Blase Capelli

The Badass Column: spring break chilling

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And so it begins. Spring Break 2012. Where boys become men. Where the day and night fuse into one big party. Where even McLovin can get some love. And then there are the troopers still at home and not on vacation. Bored and yet entertained by the jerzathon. Paradox? I think so.

Luckily for all of us stay-at-homers there are sports and more specifically college basketball. With the start of Spring Break comes the finish of conference championship tournaments and the soon to start NCAA tournament first round.

Sharpen your pencil boys (and girls).

MU vs Baylor Game

Ya I was at the MU Baylor game. I called a couple of people who called a couple of friends who asked their mom and somehow I managed to get my hands on some tickets, and the spots weren’t too shabby either.

My thoughts from the game.

1) Flip (Phil) Pressy is one of the best ballhanders I’ve seen, but is totally useless at the end of games because he can’t make his free throws, and Baylor knew that, fouling him when the ball was in his hands and forcing him to make his free throws (he missed a couple).

2) Michael Dixon might cost Tigers a game in the NCAA Tournament. Don’t get me wrong, the guy can flat out score, but he has some bad habits. One, he can get a little carried away handling the ball when a simple pass could easily penetrate the defense. And two, he turns the ball over a little too much.

3) The Bears will only ever be an above average team. As long as Scott Drew is the head coach for the Baylor Bears they will never become a “great” team. Take for instance his handling of timeouts in the Big 12 Championship Game. He decided to call a timeout at the 15: 34 mark in the 2nd half, leaving him with only 1 timeout left. The players go out on the court, and 15 seconds later after the ball goes out of bounds, there’s the 15 minute tv timeout. Talk about poor time management. The Bears had 1 timeout left with 15 minutes left. Not good.

4) The fans behind me were annoying. I hate when fans act like “know-it-all’s.” News flash, the refs are going to make bad calls, and you yelling at them will not change the call in any way. No matter how many times you call them a worthless jack@#$, this will not change the call. Yes, it’s true.

5) Perry Jones is the biggest mystery since the Hardy Boys graced my presence. One game he’ll score 32 points and the next game he’ll seem nonexistent.

6) Chanting Sec at the end of the game was classless. I’m sorry Mizzou fans but please save it for later. Thank you.

               Peyton Manning

Let the feeding frenzy begin my friends. Peyton Manning is on the loose and his potential suitors are putting their final touches of make-up to impress him. The Chiefs should not be one of those suitors. Before you label this as blasphemous, I think you should let the better side of reasoning control you’re thinking right now. With the Chiefs, yes, they need quarterback, and they need him now, but how wise would it be to pick up Peyton Manning. He’ll cost a considerable amount, he’s 36 years old, and he’s coming off an injured neck, not a broken arm or a hurt toe, an injured neck that has reportedly taken  three surgeries to fix.

The Denver Post reported that Peyton Manning declined a visit to Kansas City and Seattle. Photo from: USAtoday.net

To me this all adds up to a Linsaster (you thought I forgot about him…you thought wrong.). If the Chiefs ever want to be a serious Super Bowl contender they need to draft a quarterback. And no a fifth rounder on Ricky “how was I behind Tyler Palko on the depth chart last season” Stanzi will not cut it. If the Chiefs ever want to reach that upper echelon of teams (think Packers, Steelers, Patriots, Giants), they need to spend a considerable amount of commodities and get Robert Griffin III. Because even if they do get Manning, and he does pan out well the first season, how long will he last after that first season? Maybe one or two years. (I realize quarterbacks could play well into their forties, but do we really want an aging quarterback for the next 5 years and possibly suffer through a Brett Favre saga?) So Chiefs fans need to realize that Peyton Manning not coming to Kansas City it is not the end all be all for the Chiefs next season, and he probably won’t because the Denver Post reported that he declined a visit to the Chiefs.

Tomorrow, I’ll discuss why you shouldn’t be watching ESPN these next few days before you fill out your bracket. Stay tuned

Blase Capelli

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The Badass Column: Signs of the Apocalypse

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I’m a firm believer that the world will end in 2012. Consider the last week: Jeff Withey was trending on Twitter, Newt Gingrich is seriously being considered as a Republican Candidate, Jeremy Lin went from being the Chinese bench-warmer who went to Harvard to the (obviously) Taiwanese baller who put up 38 points against the Lakers to the victim of a racist comment (someone on ESPN is getting fired), and Nicki Minaj singlehandedly ruined the Adele’s Grammy’s. I’m leaving out the fact that someone in Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to make a sequel to Ghost Rider (Nicolas Cage, please retire, thank you).The Mayans were right. What has this world come to?

One thing’s for sure, though, Jeff Withey is going to be living up this last year if he continues “gettinwitheywithit” (don’t look at me, I didn’t come up with this). That’s not to say, if he does poorly on the court, he still won’t be living it up, because he’ll always have his hilarious twitter account @FakeJeffWithey

That must have been a loud yell. Photo from: hdnux.com

 

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- Skipped classes and practice today. Valentine’s Day is my Super Bowl #WitheyGettingBusy

Or is it your National Championship, since you are in college? Either way, it’s a worthless day, and we all know it.

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- “Well at least we are still gonna get a degree from a fine academic university. Oh wait…” -Texas Tech players

Well at least we are still gonna get a degree…Oh wait.

…This just got awkward.

Fake Jeff Withey@FakeJeffWithey- Wow, Coach Self takes me out when I’m only 1 point and 6 blocks away from a triple double #BillSelfCockBlockParty

Happens to me all the time, sometimes in NBA 2K11 the computer randomly subs a player that was only 6 blocks away from a triple double. ONLY 6!

Linning

And while Jeff Withey has been playing superbly these past few weeks, this last week he’s been upstaged by the meteoric rise of the Harvard graduate and now currently starting point guard for the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin. If the world doesn’t end as the Mayans predicted, it may very well end by the world getting taken over by linsanity. I can’t remember the last time I turned on Sportscenter and didn’t see something about Lin.

But it should be realized that his success was the product of opportunity and preparation. Just watch the below video, he worked out three times a day and when he was given the chance to play, he capitalized. What might be more incredible is that just last week he was sleeping on Landry Fields’s couch, after his brother told him he was having guests and couldn’t use his couch (#couchproblems).  

It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for Lin. Will he be able to control his rampant turnover problems? How will he handle the return of Melo? Both are interesting questions and will only be answered with time. Looks like we won’t be seeing any less of Lin on Sportscenter, oh well.

The light at the end of the tunnel

And while I do think the world will end in 2012, there is still hope in this sad world. You only have to look at the cover of the most recent Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to understand why. Those girls reaffirm my belief that there is goodness in the world. Kate Upton must have stolen beauty points from Snooki and co. from the Jersey Shore (what would this column be without a tasteless Jersey Shore joke?)

 Unfortunately, the cover is all I’ve seen. My beautiful and caring mother immediately withdrew the magazine, leaving me like a kid who just realized that the yellow first down lines for football on TV weren’t actually real (don’t ask me how or why I thought this). So I’ve only glanced over the cover, but that’s been good enough for me.

 Not only does the SI Swimsuit Edition give me hope for this world, but also the new movie Hunger Games. I’ve read all three books of the series and based on the trailer this looks like a gem. For me, it’s a day one visit to the movie theatre, and while I’m there I will promptly forget that the world will end in less than a year, relax, and enjoy my life.

Blase Capelli

The badass column: beginnings

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To all my readers, I’m sorry. With the recent start of school, things have been slowing down for me, and instead of writing a story, I’m taking notes for theology. I’ll let that sink in. Notes for theology.

Anyway, I’ve decided to make an executive decision. My column is officially a Snickers (Yes, I’m comparing my writing to a Snickers). Instead of writing two stories, a Tweet and Tell and then a What to Watch for the week, I’ve decided to scale back to one massive, awesome, incredible column.

So where does the Snicker metaphor fit in, you ask.

Ah, you see, Snickers is God’s gift to man kind. Its subtle combination of chocolate, nuts, caramel, and nugget makes it one of the best candies in the world. So too will this column, in a less subtler way, use the combination of tweets, predictions, videos, and my terrible jokes to form “the badass column.”

So without further ado…

I’m sure by now everyone has seen the “We are Mizzou” video. The video shows three college students with way too much time on their hands and way too little talent to exploit. And as sad as it was that these college students made such a terrible video, it’s even sadder that I actually like it. First it was just a watch through and some humming: nothing too big. Then I kept watching and watching. Before I knew it, I was belting “So who are you?!” in the shower.

In hopes to finding a cure to this pathetic addiction, I decided to watch six children in adult bodies  go out every night, pee themselves, and do absolutely nothing all day; I watched some Jersey Shore. Then I realized I was filling one pathetic addiction with another (God bless Snooki’s soul).

So that didn’t work. At this point it was getting pretty bad: I had just downloaded the song onto my Ipod and had put it on repeat when working out at the gym (I got some pretty weird stares, I think it was when I yelled the line, “say your grace!” that did it). I had hit rock bottom. Then I went back to the source, youtube, and incredibly, I stumbled upon other videos made by other college students

As you can see, this video was actually pretty good. The response, of course, was a Purdue video.

I now have a playlist titled “Awesome college songs” on my Ipod, right below my “Justin Bieber” playlist. Yes, life’s good.

However, for Kansas fans life isn’t very good. In last night’s game, I watched Tyshawn Taylor suddenly morph into the ghost of Christian Moody and flat out brick those two big free throws. With those misses, Mizzou went on to win the game and defend its home floor. And while the game on the court was a fun battle between two top tier teams, heading into the game, there was a battle raging off the court, on Twitter. It was the #thingsbetterthantheotherteam battle, and might I say something, as a totally independent, non-biased 3rd party, this was some of the most entertaining things I’ve ever read. Thank God for sports

KU fans, let’s see what you got.

Turner Gill #ThingsBetterThanMizzou

Brett Shaw@Bshaw722

#ThingsBetterThanMizzou Evangelical Republicans

Jordan Jacobson@jdever12

Public bathrooms #thingsbetterthanmizzou

Cassie Mann @coolcass01

#ThingsBetterThanMizzou Anthony Davis’ unibrow

-Alex Todd@TheAlexTodd

Missouri fans, your turn.

Holly Rowe’s makeup artist. #ThingsbetterthanKansas

– FakeNedYost@fakenedyost

Where was Erin Andrews last night? Honestly...

Running out of toilet paper #thingsbetterthankansas

– Lucas Vincent@The9extBi6Thing

The WNBA #thingsbetterthanKansas

– The Antlers@The_Antlers

Tyler Palko #thingsbetterthankansas

– Romeo Crennel@Grandpa_Romeo

The winner: fans like me, who get to witness this hilarious Twitter war.

The Super Bowl

            Someone up in Congress needs to make the Super Bowl a national holiday. They’re making laws to get rid of Facebook and Twitter (see SOPA), the least they can do is make the Super Bowl a national holiday. I was thinking the law would be called Protecting Against Abusive Super Bowl Practices. The law would effectively make it illegal to have school on the Monday after the Super Bowl, teachers could not assign homework the weekend of the Super Bowl, Super Bowl parties must include conversations related to sports unless the conversationees move rooms, therefore to not allow for distractions, commercials must be watched by viewers, and terrible halftime shows would be made illegal. If you’re interested in starting a petition with me for this piece of legislation, feel free to contact me. This can happen America! Believe in Hope and Change (I think I’m getting a little carried away).

As for the actual game, I think it will be an interesting matchup. The pain of losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl four years ago must be devastating for the Patriots, and as much as they say they haven’t thought of it, they have. That’s like saying athletes don’t think of individual awards or they don’t care about the money (please, spare us all, you’re not fooling anyone. You’re an athlete not an actor).

This game will go down to the wire. That I’m for sure. As for everything else, I have no idea. The Giants have that “it” factor this year that the Packers had last year and they had four years ago. Ultimately, the “it” factor (whatever “it” is) will win this game for them.

Giants- 24 Patriots-21

Blase Capelli

 

What to Watch: Handling Devastation

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The moment was surreal. Aaron Rodgers had a wide open Jermichael Finley. And when I say wide open, I’m talking as open as my Cadillac windows on a summer day (my air conditioner is broken so the windows are ALWAYS open); I’m talking as open as the Taco Bell drive thru at midnight. Finley was open. But Finley seemed to decelerate and Rodgers threw an errant pass, the ball hit the ground. At that moment I knew. I knew the Packers were going to lose.

Cue the pity music. I’m sure if someone was videotaping me (It’s not like anyone would, but hypothetically speaking) I looked like one of those abandoned or abused animals in those “donate to our cause” commercials– you know, the ones that make you feel really bad about sitting on your comfy couch and enjoying those chocolate chip cookies. My eyes were glossy: glossy, but no tears. I thought about the season, all the good times: the rise of the Discount Double Check move, Rodgers’ historic season, and Jordy Nelson’s emergence. Those memories didn’t help me though; they only made me feel worse. I felt like a hungry teenage male who simply wanted Chick-Fil-A, drove all the way to Chick-Fil-A, and then realized it was Sunday. I was drowning in a sea of sadness.

(Remember the music is still playing)

But there was a chance to help me, all you had to do was call or text my phone, and unlike the animal shelters, I wouldn’t even take your money. I just needed some comfort. Sadly, instead of encouragement, I was greeted at the end of the game by texts asking me, “What happened to your Packers dude????”(Seriously? How am I supposed to know?)

Although the Packers are out of the playoffs, the playoffs (and all sports in general) continue and so does my quest to identify and predict the best games of the week. Last week was filled with sadness, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This time I didn’t have a Muscle Milk, and my intuition is feeling strong.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots,  Sun. Jan 22, 2:00 pm

Ah, such an interesting matchup. My heart wants the Ravens to win. I mean who wouldn’t want the Ravens to win after what Belichick and Brady did to Tebow last week. And who can stand the ranting maniac that is Skip Bayless? After debating Terrell Suggs on his show, I’m sure Suggs has Skip’s annoying voice saying “the Ravens defense is too old” on a loop playing in the back of his head. Every play, he’ll probably see a little visual picture of Skip and will proceed to pop the next guy who will get in his way. So, I see Terrell Suggs having a big day. After that, I don’t have much faith in the Ravens. I don’t understand how anyone could.

Suggs graduated from Ball So Hard University with a master's in being a badass. Picture from: larrybrownsports.com

Yesterday, my colleague and I placed a ten dollar bet on this game. I had the Patriots. I couldn’t believe it. So, I asked him all the usual questions when referring to bets.

“You’re not betting doll hairs are you?”

“No”

“What about monopoly dollars?”

“Nope, straight up, ten bucks.”

“Then why are you doing this, you know the Patriots are going to win.”

“Because I hate when people like you are overconfident.”

And that’s the exact reason, why I’m scared about this game. I’m almost 99% sure the Patriots will beat the Ravens. The Ravens are 4-4 on the road, Brady is coming of one of the best performances by a quarterback in the playoffs, and the killer Tight end tandem of Hernandez and Gronk is the coolest thing the NFL has seen since the forward pass. But something tells me that the Ravens will put up a good fight and might event pull off the upset. In the end, though, Brady and Belichick will be returning to the Super Bowl, leaving Terrell Suggs with countless nightmares of Skip Bayless and the Patriots offense.

Patriots-31 Ravens-17

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, Sun. Jan 22, 5:30 pm

Man, was I wrong about the 49ers. Their stifling defense was a pure joy to watch. I think after watching the whole game, I saw two missed tackles, which in today’s NFL game is like saying I saw Bill Belichick smiling or DeSean Jackson not whining—it’s unheard of. As for the Giants, see the above intro to get my reactions on the game.

The two quarterbacks in last week’s games both proved their respective doubters wrong. Now, for this game, it will be how they handle the success they experienced last week. And for this category, I like Eli, simply because he has had success (I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t think Alex Smith has ever experienced success in the NFL. Ever). What stuck out to me about Manning’s game last week was his ability to convert on third and long situations, which, when playing the 49ers defense, will occur frequently. If Manning can replicate last week’s success in those situations the Giants will be able to gut out a win, and set up the classic everyone remembers from four years ago Giants vs. Patriots.

Giants-21 49ers- 17

(5) Missouri at (3) Baylor, Sat. Jan 21, 1:00 pm

This game has serious Big 12 Title implications on the line and also will have National ranking implications as both teams are in the top 5. As I see it, this is the ultimate battle of size vs. speed. The Baylor Bears average height for their starters is almost 77.5 inches, while Missouri’s is less than 75.6 inches. To put that into perspective, Missouri is 303rd in the nation in average height. But what they lack in height, they make up for in speed. Missouri guards can be streaky shooters, but with a hostile crowd in Waco, Texas if Missouri doesn’t come out hot, they’ll have a hard time recovering. And so far, with my Big 12 picks, I’ve been riding the home teams, and I’m not stopping until I see evidence to suggest otherwise. Baylor wins in a shootout

Baylor-85 Mizzou-81

(7) Kansas at Texas, Sat. Jan. 21, 3:00 pm

Kansas is coming off a huge win against Baylor with great performances from Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. It seems like the win woke up the sleeping giant that is all KU fans. There was a nice serenity to not having to hear KU fans claim their team is “the greatest ever even in a down year.” Please, Kansas fans give it a rest; let’s wait until March to start claiming Kansas is “the best team ever.” Unfortunately, I don’t think these KU fans will quiet down anytime soon, as Kansas will beat a struggling Texas team that recently lost to Kansas State earlier in the week. Although, I said, I wasn’t going to pick against the home team, for this game, I see Kansas winning.

Kansas-70 Texas-62

 And if you have more time, these are some other great games to check out also.

College Basketball

Indiana State at (18) Creighton, Sat. Jan 21, 2:00 pm– The Missouri Valley should be given some serious attention with many quality teams. Doug McDermott is a legitimate player of the year candidate for Creighton and is fun to watch.

(1) Syracuse at Cincinnati, Mon. Jan 23, 6:00 pm– Since the lost and brawl to Xavier, Cincinnati has gone 7-1. This can be a serious threat to Syracuse’s potential perfect season.

(13) Indiana at Wisconsin, Thurs. Jan 26, 8:00 pm– If you’re a fan of slow, grind- it- out- games, Wisconsin is your team of choice. Indiana has beaten Kentucky and Ohio State, but Wisconisn will be tough to beat at the Kohl Center.

NBA

Indiana at LA Lakers, Sun. Jan 22, 8:30 pm- The young Indiana Pacers have suprised NBA experts while the struggling Lakers have been riding on the wearisome shoulders of Kobe Bryant. This can be a big statement game for either team.

LA Clippers at LA Lakers, Wed. Jan 25, 9:30 pm-Battle for LA, part II.

Blase Capelli is 4-5 for his predictions. He hopes to break .500 after this week.

Blase Capelli

Tweet and Tell

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140 characters. So many and yet so few. An amount that can get a point across, but still leave things to the imagination.

Oh, the things you can do with a Tweet. Having girl problems? Tweet about it. Watching a great game? Let your followers know. Promoting a cause? Spread the word. The possibilities are endless.

And in the sports world, it’s no different; Twitter has grown in popularity among sports reporters and sports fans alike. Funny tweets, serious tweets, stat-driven tweets, insightful tweets, they’re all there for Twitter users, but, amid the thousands of accounts, the good ones can be hard to find. Here are some of the Tweets from the weekend that stood out to me, along with some commentary.

#letsgetstarted

Could somebody tell the Ravens that they have a double-digit lead against TJ Yates and this game should already be over?-Bill Simmons @sportsguy33

Me: Sure, Bill, hold on I’m going to call them. Let me get them on the line.

Phone Rings

Coach Harbaugh: Who the hell is this? I’m in the middle of a game. Aunt Annie that better not be you! I told you not to call me when I’m coaching!

(to myself) Whoah! He responded. Crap! What should I say? I’ll break the ice first. you can’t go wrong with that.

Me: Hey Coach Harbaugh my name is Blase Capelli. My favorite color is green. I like playing Halo. I don’t like…

Coach Harbuagh: I don’t care what you don’t like. Why are you calling me?

Me: Well, my friend Bill wanted you to know that you have a double-digit lead and TJ Yates is basically giving you the game so it should be over by now.

Click

Bill, all I can say is I tried.

Just threw my hip out doing the “Raji”- 3guysinagarage @3guysinagarage

Does State Farm insurance cover that hip replacement or is it just a promotional thing?

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there – with a replay to overrule a fumble!-Mike Engel @michaelengel

More like, like a good neighbor, State Farm is there- with a competent referee that can distinguish a clear fumble.

Throughout the weekend the refereeing was above average. There were no calls that changed the tide of the game, or calls that made your whole watch party yell at the television, or calls that made your Uncle Ned throw the remote at the wall. But when Greg Jennings was ruled down, and then the refs confirmed the call, it was clear Bill Leavy missed the obvious fumble call. The packers later scored on that drive, and Packers fans everywhere had their hopes up for at least one more quarter. Thanks Bill.

Ball drops are killing the Packers nearly as bad as they killed boy bands.-Faux John Madden @FauxJohnMadden

But that hasn’t stopped them: boy bands all over are Tebowing in thanks of the creation of auto tune while T-Pain looks on in approval.

Put Champ on Gronkowski… Only hope.-Nick Wright @getnickwright

Well, really, the only hope for Denver was for Tebow to utilize his divine powers as the second coming of Jesus, and through his power, curse Brady and Gronk. But then again, Tebow would never do that, because that would be a sin, right? But then he could go to Mass on Sunday and ask for forgiveness and that would be acceptable, right? Good Lord, this mix of religion and sports is confusing me.

Haley…. I know it’s you calling the office and heavy breathing in the phone. I have caller ID! It’s my office now-Romeo Crennel  @Grandpa_Romeo

Wow, this was a serious weekend for Pioli and the Chiefs. Apparently Pioli wiretapped all the phones at the Arrowhead offices. Seriously Pioli? Like the Chiefs didn’t have enough problems already? With the lack of original ideas coming out of Hollywood, I’m considering sending this recent saga from the Chiefs Organization to a movie company.

Man (Pioli) takes over organization. Hires friend (Haley). At first, the friends get along, leading the Chiefs to a playoffs appearance. But Haley sleeps with Pioli’s wife (or Pioli sleeps with Haley’s wife, take your pick really). The good friends turn into enemies, as they fight throughout the season. Haley’s fired (the apparent bad guy). Pioli hires Crennel (Crennel would mostly be in the movie for comedic effect). Later in the movie, the audience learns that Pioli wiretapped all the phones and didn’t trust Haley or anyone in the organization. Pioli (the real villain) is overthrown by rampant Chiefs fans everywhere.

As for the casting, I see Denzel Washington with an extra 50 pounds as Romeo Crennel. For Todd Haley, I like Matt Damon. Damon has that “me against everyone” role down perfectly (see Borne movies). And finally for the man himself, Pioli, I would cast Jon Favreau (I have no idea how to pronounce the last name). Although relatively unknown, he was in Iron Man 2, and he looks almost identical to Pioli, so it will work.

The recent antics of Pioli has spawned a new movie for Hollywood: Drama at Arrowhead. Photo from Chiefscommand.com

 

Upon release of the movie, critics everywhere liken Drama at Arrowhead to Inception with its mind-boggling plot. All revenue from the movie is used to add secret cameras throughout Arrowhead, just so Pioli will know what’s going on everywhere at all hours of the day.

And for next week, if you want your tweet to be featured in this column simply tweet @kcyoungguns. It can be anything from a question to an insightful statement, from a unique observation to an insult, and everything in between. We would like to here it.

Blase Capelli

What to watch: overcoming the struggle

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I’m going to come out and say it right now so this doesn’t get awkward: last week I struggled with my picks. I look at it this way, even The Greats have their off-days and since I’m a Great, I’ll take my “off-day” pass. But it’s a new week, so I’m putting last week behind me and looking at what to watch for this week and what to expect for the outcome.

Yes, this will be a good week. I just downed a Muscle Milk, and my intuition is feeling strong.

New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, Sun. January 15, 3:30 PM (CT)

Just a reminder for those who forgot, Aaron Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP and the creator of the Discount Double Check "dance."

Goodness me this is going to be a good game. Earlier this week I was driving my friends somewhere, and after ten minutes of bashing on my car and then another ten minutes of claiming how much better their car was, we somehow managed to talk about the game. And on behalf of the Giants Organization, I have an announcement to make: (like my car) the Giants bandwagon is officially full. I couldn’t believe it. I mean who cares if the Packers are 15-1? Who cares if they are playing at Lambeau? Who cares if Aaron Rodgers might be playing quarterback as well as anyone ever has? Who cares if the Packers already beat them this year? Ya, who cares? This big Giants love-fest reminds me of the North Face and current Patagonia love-fest (just wait, I’ll explain it.) Can anyone remember the days in grade school when I think maybe every person had a North Face? I remember I wanted one so badly, but my mom just laughed in my face.

“Son,” she told me, “I’ll print a North Face insignia on a jacket and that’ll save us a lot of money.” I didn’t ask her for a North Face again.

Now Patagonia rolls around and just about everyone has made a purchase to buy one of their chic, cool products. This time I ask people why they buy it; they claim it’s comfortable. I laugh. They look at me inquisitively. I continue to laugh.

Ya, I bet you’ll like the Credit Card bill you’ll be getting too (well it’s probably their parents Credit Card bill, but that takes away from the effect.)

See that’s the problem with the Giants. Just like no one inconveniently points out the price tag of North Face and Pata-whatever products, no one inconveniently points out the Giants issues.  The Giants are 29th in the league in passing defense. Sure, they might have the best pass rush in the league when healthy, but this is Aaron Rodgers, not Matt “water vapor” Ryan (I’m trademarking this nickname. He melted under the pressure and didn’t win a big game all year). I’m not even mentioning the Giants run defense, which is 32nd in the league. If the Packers can get their running game going like they did last year during the playoffs, McCarthy will be able to utilize the play action and Tuck and company will have to stay honest when rushing the passer. Ultimately, the game will be decided by if the Packers can protect Rodgers.

I do think the Giants running game will give the Packers defense fits, but Dom Capers has had two weeks to study, analyze, decode, develop, and institute a defensive game-plan. I see Charles Woodson waking up with the start of the playoffs and taking one to the house for a pick six, which will help propel the Packers to victory.

Packers- 35 Giants- 31

San Francisco 49ers vs. New Orleans Saints, Sat. January 14, 3:30 PM

I really like this matchup for a multitude of reasons. One high powered offense. One great defense. One great quarterback. One mediocre quarterback. One awesome local rookie (Aldon Smith is a boss. Plain and simple.) One awesome local veteran (Darren Sproles is a huge game changer). What’s not to like about this game?

I don’t trust the 49ers, I haven’t all year. Ever since head coach Mike Singletary dropped his pants during halftime a couple years ago, you can never be sure when someone from the 49ers organization will have the urge to drop their pants. Obviously, I think you can understand my trust issues.  And the biggest person I have no trust in is their quarterback, Alex Smith.

I think almost everyone in the sports world can agree that an NFL playoff game, in today’s game, is won or lost by the quarterback. This is why the 49ers will lose. If they get behind, which won’t be hard considering Drew Brees is at the helm, I don’t see how Alex Smith can lead the 49ers to a victory. Drew Brees will be his usual self throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Jimmy Graham will catch a touchdown pass, whereupon the announcer will make some obvious comment about how Jimmy Graham played basketball and how it helped him make that catch (News flash, John Gruden and all other announcers, we heard you the first time when you said Jimmy Graham played basketball. WE KNOW.)

The 49ers will not be able to keep up with the Saints offense, which will set the stage for an NFC Championship game starring Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers featuring the Saints organization and the Packers organization.

Saints- 35 49ers- 17

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots, Sat. January 14, 7:00 PM

Tim Tebow’s playing. That alone is enough of a reason to watch this game.

This time, though, there will be no late game heroics. There will be no incredible overtime victory. There will be no Tebow Twitter fiasco. That’s because the Patriots will be up by so much by the 4th quarter, Tebow won’t have the chance.

Does anyone remember when, after Tom Brady scored a rushing touchdown at Denver earlier this year, he spiked the ball with such passion and rage everyone thought the football was going to pop? Anybody?

Tom Brady doesn’t like to be outdone. Ever. Prior to playing the Denver game, that’s what was happening. Tebow had won 6 in a row. He was all the ESPN analysts talked about when discussing the game: him and his ability to win. That rubbed Brady the wrong way, because Brady must win. That’s not an if question, it’s a how question. When the Broncos came to town, Brady won 41-23. This time, when the Broncos come to town for the playoffs Brady will win big…again.

Patriots-28 Broncos-7

Kansas vs. Baylor, Mon. January 16, 8:30 PM

If this game is anything like the Kansas State vs. Baylor game, it will be worth every minute of your time. Can someone please create a montage of Frank Martin interview quotes?

“The last 6 minutes of the half were a joke, Stan.”

“How bout playing a litte defense. You ever heard of that one Stan.”

Coach Martin, what did Stan ever do to you?

Anyway, the Kansas vs. Baylor game will be a thriller. Thomas Robinson and Perry Jones are both future lottery picks and both haven’t even reached their full potential. The game, continuing with the story of KU’s season, rests on the shoulders of Tyshawn Taylor. If I got a dollar for every joke someone said about Taylor and his turnovers, I would promptly buy a ticket to the Super Bowl and then bribe FIFA into having the 2026 (or whatever year they’re on) FIFA World Cup in the United States. When Taylor doesn’t turn over the ball, however, Kansas can be a tough team to beat. And after watching a week of Big 12 Basketball, we’ve learned that home-court advantage is one of the most important factors in the game. Because it’s at Allen Fieldhouse, I see the Jayhawks pulling off the win in a thriller.

KU-77 Baylor-75

Blase Capelli