Friday, August 31, 2012

An NFL Preview, Andre Brown Style

Greetings RTS reader, it’s been awhile. I’m sorry I haven’t called. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been a horse’s ass, but I think we can still work things out. I got you a double-whammy of a post to make things right. What if I told you I have an Andre Brown competition mixed with an NFL preview? Does that scratch you where you itch? (If not, point to the place on the rag doll where you do need scratching and Graham will take care of it for you).

Here’s the complex game I devised in the doldrums of August to put Andre Brown up for grabs (and for those scoring at home, Graham has never possessed the coveted Andre Brown). We’re drafting NFL Teams, snake draft style. Each person will end up with 16 teams. You have to draft a team based on whether you think they are a Winner (like me) or a Loser (like Graham). Each person must pick 8 winners and 8 losers. Still reading? Each person will get 1 point for every win their winners get, and 1 point for ever loss their losers get. How we found women to marry us, we’ll never know? Below is how it went down:

So it's a snake draft right? So you want 1st pick or 2nd/3rd? I'm fine either way.
I'll take 2nd/3rd. And just to clarify- if I pick a winner, it's 1 point per win, and if I pick a loser, it's one point per loss, right? And admit it- you, as a Dolphins fan, want me to take the Dolphins as a loser so you don't have to.
Yep, winners get 1 point for the win and losers get 1 point for the loss. You can only have 8 winners and 8 losers, though, not mix and match. I'm taking the Dolphins as a winner with my number 1 pick. Wait, nevermind, I'll take the Patriots as a winner.
Alright, gotcha. Obviously, as a Green Bay fan, I'm taking Green Bay as my first winner, and I'm staying in the division to take Minnesota as my first loser. Do me proud, Christian Ponder!
Yeah, I was torn between New England and Green Bay. I figured I'd rather have a team that choked in the Super Bowl than a team that choked at home in the Conference Finals Semis. So normally this is where I'd take the Saints, but I'm not sure what the hell is up with them this year without a real head coach. So give me 2 losers - the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns...come on down!
I love how everyone is giving me crap about the Packers' playoff loss last year. How many teams would trade their situation for a Super Bowl, followed by a 15-1 season? Anyway, this is where things get tough on the winners' side. I think New England and Green Bay are both locks for 12+ wins, but I can't say that for any other team. I'm leery of New Orleans, but I'm taking them anyway. The roster is mostly intact from last year, and Brees really controls the offense on the field, so I think they can remain strong. On the flip side, I'm taking Arizona as a loser. They just seem like a disaster to me.
This is legit exciting. I was "hoping" that my next 2 picks would fall to me. The Tampa Bay Bucs and the Atlanta Falcons. I figure Tampa Bay sucked last year, they have a rookie head coach from Rutgers, and their offense consists of Josh Freeman, Vincent Jackson and no one else. As for Atlanta, they seem like the ideal regular season team that beats up on bad teams and struggles against good teams. But I'm almost positive they have the easiest schedule in the league, so I'm thinking 11 wins might be pretty easy for them.
You can have Tampa. Tough division, but I think they have potential. I'm taking Houston as a winner in this round- 6 games this year vs. Indy, Tennessee and Jacksonville. They could go 6-0 in the division. On the flip side, let's hear it for the Chiefs! I hate that team, and not just because Jamaal Charles torpedoed my fantasy team last year with his ACL tear. Matt Cassel hasn't shown much, Dwayne Bowe just got to camp, and the Charles (coming off ACL injury)/Peyton Hillis (he's Peyton Hillis) backfield combo does nothing for me.
Houston was on my radar, but I believe in the Bucs ability to suck more than the Texans ability to blow (teams out). See what I did there. Now is where it's starting to get tough. I think I'm going with the Ravens (10 wins pretty much every year) and the Giants. What does it say about us that the Defending Super Bowl champs, and winners of 2 super bowls in the past, what 4 or 5 years, go so low.
Everyone throws around the word "disrespect" way too much in sports, but the Giants might have a legit claim. The core of two Super Bowl teams is intact and the response is "meh". Anyway, time to pick two teams who are usually good regular season teams, and terrible playoff teams: let's hear it for San Diego and Chicago!
Man, this hurts. Give me the Steelers and the Dolphins.
Terrible strategy on your part right there. Why not just wait for me to take Miami as a loser? Are you actually going to cheer for them to win? I figured if anything they'd be your eighth winner. This is a new low. But yeah, definitely keep making fun of me for the Packers losing the playoffs last year. Anyway, back to my picks. Taking Dallas as a winner and Tennessee as a loser. I think the Titans might be really bad this year. Good luck, Jake Locker.
See, I figured you thought that I would never, ever, dare take Miami as a loser, so you figured one of two things would happen. Either A) you could get Miami as your 8th loser, which would be a steal, or B) you would force Miami to be my 8th winner, which would be dumb. I'm never going to cheer for Miami to lose, and I hope they prove me wrong and win 10 games. But you know what, if they're sitting at 2-7, I'd be hoping they'd lose for a better draft pick anyway, so this doesn't really change anything. If there's one thing being a post-Marino Dolphins fan has taught me, it's that we suck. No point in screwing up Andre Brown with blind faith. Give me the Broncos and 49ers as winners.
Interesting part of the draft now: what do you do with teams like Washington and Buffalo? Anyway, time to take two more losers: Oakland and Indy. And remember when I said I have a lot of work to do and might not be able to do this quickly? This has been way more interesting than I'd anticipated.
Yeah, this has been fantastic. I think if you put the words NFL and Draft into a sentence, I'm going to like it, well, except for the actual NFL Draft. Anyway, did the Rams slip all this way? Did I miss something? Also, I was debating picking Dallas here as a loser, and then low and behold, saw you had them as a winner. That made me smile. Give me the Rams and Bills as losers.
I like Dallas this year, they have a great defense. I'm reluctantly taking Philly as a winner, and not reluctantly taking Seattle as a loser.
Yeah, Seattle was the last clear loser left. I'm going to go against the grain here a little and take Carolina as a winner, and the Bengals as a loser.
OK, that leaves us Washington, Detroit and the Jets. I'll take Detroit in the winners category (three teams in one division, lovely), and the Jets as losers. That leaves Washington as your last loser.
I'm going to put this on my fridge and can't wait for Margie to try and understand it. I love my first 5 losers (Jaguars, Browns, Bucs, Dolphins & Rams). I honestly think JAX and Cleveland could end up with a total of 4 wins. They suck. And man, the Dolphins were 0-7 at one point last year, and now they have a rookie head coach, rookie QB and lost their best offensive player last year. FML, they might win 2 games as well. I think the winners shook out pretty well. You got 6 of your 8 winners in the NFC. How did that happen? Mathematically, that can't be good, right?
We really are idiots. Anyway, I'm more worried about having 3 NFC North teams as winners. Green Bay was a no-brainer, Chicago was the best available at that time, then I avoided Detroit until I got stuck with them at the end. Now I can't wait for Andrew Luck to take advantage of a crappy division and lead the Colts to 10 wins just to screw me.
I think Indy does well this year. Something like 7-9 and respectable in a lot of games. I've got Reggie Wayne pegged as a fantasy sleeper. I mean, he had Curtis Painter throwing to him last year and he still got 900 yards. That's more impressive than any of his Peyton years.
I'm actually psyched about my Tennessee loser pick. I think they could be awful. Chris Johnson might just storm off the field in Week 3 and never return.
At what point do we cheer for injuries?
Arian Foster is furious with you right now.
What happened?
His meltdown last year when he got hurt and was pissed at everyone saying he was killing their fantasy teams.
(Editor’s note: I’m an Arian Foster fantasy football owner in my serious keeper league) You scared me. I thought he got hurt. I started googling frantically. I have problems.

So, to recap, Graham said, “we are idiots,” and I proclaimed, “I have problems.” That can only mean 1 thing – the NFL is back!

Here are the final picks:
Graham Winners:
1. Green Bay
2. New Orleans
3. Houston
4. San Diego
5. Chicago
6. Dallas
7. Philly
8. Detroit
Graham Losers:
1. Minnesota
2. Arizona
3. Kansas City
4. Tennessee
5. Oakland
6. Indy
7. Seattle
8. NYJ

Chris Winners:
1. New England
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. New York Giants
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Denver Broncos
7. San Fran 49ers
8. Carolina Panthers
Chris Losers:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Cleveland Browns
3. Tampa Bay Bucs
4. Miami Dolphins
5. St. Louis Rams
6. Buffalo Bills
7. Cincinnati Bengals
8. Washington

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RTS Oscar Preview

The prestigious Andre Brown is up for grabs again. Instead of dominating Graham with my sports foresight, we’ve decided to give him a fighting chance….OSCAR picks! I gave Graham the following direction before we started, “I want to make sure this is high quality Oscar review. You know, just in case we become the next Siskel and Ebert. I don't want this review to come back and haunt us.” So you know you’re getting A+ effort from the both of us. Without further ado, here’s the 2012 RTS Oscar Predictions.

Best Picture - The Artist
Every year it seems like one movie wins about 2-3 of the major categories. I have no real evidence of this as I didn't look up past results, and I don't know when the last time I watched the Oscars in its entirety. I think this theory is based loosely on Titanic winning a shitload years ago. Anyway, The Artist had some hype on The Twitter and I think it also did well at another awards earlier. Again, I don't have evidence of this, other than the fact that I skimmed The Golden Globes and Screen Writers Guild winners before I made my picks.

I can't wait for Sunday night when the Best Original Song category comes up, I lean forward in anticipation, and explain to Megan that the outcome of this award could determine whether I receive an autographed photo of a former Grizzly washout. I should just tell her now so she can get the divorce papers ready.

Our readers (Hi Dad!) should know I saw exactly three movies in theaters this year: Cars 2, Hangover 2, and Moneyball. The first two were terrible, but Moneyball's up for a bunch of these awards (even if the movie glosses over the fact that much of the A's success on 2002 can be attributed to Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito). Of course, it's a sports movie, and those only win if the main character dies in the end.

So I make my picks with about the same amount of knowledge if I were picking the best wine of the year, or best Belgian short story of the year, or best blog post by Chris. I keep hearing a lot about The Artist and The Help, so I went with those movies. Very scientific, I know.

Here's my reasoning for The Help getting Best Picture: If The Artist wins, then it could mean a renaissance for silent movies. The only time I want to see a silent movie is if Rob Schneider is starring in it.

We both picked the same guy for Best Actor. I don't even know who he is. By the way, it's not that I don't see movies, or even see quality films, it's just this years movies sucked. I used to see about 3 or 4 of the best picture nominees each year. This year, out of 10, I've seen 1, Moneyball. The two best movies I saw this year were The Ides of March and Warrior. Anyway, Best Actress, I picked Meryl Streep. Doesn't she win every other year, her and Judi Dench just rotate right?

I'm going with Viola Davis because I am probably the only the person who still remembers her appearance in the ill-fated ABC show Traveler from a few years ago. I even wrote about the show right here. Everyone has at least one show they got way too invested in, only to have their heart broken when it got canceled. For me Traveler is that show. Now, anytime I see Viola Davis, Matthew Bomer and anyone else from the cast somewhere on TV or in a movie, I smile and remember the heart-pounding action of Traveler. Good luck, Viola. (-You wouldn't believe how long it took me to find that Traveler link in our blog. Seriously, could our blog titles be any more vague? We're an SEO nightmare.)

It took me 10 seconds to locate Traveler in our blog. I went to the top left search bar, typed in Traveler, and it appeared. Print that our for future reference. Or if you want to fly me to Portland for a hands-on tutorial, I’m game.

So I picked Meryl Streep because I was too lazy to do research and just figured she was a favorite, sorta like picking all number 1 seeds as your Final 4. And you picked Viola Davis because you were one of the 75 people that watched Traveler. Chris and Graham deliver an Oscars preview for the ages.

I picked Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor simply because he won it for the Golden Globes. Anyway, I just googled him cause I didn't even remember who he was. I like that guy! So that's pretty exciting. Also, do you think that Paul Walker and Vin Diesel cancel each other out in Fast 5 and that's why they didn't get nominated? Furthermore, which one is the main actor and who is supporting? I would go with Paul Walker is Best Actor, Vin Diesel is Supporting Actor. But then what about The Rock? All this confusion cost these guys a shot at the Oscars. You'll never convince me otherwise.

I will never understand your fascination with The Fast and Furious franchise. If it's action you want, go on to YouTube and watch Traveler. Speaking of which, if Viola Davis wins, I'd love it if she turned her acceptance speech into a rant about how unfairly Traveler was treated by ABC, especially since ABC is broadcasting the Oscars. It might be one of the great moments in TV history.

Anyway...I picked Max Von Sydow for Best Supporting Actor because...uh, I have no idea.

Yeah, I'm sure Viola Davis bashing ABC for canceling Traveler would rank somewhere between Johnny Carson's goodbye and Seinfeld's "The Contest" on the greatest moments in TV history scale. Also, I'm sure that she'd use her 3 minutes to discuss the travesty of Traveler's unjust demise at the hands of corporate suits instead of talking about the theme of The Help, which I think was about how racism is bad. I don't really know, I didn't see it.

We picked the same for Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Adapted Screenplay (Moneyball), Best Original Screenplay, (The Artist) and Best Animated Film (A Cat in Paris).

So really, it might come down to Best Song. Why in the hell did you pick against The Muppets? Everyone loves The Muppets, including Oscar voters. Do Canadians not like puppets? Also, why is there only 2 nominations? Was there not another original song out there?

Lastly, I like how you picked The Artist as Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor, but not Best Picture. Bold move there.

Why did I pick against the Muppets? Because I knew you'd pick them, and thus I knew we'd be different on this one. As for my voting pattern, you're supposing that I put much thought into this. I did not.

"You're supposing that I put much thought into this. I did not." If that doesn't sum up the 2012 RTS Oscar Preview, I don't know what does.

If that doesn't sum up everything we do, then I don't know what does.

Friday, January 6, 2012

RTS NFL PLayoff Preview

Above: Chris and Graham ponder their picks.

Alright readers, here it is. Forget Adam Schefter, Peter King and Chris Berman. Especially Berman. This is the only NFL playoff preview you need. Your two trusty experts (and in Graham's case, an expert who forgot how the seeding system works) look ahead to the playoffs. Forget the Mayans, we really know what's going to happen in 2012.

Give me 1 good reason why the Packers won't win the title.

One reason why the Packers can't win? Defense. They generate a ton of turnovers, but also give up a lot of yards. If they run into a team that holds onto the ball and drives the field on them, and it happens to be a day where the offense doesn't put up 35 points, then it's trouble. Is that splitting hairs though? I hope not. I don't have much hair and can't be damaging what's left.

The Packers defense is suspectible to a ball control offense, but really, what team in the NFC would do that? Your first game should be against Atlanta or New York. I think you'd smoke Atlanta in Green Bay. More likely, you'll play the Giants. That team would scare me because they do have a defense that can get after Rodgers, but still, their offense isn't really ball control. They are at their best with Eli throwing. Honestly, the only good defense/ball control offense in the NFC is San Francisco. Do they concern you at all? I find them laughable.

And where do the Saints fit in to all this?

San Fran concerns me in the same way that earthquakes concern me. I know I should be ready, I know they're a real threat, but I just can't see it happening. Their defense is incredible, but Alex Smith is, at best, adequate. Adequate quarterbacks don't get it done anymore (hear that, Falcons fans?).

New Orleans on the other hand, holy crap. Can you imagine a Packers-Saints game? What would the final score be, 71-65?

San Fran seems like they'll flame out in their first game. I just don't see them beating New Orleans and then the Packers. As for Packers-Saints, I think the cold weather will keep the game lower scoring, you know, something like 49-45.

Are you concerned about the Giants at all? I think they're the sleeper in the NFC.


I'm mildly concerned about the Giants. Packers just beat them earlier this month, but it was close. With Eli, you never know. Will he throw 4 picks? Or will he go for 350 yards and 3 TDs? Here is how I rank the NFC teams by how concerned I am:

Saints: Terrified
Giants: Concerned
Lions: Troubled
49ers: Meh
Falcons: Hahahahaha!

Here's how I rank the NFC:

Packers - hard to repeat, but most likely will make Super Bowl
Saints - I just don't trust them away from home.
Giants - streaky, hit or miss, bipolar. They'll either lose the Falcons by 24 or go the Super Bowl. I have no clue about this team.
Lions - Maybe next year
49ers - meh
Falcons - 1 win if they are lucky.

So AFC, it's hard to go against the Pats, but they do have the worst D in the league. Who's beating them?

The Pats and Packers have basically the same D, so if you're picking the Pack despite their D you have to consider the Pats as well. Especially since Pittsburgh's lost Mendenhall and Roethlisberger is gimpy. As for Baltimore, is Joe Flacco going into New England in the AFC title game and outplaying Tom Brady? Doubt it. And Cincy, Houston and Denver are just there as first round filler.

The last person that dismissed Tebow so quickly was sent directly to hell. Just thought you should know that.

Yeah, the Steelers seem too hurt, but then again, their run game sucked half the time anyway. I think they can win without Mendenhall, but the Clark injury sucks. The best thing about being NE is that they won't have to play Pitt and Baltimore, right? Wait, how dumb it this. It Pitt and Houston win, since Houston is the "better" team, they will play Baltimore. So NE could have to play Pitt instead of Houston, even though they are the number 1 seed. Baltimore is pretty much a lock for the conference finals at this point. So, here's what could happen. Pitt beats NE (already did this once this year), Baltimore beats Pitt at home (already did this once this year) and you get a Baltimore Super Bowl team.

The NFL should let the top seed pick their opponent instead. NE would rather play Houston 8 times than Pitt once.

I'm not wasting any more valuable Internet bandwidth on yet another Tim Tebow debate, but I will leave it at this: if he beats Pittsburgh this week I will buy a John Mayer album. I[m not kidding.

The seeding system is so stupid. 7-9 Seattle hosted a playoff game against New Orleans last year because they "won" their division. And Denver gets a home game against Pittsburgh for the same reason. It's completely insane. Why are mediocre teams from bad division getting preference over good teams from tough divisions?

So let's get down to it.

Who do you have in the conference finals, who do you have in the super bowl, and who is champ?

Here we go:

Houston over Cincy
Pittsburgh over Denver

New England over Houston
Pittsburgh over Baltimore

New England over Pittsburgh

New Orleans over Detroit
NYG over Atlanta

Green Bay over NYG
New Orleans over San Fran

Green Bay over New Orleans

And in a Green Bay-New England Super Bowl, of course I'm taking Green Bay.

Congrats. We had an entire email chain yesterday discussing how New England would have to play the lower seed, Pittsburgh, if both Pitt and Houston won. So what do you do? You predict Houston and Pitt to win and then have NE playing Houston. It would be NE-Pitt and Baltimore-Houston. I assume you'd pick NE over Pitt in the semis, Baltimore over Houston and then NE over Baltimore. Sigh, shaking head, other forms of condescension.

Son of a bitch! This is why I hate the seeding system. I was doing this quickly, had Pittsburgh as the higher seed since they had the better record but forgot Houston won the division. FML.

Here's how I see it.

Cincy over Houston
Pitt over Tebow

NE over Cincy
Baltimore over Pitt

NE over Baltimore

NO over Detroit
NYG over ATL

NO over San Fran
NYG over Green Bay

NO over NYG

And in the Super Bowl I see NE over NO.

Honestly, I just don't think the Pack got it this year. They peaked too early. Then again, maybe they were just doing the rope-a-dope, in which case, I'm the dope.