with a bunch of friends – first at the last concert for a group of my buddies’ whose band has been playing together for about five years, and then to see the college guys for our annual get-together.

Anyway, all the while I was up there, I had the knowledge in the back of my head that my life was about to change.

Monday morning, I’ll be accepting a new job. In Pittsburgh. Not exactly an easy commute from where I currently live, so I’ll be moving. In a month. Everything kind of came together in the past 7-10 days, and I made my decision to leave my current job sometime last night.

So, in terms of this page, and why we’re all here… I never actually sat down and put pen to paper (or, like I said before, fingers to keyboard). So I’m going to cop out and just write the following:

n The Mets are good. Really good. Like maybe 100-win good. If they’re not in the World Series this season, it will be a product of a fairly thin rotation. Glavine, El Duque, and Petey (if/when he gets healthy) are a great top three. Problem is, they might never all be active at the same time this year. Time will tell.

n The Cardinals do not have what it takes to repeat. They have three teams in their own division that got substantially better this offseason, while the Cardinals got worse. Their rotation is an abyss after Chris Carpenter. Their offense is Pujols and seven other guys. They don’t have it.

n The Dodgers will be the team with the honor of losing to the Mets in the NLCS. They’ve got a solid pitching staff and a very dangerous lineup. In fact, the entire NL West (outside of Colorado) will be tough this year. They’ll beat up on each other all year long – whichever team comes out of that division will be battered and bruised… and the second best team in the league.

n The Braves, Phillies, and Marlins will all be in the wild-card hunt in September. The NL East is awful good right now. By the way – Atlanta gets it.

So my apologies for a far-shortened preview of the National League. Unfortunately, life has stepped in and changed my plans. My next few weeks will be spent packing and looking for housing in the greater Pittsburgh area (anybody know anything about the area?), and trying to figure out where the hell I’m going to store my furniture for six months…

As for this space… I’ll try to keep updating this as much as I can until I move. I’ll certainly continue writing once I’m situated, which should be right around Mid-May. And I guess I’ll have to start following the Pirates.


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