Friday, September 28, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/28)

Welcome back, refs that are sucky but not nearly as sucky
as the replacement refs!
The "real" refs return and Baltimore holds off Cleveland, plus Week 4 picks.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/27)

I would pay $50 for this shirt, no problem.
The NFL and NFLRA "reportedly" near a deal, Joe McKnight goes through a career change, and Beanie Wells does what he does best, plus Bold Predictions.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Matt Barkley Sweepstakes: Week 3 Update

Is E. J. Manuel trying to crash Matt
Barkley's party?
Another week, another shaky outing for Matt Barkley. This Sweepstakes was never going to be as profitable or as stable as last year’s Andrew Luck Sweepstakes, but who could’ve guess it would this volatile? We’re just four short games into the college season and three into the NFL season, and already we’ve seen two near name changes to the Sweepstakes and three different frontrunners for the Grand Prize.

Despite the obvious volatility, though, the big picture is starting to come into focus. On the college side, there have been two QB’s specifically who’ve stepped forward and staked their claim in this contest, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Barkley was unable to hold them off. And on the NFL side…well, OK, that’s still as confusing as ever. What else would you expect from the most random league in the entire world? That having been said, let’s take a look at where things stand after Week 3:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/26)

Not particularly, Roger.
The NFL issues a statement, plus Week 3 Power Rankings.

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NFL Week 3 Rundown: Replacement Ref-pocalypse

Clear enough?
Lock it down; Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season is now closed and the league has pretty much collapsed in on itself like a dying star. Here’s a rundown of what I think may have happened, starting with the Big Story:

Big Story – Replacement refs…so, so bad

You know that nightmare everyone has? The one where you’re on a bridge or a really tall building and you’re about to fall? And just before you go splat on the surface, you shoot up out your sleep, sweaty and completely out of breath. Well the past two weeks of the NFL has been that nightmare, and last night was the moment when your body hits the ground, except, instead of waking up to a league with real referees, you just went splat. Now you, the league’s credibility, and the Packers, are dead.

What happened to the Green Bay Packers last night was, quite possibly, one of the most egregious screw jobs in NFL history. From the horrendous roughing the passer call that wiped out the ‘would-be’ game-ending INT, to the mind-numbingly awful 31 yard pass interference penalty on Sam Shields, it was all too clear what was going to happen to Green Bay in the end. Even then, nothing could have prepared me for that last play. You had a clear push off by Golden Tate, you had a clear catch by M.D. Jennings, you had two officials signaling different things, and, in the end, you had a Monday Night contest that should serve as a gigantic wake-up call to Roger Goodell and the league’s owners.

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/25)

Wow...that's pathetic...
The replacement ref-pocalypse is officially upon the NFL, plus more Week 3 recap.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/24)

Look, it's the Ravens-Patriots game!
Week 3 recap, featuring a Vikings shocker, a Cardinals statement, and a Sunday full of upsets and crazy finishes.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/21)

Pretty much...
The Giants crush the Panthers, Vince Young goes broke, and the NFL issues a warning, plus Week 3 picks.

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The Matt Barkley Sweepstakes: Week 2 Update

Do we have a usurper on the horizon?
Things are getting dicey in Sweepstakes land, both for the contending teams and for Barkley himself. The titular QB followed up an iffy outing against Hawaii with a total crash-and-burn effort in a loss to Stanford. However, while that loss may have torpedoed his Heisman and National Title hopes, it did not serve to unseat him as the Grand Prize of the 2013 draft. For now, he wears that crown.

Question is which NFL team will seat him on their throne? After Week 1, it looked like a lot of NFL teams were gunning for him, what with Weeden, Tanne-suck and others going all out to prove they don’t belong in the NFL. But the beauty of the Sweepstakes, as opposed to the boring old playoff chase, is that it only takes one week to completely reset the board. With a whole new landscape in front of us, let’s see how things look heading into Week 3:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/20)

Jermichael Finley's agent tweets, Jerry Jones has a dumb idea, and more, plus Bold Predictions.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NFL Week 2 Rundown: Saints Step out on the Ledge

Real smart, Josh Morgan. You sure showed Finnegan!
Lock it down; Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season is now closed…and I have no idea what just went down. Here’s a rundown of what I think may have happened, starting with the Big Story:

Big Story – Saints fall to 0-2, nearing the point of no return

Well, this was…unexpected. What’s so shocking about this isn’t just that they’re losing; it’s who they’re losing to. The Saints simply could not have asked for a more generous opening to the 2012 season, a season that follows an offseason of unprecedented disruption. No head coach or interim head coach? Don’t worry; we’ll give you the ‘Skins, Panthers and Chiefs to open things up. Sound good?

It did sound good – until it didn’t.

In Week 1, against the Redskins, the Saints defense was bludgeoned for 459 total yards and 40 points. The ‘Skins, as if to say “screw you” to the Saints, scored exactly 10 points in each quarter. They did it through the air, they did on the ground, and they did it despite only going 4-15 on 3rd down. In short, the Saints D was ‘defenseless’ against the onslaught of Robert Griffin and his band of overpaid and/or overlooked teammates.

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/19)

What a dope
Michael Turner gets his drink on, the ire of the sports world turns on the replacement refs, Jay Cutler "apologizes," and more.

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The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/18)

More Week 2 recap talking replacement refs, Peyton Manning, and a bounce back week for rookie QB's.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/17)

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 Dallas Cowboys...
Week 2 recap, featuring a Saints collapse, a Cowboys disaster, and a Patriots shocker.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/14)

Through many replays, we can now confirm Mike Mayock
actually said, "You gotta love that DUDE." (Phew!)
Green Bay bounces back against Chicago, plus Week 2 picks.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/13)

Trust me, this is not going to be what you think.
Notre Dame moves to the ACC, and ESPN releases its NFL Power Rankings, plus Bold Predictions!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Matt Barkley Sweepstakes: Week 1 Update

At least he'd still be near the beach.
Week 1 may not have revealed much about the identity of our eventual Super Bowl winner, but it certainly did shine some light on the future team of Matt Barkley. A bright, searing hot spotlight of shame and misery, in fact. And unlike last year, when the consensus (just me) preseason favorite, Washington Redskins, bowed out of the race early, four of my preseason top six look “alive” and “well” – if those are, in fact, the proper words. Let’s see what this race looks like heading into Week 2:

The Prizes (QB’s only)

Honerable Mention:  Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Stats:  11-20, 196 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT, Injured in 31-34 loss to LA-Monroe
Breakdown:  Well, that was a fun season for Arkansas…two games and they’re pretty much done. The Hogs were leading 28-7 with Wilson in the game, so it’s not like the loss goes on him. Still, an injury and a big upset is enough to knock him down quite a ways. We’ll see if he can be healthy enough to get back in. A big outing against Alabama would certainly do the trick.

NFL Week 1 Rundown: 49ers Break Out the Hit Stick

Dashon Goldson is a scary, scary man...
Lock it down; Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season is now closed. Here’s a rundown of what happened, starting with the Big Story:

Big Story – 49ers throttle Packers in Lambeau

The first downs were close, the total yards were somewhat close, even the final score ended up kinda close…but it never was all that close, was it? From the opening kickoff to the final whistle, it just seemed like the San Francisco 49ers physically overpowered the Packers, much like Alabama would a lesser SEC school. In fact, the game kinda had that type of feel. San Francisco was the big, bad powerhouse and the Packers were the plucky small conference school trying to hang in there despite being obviously mismatched. That would make sense if the 49ers were playing the Rams, but the Packers are most definitely NOT the Rams. Not even close, and especially not in Lambeau Field.

One week ago, I would have told you the Green Bay Packers were winning the Super Bowl. I wasn’t totally sure of it, not like I was last year, but I felt good about that pick. They have Rodgers, they have a stable of stud WR’s, they have a monstrous offensive line, and they did solid work improving their defense. You know what, they still have three of those four things today, and losing on opening day doesn’t make them a bad team. They’re a good team, a very good team, and it will in no way be surprising if Rodgers is hoisting his second Lombardi Trophy come February.

But this “Big Story” isn’t about how the Packers will bounce back; it’s about how the 49ers thoroughly dismantled a Super Bowl favorite. And boy did they ever?! Much has been written already about the ‘Niners powerful run game, their efficient passing game, the outstanding play of their offseason additions, their suffocating defense, and the always brilliant/always terrifying coaching of Jim Harbaugh. What really stood out to me, though, was how they carried themselves.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/12)

More of these to the other team, less to McFadden, OK?
Carson Palmer stays INT-less, Joe Haden starts his suspension, Jay Cutler talks trash, and more.

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The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/11)

"I went back and thought about that again. I would do it the
same way." - Pat Shurmur...BAD!
The Ravens crush the Bengals, Pat Shurmur rejects logic, several teams face tough injuries, and more.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/10)

Robert Griffin explodes onto the scene, Peyton Manning dominates in his return, San Francisco scores a huge win, and more from Week 1.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

'Predict the Madden Curse' Contest

Between Prince and I, the Shaun Alexander
year had a LOT of significance. Read on!
As I mentioned in the Madden Curse History post and on Friday's podcast, we here at Boris Diaw Time are going to be holding a special contest in honor of The Madden Curse. The contest goal will be to predict the Madden Curse as accurately as possible.

Here is some backstory as to why I would ever have such an idea...

In the fall of 2006, I was a junior at Grace College in Warsaw, IN. Not surprisingly, I was every bit as sports crazed then as I am now, and a bunch of my college friends, including Prince, and I were all in a fantasy football league. Approximately one week before the draft, Madden 07 came out, making everyone in the league wary of drafting Shaun Alexander. Undeterred, Prince pulled the trigger with one of the top 3 picks, inciting a random psychotic verbal assault by me. In no uncertain terms, I let him know that his selection was the worst in fantasy football history and that he might as well have just said 'pass' when his pick came around. Prince, of course, defended his pick, saying everything would be alright, to which I responded, almost verbatim, "No, it's not going to be alright! You wait and see, Alexander will get hurt in Week 3 and you'll be sorry!"

In Week 3 of the 2006 season, Shaun Alexander broke his foot, missing the next 6 games and finishing the season with nearly 1000 fewer yards (and 20 fewer TD's) than the previous season. I remember the exact moment when I found out about the injury. I remember where I was, I remember running -- not walking, RUNNING -- into Prince's room to tell him the news and to see the lights go out of his eyes. I remember telling everyone who would listen that I had actually predicted the exact week of the Madden Curse.

A History of the Madden Curse: Real and Unavoidable

Next victim...
It is said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. They are, essentially, guaranteed, and avoidance of them is not possible.

This is not true. Taxes, as we all know, can certainly be avoided. Many of our best and brightest have made it their life’s endeavor to avoid paying taxes, and though not all succeed in the long run, a ‘privileged’ few manage to die before the IRS ever catches their scent. So there goes that one out the window.

Death is clearly the more problematic of the two. I guess, technically, it can’t be avoided indefinitely, but thanks to advancements in science and medicine, it can be put off for quite some time. One needs look no further than Magic Johnson, who, according to South Park, indefinitely postponed the onset of AIDS by injecting money directly into his bloodstream*.

*True story: I had a close friend whose co-worker made the statement that Magic Johnson “shook AIDS.” Yes, dude, he shook it. Just fought it like a cold and willed the thing away.

Benjamin Franklin was right about a good many things, but if it truly was him who uttered the ‘death and taxes’ quip, then it was not one of his better moments, for there is only one thing in this life that is both absolutely certain and eminently unavoidable…

…The Madden Curse!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/7)

Funniest. Thing. Ever. 
Football Friday special, including Week 1 picks and the return of Bold Predictions.

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The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/6)

It is amazing what happens when Ogletree knows
where to line up!

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The Matt Barkley Sweepstakes

That's right, Matt Barkley! You're the #1 prize this year!
It’s OK to admit it…you miss the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. Trust me, I do too. More than you can ever know. Perhaps it’s all my pent-up Cowboys frustration, but there’s just something magical about reveling in the misery of others. The Sweepstakes not only enabled this sadistic sense in me, it allowed me and thousands of others just like me to create narrative out of it. What’s that? The Rams got throttled again? All part of their ingenious plan to rebuild the organization! Wait, the Vikings won a meaningless late season game against the Redskins? Time to write about them being a stupid, directionless organization that doesn’t see the big picture (this one is actually true, however).

But just because Andrew Luck is out of the picture doesn’t mean the fun has to end. On the contrary, the fun is just beginning. This year, with no dominant Andrew Luck-type in the picture, the prize pool has expanded rapidly. Not only will there be a heated race to land one of those top picks, but there will be a heated race to determine who will be the big Sweepstakes prize.

Currently, the Sweepstakes name is shortened to ‘The Matt Barkley Sweepstakes’ because Barkley is the leader in the clubhouse. However, in case you were wondering, the full name of the Sweepstakes is actually ‘The Matt Barkley/Tyler Bray/Tyler Wilson/Logan Thomas/Geno Smith/Random Breakout Star Sweepstakes.’

Sure, the Barkley/Bray/Wilson/Thomas/Smith/Random Breakout Star Sweepstakes doesn’t have the pizzazz of last year’s Luck Sweepstakes – Luck was, after all, the best QB prospect in a decade – but you know very well that the majority of “experts” will soon talk themselves into at least one of these guys being a sure-fire Hall of Famer. And so, the snarkiest and laziest weekly article in blogging history lives on! Crappy teams of the NFL, let the games begin!

(Honestly, you didn’t really think I’d let this gag die, did you? I would never pass up an opportunity to shamelessly make fun of things!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/5)

NFC East preview show, plus NFL over/unders.

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The Boris Diaw Time Show (9/4)

Sure, great job...
Mega preview show, featuring the NFC North and AFC East, plus MJD ends his holdout.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 NFL Preview: NFC East

Oh we go again
With just a day left (!) until the opening kickoff of the 2012 NFL season, it’s finally time to make my official predictions, knowing full well they will be shot to pieces faster than Carson Palmer can throw 10 INT’s. Still, gotta fill the time somehow, right?

In case you missed them, here are the divisions we’ve already previewed:

AFC West
NFC West
AFC South
NFC South
AFC North
NFC North
AFC East

In our last division preview, we take on the home of my beloved Dallas Cowboys…the NFC East.

NFC East

This division was a graveyard of expectations last season, as the Eagles and Cowboys ignored their highly talented rosters in favor of mediocrity. The Eagles struggles, in particular, were shocking considering how aggressive they were in adding stars like Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin. Nevertheless, expectations for all four teams are high, from the defending Super Bowl champion Giants to the Robert Griffin-ized Redskins. As always, expect the unexpected when it comes to the NFC East…and by that I mean, expect the Cowboys to choke away three or four games and break my heart. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 NFL Preview: AFC East

"When did we get moved to the AFC?" - Ryan Tannehill
"How did I lose my starting job to this guy?" - Matt Moore
With just a couple short weeks until the opening kickoff of the 2012 NFL season, it’s finally time to make my official predictions, knowing full well they will be shot to pieces faster than Carson Palmer can throw 10 INT’s. Still, gotta fill the time somehow, right?

In case you missed them, here are the divisions we’ve already previewed:

AFC West
NFC West
AFC South
NFC South
AFC North
NFC North

With just two divisions left in our previews, we head out East to tackle the defending AFC Champs and the rest of their division.

AFC East

Let me start by saying I’ll understand if you skip over the Jets preview entirely. Quite frankly, I’m considering doing the same – just a big blank spot where they’re supposed to be. You’ve heard the saying about beating the dead horse? Well, Skip Bayless and the rest of his ESPN cronies are not only beating that horse, they’re tearing at its flesh like the zombies from The Walking Dead. On the plus side, there are three other teams in the division…and no, Ryan Tannehill, none of them is the Kansas City Chiefs.