Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Ring with the Heckler: Cleveland Cavaliers, NL West quick pick, The Bubble

Hello there Ross and Heckler Nation, hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl. The game was great, the commercials were above average, and the food...well, amazing as usual.

First of all we here at Ross and The Heckler Speak would like to congratulate Aaron Rodgers for his superb Super Bowl performance and for winning his first Super Bowl (as well as his first Super Bowl MVP). I won't go into how he should have been a Niner, but I will say this to all of those people that say, "You don't know that Aaron Rodgers would have been any good if the Niners would have drafted him. The 3 years sitting behind Favre was the intangible that he needed to become who he is."

If you watched Aaron Rodgers perform in his first ever Super Bowl appearance (along with his whole postseason) you realize that he is a special player, the Niners would have had their franchise QB, but I digress.

Today we are going to discuss the 25 game losing streak of the 2011 Cavaliers, the 2011 NL West (a quick pick if you will, a longer detailed preview will come in a month or so.), and we will examine a couple of teams that are on the Bubble

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Louisville Colonels of Major League Baseball (26 losses in a row in 1889) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (26 losses in a row 1976-77) are about to get a new member into the "26 losses in a row club". The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1 loss away from tying the most losses by any team out of the 4 major sporting leagues. They just broke the NBA record (which belonged to the Cavaliers from the 70s).

The funny thing is with LeBron last year, they were the first team to 40 wins. LeBron is never going to be allowed back in the city of Cleveland for the rest of his life.

The next 10 games for the Cavs look like this:

2/9 - Detroit Pistons
2/11 - Los Angeles Clippers
2/13 - Washington Wizards
2/16 - Los Angeles Lakers
2/23 - Houston Rockets
2/25 - New York Knicks
2/27 - Philadelphia 76ers
3/2 - San Antonio Spurs
3/4 - @New York Knicks
3/6 - New Orleans Hornets

If they cannot break their losing streak in the first 3 games of their next homestand, they won't have another legit chance at a win until they face the 76ers on February 27th. It may be a long February for the city of Cleveland.

NL West Quick Pick

1. San Francisco Giants
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. San Diego Padres
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

MVP of the NL West: Buster Posey (possibly MLB MVP)
CY Young of the NL West: Matt Latos
Mgr of the Year for the NL West: Bouchy
Rookie of the Year for the NL West: Someone on the Padres

The only way the NL West is going to get more than 1 team into the playoffs is if the Dodgers offense can come around in 2011, otherwise it will be the Giants once again winning the West. Buster is going to be (if it's possible) better this up coming year.

The Bubble

In this first installment of The Heckler's: Who is on the Bubble watch, we are just going to look at all the teams that are on the Bubble (based on the fact that they are not one of the teams that are for sure in the Dance; i.e. the top 10)

A-10: Richmond, Dayton, Temple and (who ever doesn't win the conference between Duquesne and Xavier)
ACC: Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Maryland
Big XII: Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Nebraska
Big East: West Virginia, Cincinnati, Marquette, and St. John's
Big Ten: Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State, Illinois, Michigan State
Conference U.S.A.: Memphis, U.A.B., Southern Mississippi, and U.T.E.P.
Horizon: Wright State, Cleveland State, and Butler
MVC: Northern Iowa, Wichita State and Missouri State
Mountain West: New Mexico, U.N.L.V., and Colorado State
Pac-10: U.C.L.A., Washington, and Cal
SEC: Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Mississippi State and Arkansas
WCC: Gonzaga
WAC: New Mexico State

All of the above teams are teams from conferences that usually make some noise in the Tournament. Not all of these teams are going to make the Dance, heck in 2 weeks half of these teams will be off the Bubble because they will no longer have a shot at making the NCAA tournament. Out of all of the teams named above, the 3 teams you should pay a real close attention to are:

Gonzaga, Kentucky and Virgina Tech; these 3 teams may have more to say about where they go in March than the other teams above. These 3 will be the one's that will be able to control their own destinies.

-The Heckler

Next Time:

Favorites for the NCAA tournament, NASCAR (maybe), NL East and Central Quick Picks

What to Watch: Wednesday February 9, 2011 - #21 North Carolina Tar Heels v. #5 Duke Blue Devils (Cameron Indoor Stadium - ESPNHD)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In the Ring with the Heckler: Super Bowl XLV

Hey out there in Sports Land, tomorrow is Super Sunday! I am looking forward to: the commercials, the food, the beer, and of course the game itself. So with a little more than 26 hours left before the game I am going to give you my prediction for the game.

SUPER BOWL XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers v. Green Bay Packers

There will be over 100,000 people in Dallas on Sunday, they will be witness to a great game.

1st Quarter

After 2 weeks of hype the game will finally begin. The Steelers are going to come out and try and establish their running game with Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers are going to take advantage of the Packers speedy linebackers. They will come out with a lot of misdirection plays early and often. A lot of counter action, along with a lot of play action. The Steelers will manage to get a FG or two but they will soon realize that the Packer run defense is as good as advertised. The Packers on the other hand will try and come out with a balanced offensive attack. James Stark has clearly established himself as the number 1 back in the Packer backfield as he has rumbled trough the playoffs with confidence and strength. Aaron Rodgers is going to try and attack the middle of the Steeler secondary early and see if they can cover his array of receivers. They will manage a touchdown but it will come late in the quarter.

Steelers 6
Packers 7

2nd Quarter

After the late touchdown to end the 1st quarter the Steelers are going to answer back with a long drive of their own to start the 2nd quarter. They will go 12 plays and take up 6 to 8 minutes of the clock. They are going to get their only touchdown of the half with a 3 yard run by Mendenhall. The Packers defense will stiffen after that drive and not allow the Steelers any more sniffs into the Red Zone. The Packers offense will similarly be stifled by the aggressive Steeler defense. They will manage to get a couple of drives down the field, but they will only be able to get FG attempts out of them (going 1 of 2 on those attempts). The first half will come to a close with the Steelers up by 3, and the momentum will still be down the middle. Both teams will go into half time trying to tighten up their game for the 2nd half.

Steelers 13
Packers 10

3rd Quarter

In the second half both teams will come motivated to take home the Lombardi Trophy. The Steelers will look like they are going to blow open the Super Bowl by scoring 10 unanswered points in the quarter. Mendenhall will figure out the Packer defense just enough to get the bulk of his yards in this quarter. He will also get the Steelers 2nd touchdown of the game. The 3rd quarter is going to come to a close with the Steelers holding onto a commanding 13 point lead. The Packers will be able to get a first down here or there, but turnovers and a sputtering offense will not net them any points in the 3rd quarter.

Steelers 23
Packers 10

4th Quarter

The Steelers are going to come out in the 4th and try and run out the game with their running game. The Packers are not going to have any of it, they are going to make the Super Bowl interesting by scoring 13 unanswered points so that the game is tied heading into the depths of the 4th quarter. Aaron Rodgers will finally get going in this quarter as he throws for 2 touchdowns (one to Driver and one to Jennings). The second guessing will occur when Mike McCarthy chooses to go for 2 instead of going for the tying extra point near the end of the game (after Rodgers' 2nd touchdown of the quarter). The Steelers will take the ball and drive down the field to kick the winning FG and take away their NFL record 7th Super Bowl title.

Steelers 26
Packers 23

Super Bowl MVP: Rashard Mendenhall

Well there you go Ross and Heckler Nation, there is my Super Bowl XLV prediction. I hate both teams, but I am figuring that this is going to be a great Super Bowl. Enjoy the chips and dip everyone, and don't drink too much beer before halftime, you may want to be awake in the second half to watch the end of this game. Enjoy your Super Sunday, I know I will.

-The Heckler