Tuesday, September 5, 2017

NFL Predictions: 2017-2018

NFC

East:

Dallas 9-7
Washington 8-8
NY Giants 8-8
Philadelphia 7-9

North:
Green Bay 12-4
Minnesota 9-7
Detroit 7-9
Chicago 4-12

South:
Atlanta 11-5

Tampa Bay 9-7 (Wild Card)
New Orleans 8-8
Carolina 7-9

West:
Seattle 11-5
Arizona 9-7  (Wild Card)
St. Louis 5-11
San Francisco 5-11

Playoffs:
Dallas over Arizona
Tampa Bay over Seattle

Atlanta over Dallas
Green Bay over Tampa Bay

Green Bay over Atlanta



AFC

East:
New England 13-3
Miami 7-9 

Buffalo 7-9
NY Jets 3-13


North:
Pittsburgh 12-4
Cleveland 6-10
Baltimore 6-10
Cincinnati 4-12



South:
Houston 10-6
Tennessee 10-6 (Wild Card)
Jacksonville 6-10
Indianapolis 5-11


West:
Oakland 13-3

Kansas City 11-5 (Wild Card)
Denver 9-7
San Diego 5-11

Playoffs:
Houston over Kansas City
Tennessee over Pittsburgh

New England over Houston
Oakland over Tennessee

New England over Oakland



Super Bowl: New England 41, Green Bay 38

Thursday, August 17, 2017

WWE Summerslam Predictions




WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Akira Tozawa © vs. Neville

My Crazy Dream Booking: Neville regains the belt in an excellent match, takes the microphone, claims to be the greatest cruiserweight ever, and makes an open challenge that is answered the next night by... Kenny Omega.
What Should Happen: Tozawa retains and feuds with TJ Perkins. Neville moves to Smackdown and starts an epic war with Sami Zayn
What Will Happen: Tozawa wins, Neville moves to RAW, and spends three months winning matches while the WWE figures out what to do with him
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Neville regains the belt and starts cycling through everyone else in the Cruiserweight division again
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Neville regains the belt and feuds with Titus O'Neil


WWE Smackdown Tag Team match (Kickoff Match)
New Day © vs. Usos

My Crazy Dream Booking: New Day retains. Usos stay heel while feuding with Chad Gable and Mojo Rawley, while New Day is attacked by Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder, who do a takeoff of ACH and Ethan Page's Troll Boyz from EVOLVE
What Should Happen: New Day wins and both New Day and Usos move on to other feuds
What Will Happen: Usos win so THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Usos win so THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Xavier Woods turns on Big E and Kofi Kingston and joins the Usos


Six man match (Kickoff Match)
Miztourage vs. Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan

My Crazy Dream Booking: Miztourage wins, Hardy Boyz continue on their path to being Broken, attacking Jordan after the match. Kurt Angle decides that Jordan, as his son, needs 'Tough Love'. For the next three months, Angle brings in a bunch of free agents (Indy wrestlers) to put Jordan through the paces- or even sends him to the Indy leagues to spend a few months.
What Should Happen: Jordan loks impressive- but Miztourage pin the Hardyz 

.OR.

Miztourage wins. Hardyz attack Jordan, blaming him. Chad Gable comes down to help his partner and reform American Alpha.

What Will Happen: Hardys and Jordan win to set up Miz/Jordan. Jordan looks good in the matches
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Hardys and Jordan win to set up Miz/Jordan. Jordan does not look ready
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Jordan attacks the Hardyz, then attacks Angle to become the next member of the Miztourage


WWE RAW Tag Team match
Cesaro and Sheamus © vs. Ambrose and Rollins

My Crazy Dream Booking: Ambrose and Rollins win the belts to set up the main event angle (see below)
What Should Happen: Thirty minute match with a double countout to let this feud continue
What Will Happen: Ambrose and Rollins win the titles
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Cesaro and Sheamus win and then the WWE realizes there are no other challengers until the Revival returs
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Ambrose and Rollins fight and feud... again


John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
My Crazy Dream Booking: Corbin is replaced, Cena makes an open challenge, and out comes Bobby Roode
What Should Happen: Corbin wins as Cena moves to RAW and Corbin gets set up as a challenger for the Smackdown title
What Will Happen: Cena wins, making Corbin look good in the process.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Cena wins, Corbin looks bad in the process
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Cena and Crobin team up to take on the Singh brothers in the Smackdown title match


Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
My Crazy Dream Booking: Balor goes in full Demon mode, wild match- Harper and Rowan come out to help Wyatt, and the Club comes out to attack them. Balor wins after a giant brawl that goes all over the arena.
What Should Happen: Balor goes to full Demon mode, pins Wyatt in a good match
What Will Happen: Balor goes to full Demon mode, pins Wyatt in a good match
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Balor goes to full Demon mode, pins Wyatt inside of three minutes
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Balor goes to full Demon mode, loses cleanly to Wyatt


Big Cass vs. Big Show
My Crazy Dream Booking: Short but energetic match- Cass wins and moves to a different feud
What Should Happen: Short but energetic match- Cass wins and moves to a different feud
What Will Happen: Cass wins and then beats up Enzo after the match
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Big Show wins, Cass attacks Enzo after the match
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Enzo manages Big Show and Big Cass as they go for the tag titles


Randy Orton vs. Rusev
My Crazy Dream Booking: they have suprising chemistry that reminds everyone why Rusev was a favorite just over a year ago
What Should Happen: Rusev wins- Orton is locked in, but a Rusev win can help establish him as a future title contender
What Will Happen: Rusev dominates, RKO out of nowhere to win
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Orton dominates, Orton wins
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Lana shows up and turns on Rusev, joining Orton


Smackdown US Title:
AJ Styles © vs. Kevin Owens
Special Referee: Shane McMahon

My Crazy Dream Booking: Owens and Styles set aside their differences to beat up Shane McMahon and start a heel rampage over Smackdown
What Should Happen: Owens wins and feuds with every face on the roster. Styles stays strong and wins the Royal Rumble to feud with Nakamura
What Will Happen: Styles retains, both move on to other feuds
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Shane McMahon causes one side to lose
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Shane McMahon forces them to team up like Sheamus and Cesaro did last year


Smackdown World Title:
Jinder Mahal © vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

My Crazy Dream Booking: I like Mahal- but he's not as good as Nakamura. Nakamura wins and goes on a dominant run leading to his match with Styles at Wrestlemania
What Should Happen: Nakamura wins
What Will Happen: Mahal wins through shenanigans so there is a rematch
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Corbin costs Mahal the title 
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Nakamura goes back to NXT after a bad match


RAW Women's Title:
Alexa Bliss © vs. Sasha Banks

My Crazy Dream Booking: Bliss retains and makes an open challenge... and here comes Asuka.
What Should Happen: Bliss retains in a great match and keeps the belt until Bayley takes it from her- and then Banks goes full Boss mode and attacks Bayley
What Will Happen: Banks wins the title
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Nia Jax costs Banks the match
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Stephanie McMahon decides she wants to challenge for the title


Smackdown Women's Title:
Naomi © vs. Natalya

My Crazy Dream Booking: Naomi retains and makes an open challenge... and here comes Asuka. (she challenges for, and wins, both titles)
What Should Happen: Naomi wins, keeping the belt until Survivor Series
What Will Happen: Natalya wins the title, then feuding with Charlotte
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: The match is forgotten about
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Lana wins the title and feuds with Carmella over both the belt and the loves of James Ellsworth



RAW World Title:
Brock Lesnar© vs. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Braun Strowman

My Crazy Dream Booking: Massive battle, with Samoa Joe being the glue of the match. The others take pauses outside the ring, but Joe is inside for almost a half hour. He throws Lesnar out of the ring, locks Reigns in the Kokina Clutch... and here comes Ambrose and Rollins (now the tag team champions). Ambrose distracts the referee, Rollins bashes Joe with the belt, Reigns pins Joe, and the Shield is reformed as heels
What Should Happen: Joe wins the title and has a run as champion until the Royal Rumble. Paul Heyman may or may not turn on Lesnar to be Joe's manager.
What Will Happen: Reigns pins Strowman for the belt. After the match, Joe, Lesnar, and Strowman all attack Reigns, and here comes Ambrose and Rollins to chase them out. The Shield reforms as faces
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Strowman wins the title
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Lesnar wins cleanly, brags there is no competition, then disappears until the Royal Rumble where he faces... Goldberg.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

NBA Finals Predictions

Cavaliers/Warriors III

Two years ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers took the Golden State Warriors to 6 games despite losing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to injuries.  Cleveland fans swear that the Cavaliers could have won the series if healthy.

Last year, Golden State won a record 73 games during the regular season, and were up 3-1 on Cleveland before Cleveland won the last three games.  But Stephen Curry was banged up, and Draymond Green got suspended for game 5, and Golden State fans swear that the Warriors could have won the series if it hadn't been for those events.

Now after each team has won one series, they meet for a third time in a row in the NBA Finals.  A couple of interesting factors:

* The Warriors signed Kevin Durant as a free agent.  They took a chance- losing their bench to improve their starters.  It's a gamble that has paid off so far- the Warriors have been so dominant that they haven't tired off their starters

* The one Warrior who can't be on the floor is head coach Steve Kerr.  He's being replaced for this series by... Mike Brown, former coach of the Cavaliers.  I like Brown, but he's in a no-win situation: if the Warriors win, he gets no credit.  If they lose he'll get all of the blame.

* The Cavaliers are a great team- but the Warriors are phenomenal.  Curry and Durant are two of the five best players in the NBA.  Green and Thompson are two of the top twelve.  Put it this way- a team with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving should almost never be considered an underdog- but Vegas clearly favors the Warriors. 

* Curry is one of the most popular players in the NBA, and so is Durant.  But the Warriors are so dominant- and Green has a reputation of a dirty player- that most NBA fans are rooting against the Warriors.

* I'm a Cleveland fan.  On paper, the Warriors should win- they have home field advantage.  And last year, Cleveland beat Golden States and outscored them by a total of FOUR points- and Golden State has added Kevin Durant to the team.  On paper, Golden State should win in 5 games.  And the only player who absolutely NEEDS to win this series is Durant- all of the other major players already have a title.

* But I believe in LeBron James.  Cleveland in 7.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James

It's become a valid debate.

Let's get this out of the way now- I'm a Cleveland fan, so there is a bias for the man who led Cleveland to their first NBA Title ever and their first championship in my lifetime.  But I think there's a good argument to be made here.

Right now, (IMHO), the top 8 NBA players of all time are:
Michael Jordan
Bill Russell
LeBron James
Tim Duncan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Kobe Bryant

And I've usually ranked them as #1 Jordan, and then you can make all sorts of arguments of the rest.

Bill Russell is a bit of an odd case- he played a decade before Kareem and 20+ years before anyone else.  He led a dominant Celtics team in a different era.  For now, let's just put him in the top eight and leave it there.

But now I think James is not only rising about that crowd of others, but is in a position to challenge Jordan.

Here's the best arguments I can make for both sides:

Pro-Jordan:
* 6-0 in the Finals
* If he hadn't left on his baseball sabbatical, there is no reason the Bulls couldn't have won eight in a row
* 7 MVPs
* How many times did Jordan kill off a team?  The Shot.  The Flu Game.  63 points against the Celtics.  
* The game has changed- but it's easier.  Imagine Jordan with the referee calling as many fouls as they do now?  No one would be able to stop him!

The Pro-James arguments:
* Longer career.  As of right now, Jordan has played more minutes and more playoff minutes than Jordan
* 7 straight finals
* The NBA today is higher caliber than it was in the 90s.  The players are more athletic today.  There's more teams.  Players that would thrive in the 1980s and 1990s might not make the team today.
* James played tougher opponents.  Did Jordan ever face anyone like the Duncan-led Spurs, the OKC Thunder, or the Warriors?  
* Of the top 8 players, six of them were coached by one of the Mount Rushmore of coaches (Red Auerbach/ Phil Jackson/Pat Riley/Gregg Popovich).  Bird and LeBron are the two exceptions.


Add it all up?

If you asked me, today (May 26th, 2017)... I'd still put Jordan over LeBron.

But...

Jordan never faced anything close to the 2017 Warriors.  "Let's take a 73 win team and add on one of the five best NBA players today?"  Jordan never really faced a great all time opponent.  Bird and Johnson's teams were past their peak when Jordan reached his peak.  The Kobe and Shaq Lakers came along after Jordan left.  The closest he faced a great team was the Hakeem/Barkley/Drexler Rockets- and that was after all three were past their prime.  

If James leads the Cavaliers over this Warriors team... I think that puts him over the edge.

Let the debate continue.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Game Status- Dragon Age: Inquisition

After 11 years, I finally left World of Warcraft- ran out of things to do in this expansion, and grinding faction by killing demons wasn't appealing to me.  Over a decade on one game is phenomenal- and who knows?  Maybe I'll come back at the next expansion.

But in the meantime, I tried a few other games.  

Borderlands 2 was fun, but I'm not good at shoot-em-ups... and after an hour or so, I started getting motion sickness.

Then I heard great things about Witcher 3.  It looks fantastic- and crashes 1 minute after starting.  I read a ton of various fixes... none of them worked for me.  

So finally I went back to my Playstation 3 (yes, 3; I'm a system behind) and started Dragon Age:  Inquisition.  I'm about 32 hours in.  Fun game, though not one I want to replay.  Some thoughts:

* Aligned with the Mages over the Templars
* Played a mage- haven't specialized yet
* My usual go-to party right now is Blackwall, Iron Bull, and Sera
* Romancing Josephine

Overall, a fun game- and nice to play something different.  Going to need to search for another game once I'm finished, though...

Monday, May 15, 2017

NBA Lottery Predictions

I haven't meant to turn this into a NBA blog- but I'm not in a mood to discuss politics, and unless you want to hear about my progress on Dragon Age:Inquisition, I don't have much else to discuss.  

I'm a Cavaliers fan, so I don't have a team in the lottery.  However, I do have the following thoughts:

* I have friends who root for the 76ers and Kings, so I'd like them to do well
* I don't like the Lakers
* I really don't want Boston to get a top 3 pick for swindling the Brooklyn Nets
* When in doubt, root for teams that haven't won it all yet.

Here's the current order- the lottery will pick the first three, and everyone else moves down:

1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)
2. Phoenix Suns
3. Los Angeles Lakers (goes to Philadelphia if it falls out of top 3)
4. Philadelphia 76ers
5. Orlando Magic
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
7. New York Knicks
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans Pelicans; New Orleans keep if they rise to top 3)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat


So here’s how I see things playing out:

There is a kind and benevolent deity and he wants me to be happy:   (1) Philadelphia (via Sacramento)  (2) Sacramento (via Philadelphia) (3) Denver or Dallas.   Philly gets two top 6 picks.  Sacramento gets a top 2 pick and a top 11 pick.  Either Denver (a team that has never moved up) or Dallas gets a great player to elevate the team.  Sacramento's upset they lost their #1 pick but it's not a big loss and now they can discuss 'what if' for the next 20 years

What I am hoping will happen:  (1) Philadelphia (2) Dallas (3) Denver   Sacramento still gets 2 top 11 picks, Dallas and Denver get good players, and Nowitzki gets a new running mate to end his career with

What I expect to happen: (1) Phoenix (2) Philadelphia (3) Boston  Not quite chalk- and the Lakers lose badly.  

What I am worried will happen:  (1) Lakers (2) Boston (3) New York  Blargh.  Three of biggest name franchises get three great players in a deep draft


The Darkest Timeline:   (1) Miami (2) Lakers (3) New Orleans   Double Blargh.  I despise the Heat- DESPISE THEM- and them winning the top pick would be so damn typical.  The Lakers keep their pick and can draft Lonzo Ball.  New Orleans retains their pick because it's top 3 protected.  Philadelphia and Sacramento are screwed.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

NBA Second Round Predictions

Eastern Conference:

Boston (1) over Washington (4) in 7 games

Cleveland (2) over Toronto (3) in 6 games


Western Conference:
Golden State (1) over Utah (5) in 5 games
Houston (3) over San Antonio (2)  in 6 games


Notes:
I like Utah- but Golden State is on a mission.  

Houston/San Antonio depends on Harden's health.  If he's hurting badly, San Antonio can easily take the series.