Super Bowl XLV Prediction

It’s been a long, crazy, concussion-filled, criminal comeback, dramatic, and tumultuous season. But it finally comes down to the last game. The Super Bowl, where we see two very different, but similar teams. The Steelers have tons of experience, a former Super Bowl MVP winning QB, and have gone through some tough teams in the Ravens and Jets to get here. The Packers have taken a less harsh road going through a weaker NFC, and don’t have the experience like Pittsburgh. Only 2 members of the Packers have even been to a Super Bowl. Charles Woodson with the Oakland Raiders, who lost, and John Kuhn is the only guy on the Packers with a ring. He got it for being on the practice squad of the Steelers a couple years ago. But both teams have very complete rosters. They are the #1 and #2 scoring defenses in the NFL, and they both have offenses that could explode, led by Pro Bowl quarterbacks. The last time they met the final score was 37-36, so the stats could be out the window here . It’s gonna be a close, hard fought game, but the question is, who is going to walk away with the trophy?

Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers: Sunday, February 6th, 2011 6:30 PM

 

 

 

 

To find the winner of this game, or really of any Super Bowl, is to find the one thing that separates the two squads who clearly have enough of the tools and weapons to get to the big game. So let’s try and find it.

Quarterback. Yes, Big Ben has 2 rings, and if the Steelers win on Sunday, Roth will have the most rings among quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, tied with Tom Brady of course, and he continues to prove why he is going to be one of the best ever. But if there was any player in the league that that doesn’t seem to matter against, it’s Aaron Rodgers. Not saying Rodgers is better, but their equal if anything.

The Defense. As good as the Steelers defense is led by The Defensive Player of the Year, Troy Polamalu, the Pack D is just as good, led by the runner up, Clay Matthews. Both hair flowing tacklers will do their job. The Steelers secondary is weak, but we don’t really notice because of Troy. James Harrison firms up the front 7, but the Packers make up for that with Charles Woodson, last year’s DPOY. So defense seems to be pretty equal.

The wideouts are good, the running game is solid, even though I do give Mendenhall the edge over any GB back, but overall this teams are so equal. So what separates them? The experience of the Steelers. The coaching of Mike Tomlin, and the fact that if you watch any of these games, it just seems that the Steelers are the best team stepping on any football field right now. They beat a Jets team that seemed destine to win. They took out the Ravens, their rival once again, and they won both games looking real good. The Packers beat weaker NFC opponents, and a third string quarterback. I love the Pack, and I’m rooting for the green and yellow, but I think the Steelers are going to win their 3rd Super Bowl in 7 years.

Final Score: Steelers 26 Packers 21

The better question is, what will be the best commercial? I’m saying The E*Trade Baby

-Z. Alps

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Cheesy F. Baby

Who knew Wayne was into the Pack this year? If you listen to 30 seconds of any Wayne song, you know where he hails from. The hometown of last year’s Super Bowl champs, the Saints. He’s from Nawlins. But the Saints are out. And when your favorite team is out, it’s time to find another for the time being. And Wayne found the Packers. He’s temporarily a ‘Cheese Head.’ Wiz Khalifa is repping his city with the ‘Black & Yellow,’ and Weezy’s striking back with ‘Green & Yellow.’ You know what it is……

Lil Wayne: Green & Yellow

-Z. Alps

Sir, We’re Going To Need You To Take Your Tie Off…

In a semi-related story, this ones’ just ridiculous. A man showed up to his job at a car dealership on Monday in Chicago to, well, do his job, sell cars. The only problem was, he was a Packers fan, in Chicago, and he was wearing the tie you see to the right. Well, guess what happened next? He was fired. Yes. He was fired.

I find this to be absurd. I am from New York, and have never been a huge fan of New York teams but I’m pretty sure when I get asked in an interview if I’m a Yankee fan and I say ‘no’, and the interviewer says, ‘Oh I can’t hire you then,’ that he’s joking. Right? Maybe not. John Stone was on Sports Center today being interviewed, and he seemed optimistic. He even had another job interview lined up for today. However, there have been talks of a wrongful termination suit being filed, and I think he should. I think the Bears fans are just bitter that they lost, and the man I just posted about (Cutler) is their quarterback. Better luck next year. Just be careful Bears fans. If you win next year, don’t wear your Bears bow ties to Green Bay.

-Z. Alps

To Cut or Not to Cut? That is the question…

I waited a couple days for the Jay Cutler knee injury pandemonium to die down before I gave my opinion. And that’s all this is. My opinion. In the end, it doesn’t matter what any of us think about Cutler’s early exit of Sunday’s game 21-14 loss to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. We’re not part of the team. However, as I said before, we are all entitled to our own opinion. Mine is two-fold. I do not think Cutler should be facing the horrible backlash that he is for leaving the game. He did in fact have a Grade II MCL sprain, and seemed to be in a good amount of pain. Also, Coach Lovie Smith said it was actually his decision to pull Jay for the rest of the game and go with the two other quarterbacks who tried to lead a come back on Green Bay, which eventually failed. Whether we are supposed to believe that or not is irrelevant, Cutler still shouldn’t have faced as much controversy as he did.

And he certainly faced controversy from everyone other than Brian Urlacher and his coach, including fellow NFL players. Maurice Jones Drew, who later rescinded his comments, tweeted this…

Maurice Jones-Drew

@Jones_Drew32 Maurice Jones-Drew
Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough……..QUIT..

MJD wasn’t the only one either. Lance Moore of the Saints, Anthony Armstrong of the Redskins, and many others all gave their 2 cents. My question is why? I have to agree with Brian Urlacher on this one. It’s none of their damn business. Maurice Jones Drew has as much of a right as I do to criticize Cutler, and I am not complimenting myself. I am insulting MJD because what is he doing? He’s sitting at home watching the game because his season is over, and his team did not make the playoffs. We do not know what Cutler was thinking, what people were saying to him, and how much pain he was in. We should mind our own business. But to quote Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld… “Having said that…..”

I still think Jay Cutler, pardon my french, is a “bitch.” Straight up. But the reason why I am not in uproar about this incident is simple. I am not surprised. This is not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning we are talking about. This isn’t even Eli Manning or Phillip Rivers. Cutler has never been a role model, a tough guy, or the ideal leader. He forced himself out of a good situation in Denver, and has had attitude problems his whole career. If it was Tom Brady or Manning, then I would understand the criticism. If you are Tom Brady, you gotta play. But guess what? Jay Cutler is not Tom Brady, and we don’t see the situation with Tom Brady because it would never happen to him. Cutler is Cutler and no one should be surprised. So, back off of him, but don’t pay any attention to him either. He’s not really worth it.

In a final note, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the doctor told Jay that it was just a Grade II sprain, and not a Grade III or tear. Why? Because I have a feeling Mr. Cutler was hoping for the worst so he could tell the world, “See! I told you so!” Oh well. We’ll see where Jay plays next year.

-Z. Alps

Conference Championship Predictions

I missed predictions last week, sorry for that. If I had posted predictions, I would have had the Pats beating the Jets, the Steelers beating the Ravens, the Bears beating the Seahawks, and the Falcons beating the Packers, so I would have went 2-2. But it’s a new week, and there are two big games to look forward to. So here we go with whitew00d’s NFL Conference Championship game predictions.

 

 

New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sunday, January 23rd, 2011: 6:30 PM

 

 

 

The Jets shocked the world by defeating the Patriots of New England last week, making New Yorkers walking on the clouds and the New Englanders digging themselves holes in the ground. Well The Jets outplayed New England. Tom Brady made mistakes, and the Jets were the one that forced those mistakes. They picked Brady for the first time in over 300 pass attempts, and they shut down an offense that was consistently putting up 35 points a game. So its hard to believe that anyone can beat the Jets. Rex Ryan is the hottest coach in the league right now, Sanchez is doing enough to not blow the games for the Jets, and Gang Green’s defense is playing better than any defensive core in the league right now. Even Shonn Greene is starting to come alive. The Steelers are the Steelers though. They have Big Ben, and if anyone in the league is more intimidating defensively than the man that runs Revis Island, it’s Troy Polamalu. I really believe that the two teams are equal, and that both D’s are going to show up big time. In normal times, I would give the Steelers the nod because they have more experience, but that doesn’t seem to matter for the Jets this year. It seems to be their destiny at this point, and they learned a lot from last year’s Conference Championship loss to the Colts. I like the Jets to ‘steel’ this one.

Final Score: NY Jets 16 Steelers 10

 

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears: Sunday, January 23rd, 2011: 3:00 PM

 

 

 

The NFC matchup pits two division rivals against each other in a rematch of Week’s 3 and 17 in which the two teams split. The most recent one went to the Packers who defeated Chicago 10-3 in Week 17 to clinch a playoff spot. The Bears didn’t sit any starters in that one either. The Packers just shut them down. And the Packers have been shutting everybody down. Green Bay, a team usually known for their high octane offense led by Aaron Rodgers, who has thrown more TD passes in a 3 game playoff span than anybody to date, and big time WR Greg Jennings, are now starting to be recognized for their D. Clay Matthews is the man to thank. Along with Hawk, Raji, and last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, cornerback, Charles Woodson who would be the leagues best corner if it wasn’t for Darrelle, are playing lights out, and taking out QB’s left and right. And lefties and righties. Chicago on the other hand has been quietly flying under the radar as one of the best teams in the league. Cutler is making less and less mistakes, and the addition of Julius Peppers has made their defense stellar once again. And Brian Urlacher is back. It’s going to be a battle in the cold Windy City, but with the Packers putting up 48 on a 14 win team, taking out Mike Vick, and having just beat a healthy Chicago team, I like the Cheeseheads to walk away with the big cheese.

Final Score: Packers 31 Bears 21

So will I be right? Will both road teams pull out the win? We shall see. But right now, I’m thinking a Jets Packers Super Bowl, and that would be a good one.

-Z. Alps


Her Boobs do look bigger…

So can we start the most awkward moments of the year awards today? Because I think 2011 is off to a good start. Kim Clijsters defeated Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round of the Australian Open 6-1, 6-3. That’s all well and dandy but this post doesn’t have to do with that. It was the post game interview that caught everyone’s attention. It was when Clijsters brought up a text message that the former player and interviewer Todd Woodbridge had sent to her friend previously to the match during the interview. She brought it up rather straight forwardly, and rather hilariously. She mentioned how Woodbridge had asked if ‘she was pregnant, because she seemed grumpy, and her boobs were bigger.’ Nice one. Both parties laughed it off, and it was a nice moment, but after the cameras were off, they definitely both breathed a sigh of relief because that could have gone from plain old awkward to plain old bad. Take a look.

Kim Clijsters Post Match Interview with Todd Woodbridge

Uh oh. Next time Woodbridge will call instead of text.

-Z. Alps

Run of the Year

They’re calling it the ‘Run of the Year,’ and even though I am against sports writers blowing recent events out of proportion, I may have to agree with them on this one. I am of course referring to the man in the picture above. Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks made the playoffs with the worst record ever for a division winner. They were 7-9. And the Saints were the defending Super Bowl champs. Well all of that information was thrown out the window yesterday, when the Seahawks defeated Nawlins, 41-38. But that win was sparked by Lynch who had a 67 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to solidify the Hawks win in the wildcard round. It was an unbelievable run for the running back who has had a Topsy Turvy career. Lynch was once a highly sought after prospect coming out of California University, but things never really panned out in Buffalo where Lynch struggled running the ball, and dealt with some legal troubles. He\’s a character to say the least. So he was traded to Seattle. And even then, Lynch was sub-par. Not last night. Lynch became the first 100 yard rusher of the season for Seattle, and the 67 yard dash was the longest run of his career. Seattle will move onto the next round, and Lynch certainly should have a lot of confidence heading into this one as Seattle looks for another upset.

Marshawn Lynch busts 67 yard TD run

-Z. Alps

 

whitew00d presents: The Top 10 Sports Moments of 2010

Sports provide us with the entertainment and excitement that people crave throughout their days and their lives. And the fact that it’s been quite a year for sports makes this list necessary, but difficult to construct. Every major sport has provided us with quite the drama, loads of story lines, and tons of excitement. So it was very hard to narrow down these moments. I wanted to cover all the sports, not just the major ones like baseball, basketball, football, and yes even hockey. If there was an epic game of curling or ping pong, it would be on the list. So with the help of my fellow friends, I now present the Top 10 Moments in the world of sports for the year 2010.

10) John Isner and and Nicolas Mihut take part in longest match of tennis ever.

The match lasted 11 hours and and 5 minutes with Isner winning. I am not a huge tennis person but this match caught my attention, and made me watch the highlight over and over. The fact that these guys stayed out on the court for as long as they did is admirable in itself, and this moment probably would have been number one if the sport wasn’t tennis.

9) Giants win first World Series in San Francisco & Josh Hamilton wins first MVP

I’ve slowly lost interest in baseball over the years because of salaries and steroids but to not acknowledge these feats would be out of the realm of sanity. The Giants came out of no where to beat the Phillies in the NLCS, and didn’t stop in the series taking out the Rangers. Led by the long haired Tim Lincecum, the Giants proved you don’t need big names to win it all, one of the things that turned me away from baseball in the first place.

Maybe even more impressive was Josh Hamilton whose famous story of overcoming a crack and alcohol addiction has been told for a couple years now ever since Hamilton starting producing on the field. This year though, he took it to a new level by winning the MVP award and leading the Rangers to the World Series where they lost to the aforementioned Giants.

 

 

 

 

8. The NFL cracks down on concussions… sort of

A lot of lists I saw overlooked this story but I found it to be a big big deal. With an increasing number of concussions and injuries on hard hits this season, the NFL decided it was time to take action. Desean Jackson, Heath Miller, Aaron Rodgers, Austin Collie (who had 3) just to name a few were some of the players who suffered head injuries this year. Roger Goodell decided to fine and even suspend some players who would lead with their helmet with the intention to take out another player.

Ouch!

This enraged LB James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers so much that he threatened retirement if the rule was enacted. Not so coincidentally, Harrison was fined 3 times this year.

A lot of fans feel it is effecting the game in a bad way. Although I feel it’s making the game safer, certain rules need to be laid out. When Harrison is on the verge of a suspension for tackling a player, which is his job, and Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan get slap on the wrist fines for this…

That’s when we have a problem.

7. The World Cup/Landon Donovan wins in extra time

I’m not a huge soccer guy, but the World Cup always gets my attention. Although this years cup wasn’t as exciting as the previous when Italy beat France, it was still great to see the countries battle it out for the title. Vuvuzelas were everywhere, and tensions were high. Spain beat Netherlands and the final was a good one. For our country though, the highlight was Landon Donovan’s goal in stoppage time to get the United States out of Group C, and into the round of 16. It will go down as one of the greatest moments in American sports history, and arguably the greatest moment in USA Soccer history.

6. The Rise of Mike Vick and the Fall of Brett Favre

Who could have predicted this one? Brett Favre came back for a 20th NFL Season and it could not have gone worse. The veteran who almost led the Vikings to the Super Bowl last year came back to give it another shot. He ended up involved in a sex scandal, on a losing team, and injured. So injured his notorious starts streak came to an abrupt end at 297 games. A great career nonetheless but certainly not the way to end it.

On the other hand, Mike Vick, the former Atlanta Falcon who dazzled crowds with his athletic ability got a second chance in Philadelphia after his stint in jail. Vick came in for the once highly anticipated Kevin Kolb in Week 2, and never looked back. Vick lit up the field once again including a 6 TD effort against the rival Redskins on Monday Night Football, and has led the Eagles to a division crown, and a possible Super Bowl title.

5) The MLB is “perfect.”

The MLB is far from perfect, but this year they were close. There were 4 no hitters, and 2 perfect games, in one season! Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s went perfect, Ubaldo Jimenez had a no-no, Roy Halladay struck out 11 in a perfect game, and even Edwin Jackson had a no hitter despite giving up many walks, and throwing 149 pitches. It clearly was the year of the pitcher. Even 10 pitchers had a no hitter going into the 7th inning this year which is also amazing including Ted Lilly who lost one in the 9th and Gavin Floyd who took one into the 7th. This was huge, but the biggest story involving this phenomena this year goes to Armando Galarraga who had a perfect game through 8 and 2/3. Well, he really had it through 9 innings but the umpire made the wrong call. The best part was how well the two handled the situation, and they both later spoke, and Galarraga forgave him for the missed call. I guess not everybody can be perfect.

4) George Steinbrenner passes on

I’m an avid Yankee-hater but even I can’t ignore what George did for this organization. Say what you want about him and the Yankees but Steinbrenner, in 37+ seasons as owner led the men in pinstripes to 7 world series crowns, 11 American League pennants, and 16 A.L East titles. I don’t care what anyone says but in today’s day and age in sports, that is very very hard to do. R.I.P

3) The UConn women break UCLA’s 88 game winning streak record… and then lose

I never thought I’d have to throw in that last part but nevertheless, the University of Connecticut’s women did something that may never be done again. They won 90 games in a row. 90. That means their last loss was in 2008! It’s pretty unbelievable what Geno Auriemma has done with these girls, and he deserves to be seen as one of the greatest coaches of all time. When this streak hit 70 or so, and when UConn won the whole thing again last year, it seemed pretty obvious they were gonna break the Bruins record. It wasn’t obvious that they would lose two games later. Stanford, who has won 53 straight, beat them 71-59 in the end of December ending the streak at 90. Well, all good things must come to an end, and this was certainly something good.

2) The Saints Come Marching In

No city in recent years has suffered as much as New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina devastated the city known for partying and Mardi Gras. That’s why this Super Bowl was so big. Not only did they almost go undefeated during the regular season. Not only did they beat the best player in football in dramatic fashion in Peyton Manning. Not only did they win the biggest event in all of sports. They did it representing a city that needed it more than anyone. Drew Brees and the Saints proved how sports can really bring a city together, and make things not seem so bad, even if it is just for a little bit.

1) The “Decision”

It pains me to make this the #1 moment in sports this past year, but unfortunately I have no choice. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just the ‘Decision.’ It was all of 2010’s NBA Free Agency. With A’mare going to the Knicks, Boozer going to Chicago, and certain players showing loyalty and staying with their team, Joe Johnson, Sportscenter was constantly updating us on which player signed their name on which contract. But the Miami Heat and Lebon James stole the show. And Lebron made his own show. Dwayne Wade announced he would stay with Miami on PTI, along with Chris Bosh. Okay, very nice. Two NBA stars teaming up like Kobe and Pau, and announcing their decision on a sports show, casually. No big deal. But Lebron didn’t do that. Lebron had his own special. “The Decision.” This decision being that he would leave the Cleveland Cavs, much to the dismay of their fans, and head to South Beach to play with Bosh and Wade. Why he needed the special, no one really knows. But the attention it got, the way it changed Lebron’s image, and the way it may shape the NBA in the future makes it whitew00d’s #1 moment in sports in 2010.

-Z. Alps

2011 NFL Wildcard Round Predictions

So it’s that time of year again. The postseason. 11 teams have worked real hard to get to this point, and the Seahawks are playing as well. (Sorry Seattle, small joke) It’s time for the National Football League’s postseason. The round of 12 that leads to the biggest event of the year. The Superbowl which will be played in Dallas this year. The first step for the teams that did not earn a bye, is the wild card round. And there are 4 match ups, a couple of whom can be nail biters that come down to the last play. So here are whitewhit00d’s official wild card round predictions.

New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts: Saturday, January 8th, 2011: 8 PM

In a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, the Colts once again host Rex Ryan’s New York Jets. And I believe it is once again going to be a close match up. However, I believe the outcome will be different this year. The Jets were more of a Cinderella story last year, surprising many by beating the San Diego Chargers and advancing to the semi-finals. This year, they in some people’s eyes actually under-achieved grabbing the #6 seed with an 11-5 record. The Colts are the opposite. After almost going undefeated last year, and losing in the Super Bowl, Peyton and company just made the playoffs after a slow start, and Manning even had a 3 game stretch where he threw 11 interceptions. The Colts have been slowed down by a slew of injuries including Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, and Austin Collie. Rex believes his team is the best in the league, and Antonio Cromartie has been very successful against Manning in his career. I think that will be enough for the Jets to get the road win and advance to the next round.

Final Score: Jets- 23 Colts- 19

Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Sunday, January 9th, 2011: 4:30 PM

The Packers clinched playoff berth last week by defeating the Bears 10-3, and eliminated the Giants in the process. The Eagles clinched a couple weeks ago following up ‘The New Miracle at the Meadowlands,’ and arguably have the greatest story of the year riding alongside them with the re-emergence of Mike Vick. However, the past 2 weeks have been rough for Philadelphia losing to the two under-achievers of the NFL Season, the Favre-less Minnesota Vikings, and the lowly Dallas Cowboys. Aaron Rodgers has suffered two concussions this year and the Packers haven’t been as good as people expected them to be. It’s gonna be hard for Clay Matthews and company to tame the beast that is Vick but I think they will do a good job. However, the Eagles are too well coached and explosive for Green Bay, and have home field advantage. I like the Cheesesteaks to beat the Cheeseheads.

Final Score: Packers 20 Eagles 28

Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Sunday, January 9th, 2011: 1:00 PM

The Chiefs were another surprise story of the season going 10-6 and winning their division outdueling a good Raiders team, and the Chargers who were supposed to win the division. Matt Cassell has been stellar, and Dwayne Bowe has been even better. Their rushing attack has been led by both Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, and their D has been solid. The Ravens have been flying under the radar, and have quietly posted a 12-4 record just missing a division crown at the hands of Pittsburgh. Their defense is back to where it was supposed to be. Old dogs doing old tricks as Ray Lewis continues to intimidate the other team, and Ed Reed has a whopping 8 interceptions in just 10 games. The Chiefs are likable and have been very solid this year, but I think the Ravens will be too much for them. I like Baltimore to go into Arrowhead and take the W.

Final Score: Ravens 23 Chiefs 10

New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks: Saturday, January 8th, 2011: 4:30 PM

Finally, we have the defending champs, the Saints, heading to Seattle to take on Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.  The Seahawks are the first team to ever win their division, and host a playoff game after posting a losing record during the regular season. They went 7-9, and barely made the tournament by edging out the St. Louis Rams in the finale of the season led by the amazing… Charlie Whitehurst. No disrespect to them. They won their division and have a right to be here, but Drew Brees is going to pick them apart. The Seahawks have been crushed this year by good teams with good offenses, and this game should be no different. Even with Christopher Ivory and Pierre Thomas being placed on Injured Reserve, I don’t see the Saints O having any problems with Seattle’s D. I expect this one to be a laugher.

Final Score: Saints 34 Seahawks 7

Let’s see if I’m right….

-Z. Alps

Up, Up, & Away

Everyone get ready for the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest in Los Angeles this year. It’s gonna be a good one. JaVale McGee, Brandon Jennings, and Serge Ibaka are all taking part. Oh yeah… they will all be going up against this man.

Blake Griffin will be entering as well. Blake, after missing his entire rookie season last year with a knee injury has made his debut this year and wow’d the entire league. Not just with his abrasive dunks, but his stellar overall play that is slowly putting the Clippers on the map as a relevant team in Los Angeles. Very fitting the contest is taking place at the Staples Center. If you ask me, it’s Blake versus the field, and I can’t wait to see Blake do his thing.

-Z. Alps