gfoss59's Blog

Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 09:51 PM

Julius Peppers on the Green Bay edge

Mike North, who I love listening too even though he's a Flatlander, considers this a great move for the Bears --

but I'm optimistic about this rare free-agent move by Ted Thompson....

Yes, Peppers is getting old, but he also lacked motivation last year in Chicago...  he won't this year. 

I believe Reggie White had one of his best seasons at about that age in 1998.  Ditto Charles Haley.

The quarter-of-a-step Peppers has lost will be made up for by the fact that for the first time in his career, he won't be double-teamed much...  at least not if Clay Matthews can stay in the lineup.

Don't need 15 sacks from him.  Ten, with some forced fumbles, and other guys chipping in, would be a big help. 

Here's hoping too that the Packers give him a lot of rest and rotation.  Could be just what he needs to have a little spurt here, especially as the Packers seem to be of a mind to run some different looks with him, sew a little confusion again.

At only $3.5 mil on the cap, it's a worthwhile risk to take.  Go get 'em Julius -- I've got the link for the Mike North video if you need any extra bulletin board material for offseason conditioning.

Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 06:14 PM

Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tim Tebow

... is the answer.

The question is, who are three quarterbacks who have won exactly one playoff game in the last three years?

Well, actually --

Peyton Manning hasn't won a playoff game in the last three years.  Tho he will have a chance this weekend.

Yah, yah, he didn't play in 2011.  Then again, in 2010, he also didn't win a playoff game -- losing in the first round to Mark "butt fumble" Sanchez. 

Posted Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:51 PM

Is Colt's owner a genius? Ir-say he is...

So Jim Irsay raised the very doubts we've raised about Peyton Manning in pressure games all week --

Was he lucky, stupid, or incredibly shrewd?

We can rule out lucky because a. it's just too easy to make any more Luck puns, and b. it's not fair.

Not fair, because if Manning's Broncos had won tonight, everyone would have said, Irsay's a dufus. "No excuses." &tc.

Hence we can also rule out idiot, because, well, Andrew Luck is 1-0 now against Peyon, has as many playoff wins in the last few years as Peyton does....  and has 10-15 years to play,

Did Peyton play terribly?  Of course not.

Is he "to blame"?  No, not really.

He just played well enough to lose to young Mr. Luck.

Give Irsay a little credit for raising the stakes this week -- and winning.

/ Gfoss59 /

p.s. -- yah, I'm posting this with Denver still in the game.  No guts, no glory.  Just ask ole man Irsay.

Posted Sunday, January 13, 2013 10:36 PM

The greatest regular season QB ever, Payton

So our friend Skip Bayless calls Patyon Manning...

... and so he remains, now 9-11 all time in the playoffs.

Was he horrible?  Are we pinning this loss wholly on him?

No, of course not.

But after much hullaballoo and chest-thumping by Bronco fans, the fact remains that Payton Manning has a talent for putting up huge stats, going 12-4 or 13-3...

and losing early in the playoffs.

At mideseason, we wrote a blog item speculating that it looked like the Colts made a good move in letting Manning go.  We took a lot of flack for that.

Now, despite an impressive run from October to December, the Broncos are going home. 

We have no apologies, and, indeed, stand willing to accept them.

Posted Tuesday, January 08, 2013 11:39 PM

Best play this week: Falcons -1

The Seattle Seahawks have finally beaten a healthy (mostly) quality team on the road -- a big step, and bully for them.

But with all the motivation the Atlanta Falcons have, and the home field advantage, we think the 1-point line on this week's game is far too low.

Hard to picture the Falcons going all the way this year, but also hard to picture them getting beaten by the travel-weary Seahawks on Sunday. 

And that narrow spread makes this the best NFL play of the divisional weekend. 

Posted Thursday, January 03, 2013 06:28 PM

Kansas St, Texas A&M, Notre Dame

We don't do a lot of college football...  but our friend Irisheyez encouraged us to pick a few, and we did -- winning two 5-unit games, and losing one 3-unit game.

So, feeling full of ourselves, here are brief notes on our one remaining pick (Notre Dame), and two new ones (

(Acknowledgement should be added for our friend Colin Cowher, one of the better sports journalists at picking games, pro and college. Thanks, CC.) 

Texas A & M -3 vs. Oklahoma -- A & M may be under-rated, despite the Heisman hoopla, especially after the SEC's relatively weak bowl performance so far.  They were playing some of the best football in the land at the end of the year, not just against Alabama.  And it's Oklahoma -- not great in recent bowl games. 

If in doubt, we go -- especially in a bowl game -- with the more talented coaching staff and quarterback, who, by their nature, can scheme better during the long prep time, and adjust better during the game.  A & M minus only 3 points is a bargain.

Kansas State +8 vs. Oregon.  Oregon's coach is almost certainly leaving for the pros.  No matter what is said, it's a distraction.  Oregon also does relatively poorly in recent bowls and against post-bye-week opponents... 

That long preparation period is a killer for Oregon, allowing well-coached K State plenty of time to work on its assignments against what is, admittedly, a fast and talented offen... [More]

Posted Thursday, December 27, 2012 07:09 PM

Celtics, Lakers - safe yet?

Several weeks ago, we wrote that we'd be laying off the Lakers and Celtics until injured players returned and these veteran teams began to gel.

("NBA Minus, Plus, and About to Change," December 9, here:

We were also looking for either the coaches, or veteran leaders, or both, to issue a little bit of a kick of a pants into the rear ends of players like Dwight Howard, and even Rajon Rondo (little bit of a matador on defense this year) -- a cri de couer to "play like your hair's on fire."

Well, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are back; Avery Bradley isn't; and Kobie Bryant, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, and Mike D'Antoni have all placed their feet in the desired location to rally the laggards on their respective teams.

Accordingly, we dipped a toe in the water and took the Lakers against Golden State, though not against the Knicks, last week -- and the Celtics against the Nets.

But is it safe to make a systematic ATS bet on either team in the coming weeks?

In a word, no, though we generally like each team to out-perform expectations heading into January.  In other words, we're looking for reasons not to back them in any given game.

The Celtics-Nets game was a no-brainer.  Boston was motivated by the Rondo-Humphries mini-brawl in their last meeting, and Brooklyn's general uppity-ness and physicality in recent meetings.  Plus they ... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 23, 2012 03:30 AM

"Record Braking" - Dickerson roots vs. AP

There's something laudable about Eric Dickerson's statement that he'd prefer not to see his single-season rushing record broken by Adrian Peterson.

(And mind you, we're rooting for AP for MVP -- and will make a statistical case for that in a few days.)

Granted, it's politically incorrect.  Maybe that's part of the charm.

Or perhaps it's that we've always suspected many athletes who claim they're rooting for the new guy seem to protest a bit too much.

There's none of the insincerity in Dickerson's stand on the matter -- but at the same time, no malice or personal detraction.

“I don’t want him to break it,” Dickerson said last week. “I’ll be honest. I don’t want to see it.  (

"Adrian is a class guy...  but I like having the record."

Can't say we're rooting for him to keep it, but somehow, we like Dickerson's candor a lot more than the usual pieties.

Posted Saturday, December 22, 2012 02:45 AM

Lions and Falcons and Squares (oh my)

One of the more interesting contra-CW calls we've seen in a while is LeagueCapper's post this week arguing for taking the Lions +4 points against the Giant-slayer Atlanta Falcons (in Detroit.)

Here's the link, which -- sorry -- you have to cut and paste:

(You know how to cut and paste, dontcha, Sam?)

I agree with most everything the skeptics are saying in response...  it's so hard to picture the Falcons losing, or winning by a handful, against the woeful Lions.

On the other hand, as a Packer fan, I've seen just how talented this team is -- how the Lions, through bone-headed penalties and muffed review flag tosses, manage to give away games (wins and losses, not ATSs) -- usually by thin margins.

And there is, as one poster observed, something "square," in the 1960s sense of the word, in taking the Falcons this week.

Let's look at the Lions at home this season:

Date vs. Score Line O/U 09/09/12 STL W 27-23 L -9 O 46 09/30/12 MIN L 13-20 L -3.5 U 48 10/28/12 SEA W 28-24 W -2.5 O 42.5 11/18/12 GB... [More]

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:41 PM

"Pound the Lions" vs. Falcons

Hard to believe, but some great stats from our friend LeagueCapper make the contrarian case, here:

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 05:28 PM

Fave avatars / icons at Covers

Here's 3 that we like -- add your own...

(if anyone can tell me how to embed the image on the boards here, i'd be gr8ful.)

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 05:15 PM

Heat hits the road

Still nervous about the Heat during the regular season -- hard to get motivated for the NBA's long grind once you got that ring.  But we're dipping a toe tonight as Miami takes the road against Dallas at -5.5.

After a long home stretch, punctuated only by a one-nighter to the Wizards, the Heat will be on its first road trip since Nov. 9-17.  That road trip started with a win, and a cover, at Atlanta -- and a 4-2 mark SU, 3-3 against the spread.

Since then, Miami's started to get in a better groove.  The team, and especially LeBron, realizes there's work to do.  (Witness his postgame weight-room workout after the humiliating home loss to the Knicks.)

Often, veteran teams coming off a championship or long playoff run do better ATS on the road -- see the Lakers and Celtics in 2009-2010 -- and a road trip can actually be the place where they get it together.  Fewer distractions, more of a siege mentality.

So, in goes the toe.  Wish us BOL, and we'll let you know how the water feels away from South Beach.

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 02:41 AM

Two more bowl picks

1. Cincinnati -7 vs. Duke

2, Florida -13 vs. Louisville

Posted Thursday, December 20, 2012 01:53 AM

"Passing grade" for Russell Westbrook

Like our friend from "First Take," Skip Bayless, one of our main concerns about the Oklahoma City Thunder center around point guard (if you can call him that) Russell Westbrook.

Well, so far so good.  Despite the departure of James Hardin, Westbrook's points are down about 2.0 a game... 

But his assists are up at 8.8 a game, which would be a career high, compared to 5.5 last year.

His steals per game are up a tad, too; turnovers, down.

Sometimes, the departure of one talented guy allows another (Westbrook) to emerge unencumbered, and that may be the case with Westbrook.

All of which bears watching as the Thunder continue to exceed the expectations of many -- including us.... [More]

Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2012 08:11 PM

Power Rankings - responding to Teddy

NFL Power Rankings -- our top 10 responses
Current Rank Last Week Change Team W-L-T
(ATS) Power Rating Team Comments 1 2 1 11-3-0
(8-6-0) -7.5 Denver
Nine straight wins, all by a TD or more. A defense that's starting to dominate games. A balanced attack that's scored 30-plus nine times this year. Yep, Denver is No. 1.  Comment:  Hard to say given weak division.  Might be #1, but hard to know that.
2 1 1 10-4-0
(8-6-0) -7.0 New England
The Patriots offense will get even more dangerous if Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski can return to the lineup this week following a four-game absence.  Gronk not just a plus, but essential for Pats.  Coaching puts them up at #2 or even #1.  
3 3 10-3-1
(9-5-0) -6.5 San Francisco
The Niners looked like the best team in football for more than a half against New England, then bumbled away a four-TD lead in less than a quarter.  Better against teams like GB, NE that are more in love with the pass.  Houston, the Giants -- other physical teams -- more difficult for SF.  Seattle will be a great test.
4 5 1 12-2-0
(9-5-0) -6.0 Houston
The Texans se... [More]

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2012 02:53 AM

The Top 10 Avatars at Covers

10. grasking

somehow, sesame street never gets old. 

 9. buckeye61

classic sports memorabilia is always, well, classic.

 8. pcb525

yah, remember Bill Goldsworthy, Gump Worsely, and the Minnesota North Stars?

 7. centralflaguy

ah, the Tasmanian Devil, animated.

 6. Johnnypicks

John Wayne... he was the king.

 5. rokodesh

Santa Claus is Cutler's home town. 

 4. joe shmoe

reminds us of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp.

 3. Book Beater

an anarchic energy here...  and those eyes seem so real...

 2. KktocT

Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush....  auq#hw&heeh%gh*gh!!!

 1. Candeeman

there's a quiet dignity to this squirrel we strive to emulate...

... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 04:44 AM

3 bowl picks

College football, not our cheeze, but IrishEyez asked, so here are three games we like:

3. Florida State -11 vs. NIU. 

2. Georgia -7 vs. Nebraska.

1. Notre Dame vs. Alabama.  They're +10, but we kind of like the moneyline.

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 04:41 AM

Heisma-NFL-BA predix: a potpourri

a colleague and i are going head to head on the following:

1. NFC North / 59 - Packers SB - Packers

Comment: Preseason, 59 had the Bears, but with a heavy caveat on their aging defense.  So far, it's the Packer d that has spent more time in the whirlpool, but suddenly Chicago's Medicare ward is catching up.  Gotta like GB the rest of the way, especially with the Bears on the road 3/4.

2. Heisman / 59 - Johnny Manzell SB - M. Teo

Don't get us wrong; we think Teo is the right choice.  But the sportswriters and jocksniff chattering class love a QB. 

3. NFC East / 59 - Giants SB - Redskins

The Giants are the anti-Cowboys, coming through when they need to and sluffing off when they can afford it.  Somehow, we think they'll pull a 3-1 to match the Redskins, who will lose one somewhere. 

4, Texans at Pats / 59 - Pats SB - Texans (s.u.)

No strong conviction on this one, even on the moneyline.  When in doubt, go with the home team (Pats), especially if there's cold vs. dome implications working in someone's favor (Pats), not to mention the better QB (Pats), and the smarter coach (yah, Pats.) 

5. NBA  champ / 59 - Grizzlies SB - Thunder

Both respectable bets, likely to hinge importantly on Zach Randolph's injury-prone knees and ankles, and on Westbrook's development as a point guard.  We're skeptical of the latter. 

Why not the Heat?  The "he... [More]

Posted Sunday, December 09, 2012 01:51 AM

NBA plus minus, and about to change

Still strong:

Sticking with our conviction at season's start that the Memphis Grizzlies would not only be the league's best first half team, but its best against the spread.  Love that Zach Randolph since his Clipper days, as a "power cover" forward.

Likewise, the Spurs, especially given reasonable health.  Just a good, steady, boring...  cover!

The Thunder have shocked us performing so well without Hardin, but we've simply stayed off them, and will continue to do so.  Still not convinced Westbrook can carry the load.

Still weak:

Our fave team (as fans), the Boston Celtics, are, predictably,  weak against the spread this year, as are the Lakers, for similar reasons: Roster turnovers, key elements missing, adds up to a 20-40 game adjustment time. 

We've enjoyed systematically going against both, and will continue to do so for another 10-20 games... roughly, at least a week or two after Nash and Bradley, respectively, make their returns.  With an occasional foray like our Boston-to-cover position on Rondo's return against Minnesota.

About to change:

We like the Bulls to continue their recent upturn after a dismal 4-12 ATS start.  Well coached, defense doesn't slump, &tc.

Ditto the 76ers, another well-coached team, whom we took to cover against Boston at home, then flipped on the next night in Boston.  Easy money...   didn't anyone watch ... [More]

Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 03:09 AM

Broncos 3-3, Colts 3-3. Hmmm.

No one else is comparing them, so we will: 

The Colts, who made a controversial decision to release Payton Manning, "the greatest regular season quarterback in history," last year, are 3-3.

The Broncos, who brilliantly outbid several other competitors for Manning's services, are also 3-3. 

(So, by the way, are the Miami Dolphins. The Seahawks, 49ers, and Arizona Cardinals, other losers in the Manning sweepstakes, are 4-3, 5-2, and 4-3, respectively.)

We weren't shocked at Manning's slow start, as indicated by our piece days after he was signed.

Nor are we shocked that, even at 3-3, he and the Broncos are in the running in the AFC West, "the new NFC West." 

And, of course, there are many other positions on all these teams.

Still, it's striking that, at least so far, there appears to be more to winning in the NFL than signing up a star quarterback, running a few 7 on 7 drills, and slinging the ball around the field. 

The Broncos are on line for, at best, a weak playoff entrance and an early exit, for a year or two, while the Colts are already "up" to mediocre, and have positioned themselves well for the next 10-15 years or more.

Posted Friday, March 23, 2012 06:30 PM

Former Colts stampede to Denver -- NOT !

Further on our immediate prediction ("Denver won't even win AFC West"):

Has anyone else noticed that the Payton-Manning-as-Moses story, leading a diaspora of former Colts stars to the promised land in Denver has, well, em, failed totally to materialize?

Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon signed with days of the Manning-ful Mystery Tour's launch, both in cities they knew were off his list when they did.

What's most notable is, they didn't even wait a few days to see where Payton was going.

Now, Jeff Saturday, courted by Denver and Green Bay....  goes to Green Bay, not to join Payton on Broncoland.

We've always regarded Payton Manning as a whining, narcissistic, carping guy who throws his own teammates under the bus. (One of dozens of clips plays over and over now on the NFL network.)

Those who doubt this view are entitled to their opinion, but evidently, it's one not shared by those who know Payton Manning best.

The Colts are voting with their feet to confirm our view -- that stampede you hear isn't towards reuniting with Mr. Regular Season...  it's away. 

Posted Friday, March 23, 2012 01:27 AM

Bountygate: No, the coverup wasn't worse

"For the Saints, the coverup was worse than the bounty program."

Press types, who haven't had an investigative coup since Watergate, love to say things like that.  But is it really true?

It's bad to lie about something, to be sure.  But what's worse...  lying about trying to hurt someone, or trying to hurt someone?

If I were the one being targeted by a 300-pound monster, I'll tell you honestly, I'd rather he tell a lie than try to rip my head off.

So, yah, covering up the bounty program after 2009 was bad; lying about it even in recent months was bad too.

But the worst thing was continuing the program, and starting it in the first place.  

Sports commentators love to say things like "the cover up was worse" because it's a time-worn truism that doesn't require any work.

Their laziness is a bad thing too.

Yet it's hardly the worst thing they do.

Posted Saturday, August 08, 2009 01:29 AM

Runline discussion thread - Saturday 07 Aug 09

Well, the "system" some have asked us to track -- which coincided with our favorite runline of the day, Lincecum and the Giants -- looks as though it had a losing day, making it 4-3.

In general, I always believe in handicapping the games as well as relying on something like that -- but in this case, it made no difference anyway.

There are some games that look promising for Saturday -- as always, the following are not picks, but ideas or "leans" to promote discussion. 

Posted Friday, August 07, 2009 01:38 AM

Runline discussion thread - Friday 07 Aug 09

Phillies cover; Yankees cover --

on to Friday...

Posted Wednesday, August 05, 2009 11:31 PM

Runline discussion thread - Thursday 06 Aug 09

Looks like a good day for Wednesday -- Tigers covered...  making "the August system" (suggested by someone else, but I know some of us follow it) 4-2 as I've implemented it.

There's a tie for the biggest faves -- Yankees and Phillies at home.  Make of it what you will; I prefer to handicap both games before committing. 

With (note) lots of early games, we're on to Thursday --

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User: gfoss59
Joined: February 2009
Location: United States

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