Did You Guys Know Notre Dame Football Went 4-8 Last Year?

Because in case you didn’t, the amateur comedians at SB Nation are only too happy to remind you, in any possible way — even if it’s completely irrelevant to the sports topic du jour.
Yes, I’m wading into this territory yet again. I already wrote an article like this last year, targeting mostly the same people. I think it’s safe to say I have something of a vendetta against SB Nation and their acolytes.

Anyway, we all saw Notre Dame football go 4-8 last year. It was a complete disaster that resulted, at least publicly, in a complete reshuffling of how things had been getting done in the program. We shall see what, if anything, changes on the field. Personally, I’m skeptical, but then, I’ve been on-and-off wanting Brian Kelly to be replaced since late October of his first season, so my opinion probably isn’t valid.

But this latest hot take isn’t about my opinion of the Notre Dame football program. It’s little more than a rebuke of the SB Nation portion of sports Twitter and their repetitive and unfunny jokes about ND’s 4-8 record. There was a quick resurgence of them this weekend, given St. Patrick’s Day and especially the Irish basketball team’s loss to West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

You don’t need to take my word for it. Just do a Twitter search for “Notre Dame went 4-8”, with quote marks. You’ll get results all over the place going back months — some of them might even have been sparked by an actual occurrence related to the subject. Amusingly enough, just about everyone you’ll see in the results column, if you click their timeline, has an SB Nation retweet pretty close to the top. Some of the Tweets even @ SBN writers themselves, as if they are clinging to hope that THIS 4-8 joke will be so good that they too will be able to score highly-paying jobs as professional trolls.

Look, I’m not completely humorless. Making fun of ND for having a bad season is…whatever. If you want to do it, that’s your prerogative. I’m on record thinking you’re a giant stinking hypocrite if you constantly insult ND for not being good at football while also (as so many of these people do) calling its fans delusional if they want to throw out the coach that’s putting out the product you’re using as so much fodder for jokes. But hypocrisy has never been much of an issue for this particular group of sports fans.

In any case, either way, I get why ND’s poor season would be an easy punchline for a month or so following its conclusion. I’m on the thin-skinned side (this article wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t), but I at least understood a brief period of getting poked on social media.

Beyond that time frame, it became very obvious very quickly that the constant 4-8 jokes — many of which, again, have been devoid of any connection to Notre Dame or even college football — were symptomatic of the fact that these people despise the program. Very few of these trolls (except Spencer Hall, who I guess should get points for honesty while being a hate-spewing asshole) actually own up to the fact that this is the case, continuing to cling to their self-appointed position as the irreverent class clown of college football Twitter.

Of course, I have many, many problems with SBN even beyond their ridiculous treatment of ND football. I worked for their ND sub-site, One Foot Down, for 18 months or so, which is to say I crapped out a couple dozen articles for them. That’s really all they want out of anything — posts, regardless of their quality. After all, while you pay your writers $3 per post, you have to pressure the hell out of them to have content rolling in 24/7. That way, you can churn out those clicks and afford to pay Spencer Hall and his cohort of jokesters to embarrass themselves with pathetic attempts at ‘journalism’. Heavily, heavily ironic, too, that this business model of theirs — labor force doing a spectacular amount of the heavy lifting for peanuts while the guys at the top rake in all the money — sounds an awful lot like…hmm…what does it sound like? Oh, that’s right! The very organization that runs college sports, whom you hate and trash at every opportunity!

They now have a low-rent moron making a fool of himself in an attempt to run that ND sub-site, which is serendipitous for them because I’m sure they enjoy having such a person representing ND fans, whom they unanimously hate. (It would be a wonder they even allow ND fans a place to congregate on their holy site given their opinion of them, but that would require having some semblance of conviction rather than churning every cent they can out of people.) I doubt it was intentional that it worked out that way, but certainly a nice side effect.

As I said in my previous article on the subject, too, I don’t have a problem with people disliking ND football per se. Even aside from their rivals, there are reasons to hate them if you want, some better than others. I just have a huge problem with the people who despise the people that prevent college athletes from being rich turning around and lambasting a school that actually puts forth an effort to provide a meaningful version of the compensation the rules currently permit — an education.

Meanwhile, guys like Hall slurp their SEC schools that win a lot and don’t bother to muse on why that league provides so many of the worst graduation rates in the country, thereby performing a far larger disservice to their athletes (my opinion, anyway) than not paying the tiny fraction of them that have major market value beyond their scholarships. The major football powers yank scholarships from people whenever they want, leaving them forced to make decisions they’re ill-equipped to make, but as long as they win, no one — even Hall, champion of the marginalized — gives a rip.

While SB Nation lobs grenades at ND for everything from playing “three true road games” (if I had a nickel for every time I saw/heard that phrase in 2014 and ’16) to, yes, going 4-8 in football, they’re posting Graduation Success Rates of 98/100 in the category of black student-athletes. (I know you’re all sick of the talk of ND ‘doing it the right way’, and I wouldn’t bring it up if the people lambasting the school weren’t also attacking the NCAA constantly for not, in their view, ‘doing it the right way’.)

You’d think the champion of paying players and the kings of arguing for the marginalized would care about something small like equipping young minority student-athletes for success in life, but nah. Notre Dame went 4-8 in football and it’s funny (despite the fact that we consider them an irrelevant program for whom going 4-8 shouldn’t be unexpected) so let’s make jokes about it for the next 8 months! And by all means, no one say a word about the schools that actually do chew up and spit out their black athletes without preparing them in any way for the real world! I guess SB Nation’s desire to carry the flag for the most vulnerable in our society doesn’t extend far enough to intrude on their desire to hate, and make silly non sequitur cracks about, an institution basically because it exists.

Well, congratulations, SB Nation. You got the rise out of me and sparked me to write this probably incoherent response to your trolling. I’m probably not the only one. I’m sure somewhere in your little pamphlet on “How to Be a Complete Joke of a Sports Site but Who Gives a Shit, We’ll Get Paid”, there’s some small subsection on openly being dicks to entire fan bases for no reason other than to score social media points. This article is proof you’ve hit that section right on the nose.

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Did You Guys Know Notre Dame Football Went 4-8 Last Year?

The Junkies Break The Bracket Down! 

Midwest:

In my opinion this is the most boring of the four regions and headlined by the most fraudulent one seed. The Kansas Jayhawks have a talented roster, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed more often than not I was getting the “Close Game” alert on my cell phone when they played. Kansas also proved without Josh Jackson they are suspect, losing to the TCU Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Tournament. We are big fans of TCU basketball around here –  if only they would have stayed in the Big East, imagine the powerhouse they’d have become. I digress from my point and to help further it, a potential second round  matchup with Michigan State does Kansas no favors. I know MSU is down but you never sleep on a Tom Izzo-coached team in the Big Dance. The Midwest region is probably the most up in the air, especially if Kansas can’t make its way out of it. Louisville doesn’t really scare anyone and Oregon is banged up. Caleb Swanigan is a monster but is he good enough to help Purdue make a Final Four run? Lots  of intrigue in the Midwest.
Best Round One Matchup:

No.4 Purdue vs No. 13 Vermont
I got to be honest here, I was picking going pick  the 8/9 game but that’s a chump move. So I’ll take the game with the All-American Caleb Swanigan. The sophomore forward is in my opinion the best player in the region. So can the best player take down the best 13 seed in the tournament? According to ESPN Vermont has the best chance of advancing to the round of 32 for seeds 13-16. It’s not like Vermont is a stranger to pulling off major upsets. The Catamounts haven’t played many close games this season, pretty much destroying everyone in the America East Conference. It’s about time they get a challenge. I’m not saying they will pull off the upset, but damnit they sure will try.

Double Digit Seed With The Best Chance to make a run:

11 Rhode Island

The Fighting Lamar Odoms are hot right now – winners of their last eight games, including an A10 Championship. They matchup with Creighton, the Fighting Kyle Korvers, in round 1. The 3rd place finishers in the Big East regular season will be a tough out. That said, if the Fighting Odoms make it to the round of 32, a matchup with a banged up Oregon Ducks team is possible, and who knows how well the Ducks will play without Chris Boucher. Going on that magical Sweet 16 run isn’t that far fetched. Full disclosure, I have no clue how good Rhode Island is. I just wanted to mention Lamar Odom because #NeverForget. Plus, if I call this run I’ll look like a genius.

Potential Matchup I want to see:

1 Kansas Vs 9 Michigan State
MSU had a very un-MSU type season, but that’s what happens when you schedule as tough as Tom Izzo does –  which in part is to get his team’s ready for March. It’s nice to see out of a “Power 5”. Playing big schools anytime anywhere can hurt you if you don’t win those games, and the 9th seed is proof – they almost missed the dance. Injuries to their frontcourt have also been a big factor, especially to Eron Harris. On a positive note, Kansas lacks size, and Izzo can match up better with Kansas’ small lineup, which would make for a great game. Plus, l I’ll say it again – KANSAS IS A FRAUD! Honestly, Arizona had a better case than the Jayhawks for a #1 seed. Call me LaVar Ball but I’m standing by that.

West Region:

It was inevitable that whatever region housed Gonzaga as the 1 seed would roundly be considered the weak spot in the NCAA Tournament, and sure enough, here we are. It also doubles as the home for the Northwestern Wildcats in their very first tournament ever, which is a really cool story no matter how sick you are of hearing Mike Wilbon and his cohorts talk about it. Intrigue abounds in this West, because it has all the makings of a busted-up bracket once we reach the second weekend.
Best round one matchup:

3 Florida State vs 14 Florida Gulf Coast
THE RETURN OF DUNK CITY! You can’t not be excited to see Florida Gulf Coast back in the bracket. They were here last year too, of course, but this team actually has the looks of one that can do some damage. I watched some of the Atlantic Sun final and these guys are long and athletic, much like the Eagles that captured our hearts four years ago in wins over Georgetown and San Diego State. FSU will be the heavy favorite, of course, but the Seminoles have not done very well outside their own building and FGCU will be the sentimental favorite if they get going (it doesn’t hurt that they’re actually a few minutes closer to Orlando, where the game will be played, than FSU is).

Double digit seed with the best chance to make a run:

11 Xavier

I don’t really like any of the double-digit seeds in this bracket, but if the Musketeers can recapture their form from early in the season, the bracket lines up pretty well. I don’t think anyone is scared of Maryland in a 6/11 game, and Florida State (if they survive DUNK CITY) isn’t all that frightening either. The problem for Xavier is that they basically haven’t beaten anyone besides DePaul in like a month and a half. However, no program has accomplished more under the radar than Xavier in recent years, so maybe they have the ability to sneak up on us all once again.
Potential matchup I want to see:

Even setting aside my Notre Dame fandom for a moment — if I were to answer this question honestly it would be ND vs North Dakota in the Elite 8 — that potential second-round battle between ND and West Virginia does look pretty tasty, doesn’t it? The Irish and Mountaineers had some real battles in the few years Bob Huggins and Mike Brey were in the Big East together. Their styles align for an intriguing matchup, as WVU is all about trying to take the ball away and the Irish do a better job of taking care of it than just about anyone. And between the Mountaineers’ physical style and the attitude Bonzie Colson has been playing with of late, this game might just be the most likely of any to result in players getting in each other’s faces and chirping a little bit. As an ND fan I don’t want to see this game happen because it would be tough, but the hoops fan in me is kind of excited for it.

Final Four Pick: 

A-Rob: Arizona, over Notre Dame. But let the record show that I thought very hard about taking the Irish to the Final Four, which I’ve never done. ND got underseeded at a 5, but couldn’t have asked for a much more navigable path on paper. I’m excited to see where it goes

Bizzle: Arizona (He’s so long winded^)

South Region:

Even in a region with One and Done U and Paper Class Institute at the top of the South Region, they pale in comparison to the hurricane that has become the Ball family dynamic. In my opinion there is not bigger story than what the hell LaVar Ball will say next. With each passing round I hope the claims get crazier and crazier. The only story that would be bigger than Lonzo Ball being able to make.good on his dad’s claims would be if Texas Southern can pull off the first 16-over-1 upset in March Madness history. Speaking of Texas Southern, they are by record the best 16 seed in the field, so Roy Williams better not sleep on the Tigers the way his players sleep through classes.

Best Round One Matchup:

10 Wichita State vs  7 Dayton
This game has been decided by everyone who gets paid to make decisions. They all have picked Wichita State and I get it. The Shockers won 30 games, and I don’t care what league you play in, that’s mighty impressive. They beat Illinois State in the Missouri Valley finals, knocking them off the bubble. Got to love a team with a chip on their shoulder in the most unpredictable tournament in sports. This team is no slouch, as they beat 5 teams in this tournament.
Double Digit Seed With best Chance to Make a Run:

12 Middle Tennessee State
Holy crap did the bracket set up nicely for the Blue Raiders. Sure Minnesota had a great year in the B1G, but they arent the cream of the crop. When Minnesota loses, it isn’t pretty, but when they win, they win convincingly. I know, that’s a cheap take on Minnesota, but it’s Minnesota. Only people in Minnesota think they are Final Four bound, so if Joe Mauer wants to come at me that’s fine. After the Gophers, MTSU gets either Butler or Winthrop, both mid-major schools themselves. Sorry Butler, but Gordon Hayward and Brad Stevens ain’t walking through that door. A date with North Carolina in the Sweet 16 is very possible, and who doesn’t want to root for a kid named Giddy Potts? That name alone is worth a Sweet Sixteen berth.

Potential Matchup I want to see:

Easily, it’s Kentucky vs UCLA potentially meeting in the Sweet 16, and if I can be corny, what a sweet matchup that would be, with two of the most storied programs in college basketball history. This matchup would feature 5 of the projected top 16 picks in the upcoming NBA draft according to NBADraftNet.com, with Ball leading the way as the #2 prospect in college. I would pay good money to hear LaVar Ball and John Calipari have a conversation. I’m sure LaVar thinks he’s a better coach that Cal. I mean, this is the same guy who thinks he would have killed MJ one on one back in the day. If you call yourself a hoops fan and don’t get even the least bit pumped for a Malik Monk vs Lonzo Ball Sweet 16 matchup, you need to check your pulse, because it’s going to be a classic….If it happens.
Final Four Pick:

 A-Rob: North Carolina Bizzle: UCLA

East Region:

Every region can claim to be the toughest in this year’s NCAA bracket (well, ok, probably not the West), but only one boasts the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats: The East Region.
The East has teams that were arguably overseeded (hi, South Carolina!) and underseeded (tough break, Wisconsin), but it appears to be one of the easiest on paper to predict because everyone is going to have Villanova vs Duke in the Elite 8. Which means this is the odds-on favorite to be the bracket that jacks everyone up like the Midwest regional did last year. (I still haven’t forgiven Michigan State for losing to Middle Tennessee and setting off a chain reaction that resulted in freaking Syracuse, who had no business in the tournament, making the Final Four.)
Best round one matchup:

5 Virginia vs 12 UNC Wilmington
Damn right I’m picking a 5/12 as the best matchup of this bracket. Wilmington has the pedigree – they went 15-3 in the Colonial (29-5 overall) and last year they hung right with Duke in a 3/14 matchup. Four starters are back from that team. And this year, they have an offense ranked in the top 20 for adjusted efficiency by kenpom.com (I’m bringing analytics to the party, baby). UVA, meanwhile, is one of the most dramatically underseeded teams in this tournament by kenpom, which has the Cavaliers ranked 7th, and we all know how tough it is to score against that defense. However, UVA has been floundering a bit lately. They struggled down the stretch in the ACC, they barely escaped last-place Pitt in the ACC tourney, and then Notre Dame, which they’d owned for years, handled them. I don’t like the way the Cavs are trending, and this matchup looks like it could be very exciting. I picked the Seahawks to pull the upset.

Double-digit seed with the best chance to make a run:

12 UNC Wilmington
This is no surprise given what I just said about UNCW. I’m generally not sold on SEC schools that aren’t Kentucky, so if the Seahawks beat Virginia, I like their chances against Florida too. Keep an eye, though, on 11th-seed USC. The Trojans have talent, but haven’t gotten many chances to prove it in a top-heavy but not deep Pac-12. SC draws a good but beatable SMU team in round one, and in the second round they would likely get a Baylor team that dropped a deuce in their most recent game and has become accustomed to flaming out in March.
Potential matchup I want to see:

It almost feels like cheating to pick Villanova vs Duke in the Elite 8 for this answer, but no other potential showdown intrigues me even close to as much as this one does. The last two national champs taking the hardwood in Madison Square Garden, defending champs versus the team most believe to be the most talented in the field. Coach K and Jay Wright are two of the most respected leaders in the game. It’s too good to be true, right? Which is again why I say someone will probably screw it up.
Final Four Pick: 

A-Rob: Villanova Bizzle: Duke (Damnit)

The Junkies Break The Bracket Down! 

Bizzle Picks The NFL Conference Title Games. 

And then there were four.

Finally, we got to enjoy a couple really good games in the divisional round, which went pretty much as I expected as I went 3 out of 4 in picks last week. The damned Steelers blew my perfect week with a zero-TD victory over the outmatched Chiefs. We had Aaron Rodgers doing Aaron Rodgers type things — more on that later. It’s been pretty rainy all over the country which can only be attributed to the tears of Cowboys Nation, who all but assumed they would make it to the NFC title game — see this jackwagon’s tattoo.

In store this week, we have a big time AFC matchup of teams who flat out don’t like each other, and that is awesome. Nothing better than two rivals playing for a chance to make the Super Bowl; I smell a classic on our hands. Between that and seeing what Aaron Rodgers does next I couldn’t be more excited for championship weekend….Well, at least until the next Bachelor episode debuts on Monday. Be prepared: There is even more Bachelor talk coming up with some football talk sprinkled in.

Sunday 3:05pm

Green Bay Packers 10-6 at Atlanta Falcons 11-5

Excuse my language out the gate but that Aaron Rodgers is a goddamn man, worthy of the highest GDM status. I’ll save you the trouble of my listing all the things that the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers are hotter than: like Molten Lava and Corinne from the Bachelor (and not for her looks — she is making this Bachelor must see TV). Seriously, other girls, if you want her to stop taking all the Nick time then step your games up. She is playing the game like a champ and you all are hoping that sitting on the sidelines is the way to play it. It’s not.

Speaking of sidelines, did you see that throw Rodgers made at the end of the Cowboys game? Of course you did! Holy hell, that took some serious onions to pull off. Cowboys fans are still salty over another playoff letdown. Seriously, the stat of teams that have won more playoff games than the Cowboys is amazing. 

The Falcons are on that list for sure, as they took down the Seahawks in convincing fashion and yet are seemingly an afterthought as Rodgers has completely stolen the spotlight, Corinne style. Expect some points on Sunday afternoon. I believe the over/under in this game is like 60 points, which is insane in a playoff game. What a way for the Falcons to close out the Georgia Dome, with a chance to make it to their first Super Bowl since 1999.

On paper the Falcons are the better team with the presumptive MVP at quarterback and all the injuries for the Packers.  The X-factor, of course, is that I’ve rolled with the Packers the entire post season due to my new found obsession for The Bachelor (thanks Justine). So this week will be no different. Hell of a year Matty Ice, and thank you for bringing me my first fantasy football championship, but you did not receive a rose. Please take a moment and say your goodbyes.

Packers 33 Falcons 31

Sunday 6:40pm

Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5 vs New England Patriots 14-2

So through the first two rounds of the playoffs, I have picked against the Steelers each week in hopes that I wouldn’t have to watch them anymore. Every time this past couple weeks I would say “Go Dolphins” or “Go Chiefs” I’d get the death stare from my soon to be wife. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I get those types of looks from her, especially if I keep writing about how much I hate her team. The Steelers didn’t score a single touchdown against the Chiefs and somehow managed to win the game. If you would have told me that would happen prior to the game, I would have thought you were crazier than Terry Bradshaw’s awful ass. What can I say, the Steelers continue to make me look awful and the couch and I are becoming very very close.

While I’ve been enjoying some couch time it gives me an opportunity to ponder my options, which I have to tell you aren’t the greatest. The Patriots are widely considered the cheaters of the NFL — whether it’s shrunken balls or spying on the competition, the Patriots are always pushing the envelope when it comes to finding the edge. The shrunken balls incident may have actually helped the Patriots in the long run, though. Look at it this way; Tom Brady missed the first four games of the season due to the suspension. Add in the bye week and Tom got five weeks to lay around with his supermodel wife wearing nothing but Uggs, or at least that’s what I would would do with all that money. That, folks, makes him the freshest he has ever been for a playoff run. Sure, they had some struggles against the Texans last week but you have to think they were just going through the motions against an inferior opponent. Yeah, Brock Osweiler, you are nowhere near Brady’s level and I’m so happy I don’t have to watch you play for at least 8 months.

What is a man to do? Every single week I pick against the Steelers and every week I’m wrong. To add insult to that, my wonderful fiancee continues to rub it in weekly. I am a prideful man and am sick of the Steelers proving me wrong. So I should pick the Patriots to blow out Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. I’d love to see Antonio Brown post that on Facebook Live — what a bum. However, if I pick the Steelers this week, not only do I win a few lost brownie points with the future wife, but they will hopefully prove me wrong again and lose to Brady and company. So I’m going to be a little confusing, as I’m taking the Steelers to pull off the upset and advance to Super Bowl 51, but I’ll be rooting so hard for the Patriots you’d think I was a Julian Edelman Tinder hookup.

Steelers 23 Patriots 19

Enjoy, and we’ll see you in a few weeks for Super Bowl 51!

Bizzle Picks The NFL Conference Title Games. 

Bizzle’s NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks! 

What an uneventful and boring Wild Card Weekend. I mean, what the hell? No upsets, not a single close game – talk about a snoozefest. Well NFL, you get a chance to redeem yourself with the divisional round of the playoffs. Dallas, Atlanta, New England and Kansas City are ready to join the fun, hopefully. I don’t know if I can sit through another week of lopsided games, which is pretty much why I will be avoiding the Texans- Patriots game –  that has ass whipping written all over it. Which probably means it will be a close game and be a Texans upset – yuck.

I haven’t had the greatest track record in picking football the last few weeks – thanks Clemson, for adding insult to injury. Of course I’m struggling now that people actually ask my opinion these days. So even though I’ll probably miss on every single pick and Brock Osweiler will become the greatest thing since Kate Upton, I once again present my predictions  for the NFL playoffs. What am I thinking? 

4:35pm Saturday
Seattle Seahawks 10-5-1 vs Atlanta Falcons 11-5
Mr. Nice Guy himself, Matt Ryan, seems to have finally put everyone on notice that he is among the elite at the quarterback position. He’s having an MVP worthy season, leading the offense that scored the most points in the NFL, and getting that elusive bye in round one. What’s your prize? Oh, it’s just the always tough Seahawks. Matty Ice can’t seem to catch a break.

Everyone has Seattle in this game, and can you blame them? They have the pedigree, the defense (even without Earl Thomas), and the running game seems to be on track. So why would anyone go against the Seahawks? Well, I am and I’ll tell you why.

I play in two fantasy football leagues and I had Russell Wilson in one and Matt Ryan in the other. In one league I finished dead last and in the other I won the championship. I think you see where this is going. Russell Wilson, you let me down. Sure, it wasn’t all your fault but it’s not all on Dan Marino that he never won a Super Bowl either, yet it’s held against him. I’m applying the same logic to fantasy football. Yeah, I may have made some poor draft choices but it’s a quarterback driven league right? In my other league I took Matt Ryan very very late in the draft – hell, I didn’t even want him. But I took a flyer because he’s a nice guy and boom he became an MVP candidate. Did I mention Ryan helped win me my first championship? So maybe I’m lucky, or maybe I know more about fantasy football than I thought.
Couple Matt Ryan with Julio Jones, arguably the best receiver in the game, and that is a tough thing to stop. Earl Thomas won’t be walking through that door and without Thomas in the lineup Jones had 7 receptions for 139 yards and a score in these teams’ regular season meeting. Being at home against a weakened Seattle defense will be the difference in the game as Ryan and Jones make Richard Sherman their….well, you know. Let’s just say it will be a long day for Sherman.
Atlanta 34 Seattle 21

8:15pm Saturday
Houston Texans 9-7 vs New England Patriots 14-2
Seriously, Brock Osweiler, you finally have to play a decent enough game to make my rant against you pointless? Well, I refuse to back off my stance that you are beyond overpaid and a terrible quarterback. Thank God this Texans season will come to an end this Saturday night. Do I believe the Osweilers have any remote chance to beat the Patriots? Absolutely not.
I don’t need a statistical breakdown to call this one, all I need is that Houston got shut out 27-0 in week 3 to a guy who I repeatedly confuse for a classy sandwich, Jacoby Brissett. Sure, teams change over the course of a season. The Texans finally have Jadavon Clowney playing like a top pick, but what they don’t have is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in the fold.
Tom Brady missed the first four weeks of the season because his balls were a little flat. That didn’t stop him from being in the MVP discussion and put up a 28 touchdown 2 interception “Eff You” season. Tom and Company are locked in and on a mission to shake hands with a sure to be not too pleased Rodger Godell. I know it’s wrong in a lot of circles to root on the Cheaters, but just imagine that podium. I hope Brady pulls back his hand and dabs all over that fool. Usually I’m long-winded with these predictions but all I’m going to say is, we are on to the AFC title game.

Patriots 38 Texans 17

4:40pm Sunday
Green Bay Packers 10-6 at Dallas Cowboys 13-3
Is there anything in this world hotter than Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers right now? Off the top of my head, a few things: Our queen Kate Upton doing the Cat Daddy here’s the link https://youtu.be/MCUnWIs88CQ,Hatchimals –  those god-awful creepy Furby looking things that I couldn’t find my daughter for Christmas unless I wanted to drop a grand on eBay – and there’s always Maryse, the Miz’s wife. And if you don’t know who that is, or who the Miz is, honestly I can’t be friends with you because the WWE is awesome and anyone who doesn’t agree is a bona fide hater.

Maybe, just maybe, the only thing hotter than Aaron and Company is that rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. While it was expected that Zeke would find success behind the best o-line in the NFL, Prescott was a big surprise. He was a 4th round flyer and was going into this season expected to be the 3rd string quarterback and learn from Tony Romo. Well, Romo gonna Romo, and he got hurt in the preseason – so did backup Kellen Moore.

Enter Dak, who managed to not screw things up in Dallas. He’s played himself into the Rookie of the Year discussion and even whispers of MVP talk. Was it Dak or was it all the talent around him? I call this the Rondo theory. Remember when Rondo was the Point guard in Boston and had KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce around him? Well I to this day I argue I could have out up decent assist totals and points surrounded by 3 future Hall of Famers. Is the same true for Dak? Case in point: Best running back in football, best offensive line in football, a sometimes head case but always great receiver in Dez Bryant, and oh yeah,one of the all time best tight ends in Jason Witten. I’m not saying he was awful, and I’m sure loudmouth Cowboys fans will bash me for that take, but it’s not as if Prescott had the Cleveland Browns roster in front of him.
By the way, is there any more annoyingly loud fanbase than Cowboys fans? You guys act like you’ve won something in the last 20 years – but I guess flaunt it if you got it. Last week I rolled with the Packers because of Jordan Rodgers and Jo-Jo, and if you listened to our radio spot on the Pat Doherty show, I was planning on going chalk. But because of my love for The Bachelor and the fact that the Packers are the only team I got correct last week, I am rolling with the Packers again. Hail Rodgers will crush the hearts of Cowboys fans everywhere and Twitter will explode.
Packers 27 Cowboys 24

8:20pm Sunday
Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5 vs Kansas City Chiefs 12-4
Talk about a game of polar opposites. (Get it? Polar? Because they’re playing in an ice storm? Oh, forget it.) On one hand you have the Steelers, with Dancing With The Stars contestant and twerk legend Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, who enjoys the kindest of the kind and the stickiest of the icky, assistant coach Joey Porter, who loves getting arrested, and oh yeah, Big Ben. We all know what may or may not have happened with him. The Steelers are chock full of storylines and excitement – that’s going to happen when you have stars at all three skill positions. Hell, even Mike Tomlin is capable of tripping guys during games.

Well, for Kansas City, they are the exact opposite of excitement. The most exciting thing about the Chiefs is probably Andy Reid’s mustache. Hell the Quarterbacks name is Alex SMITH –  is there a more boring name in the NFL? The only way his name would be more boring would be if his name was Boring McBoringson III. If NFL Sunday Ticket had a rating system of how many out of market people watched a Chiefs game, I’m sure it wouldn’t be very high on the list. That being said, they get the job done and win football games. I picked them preseason to go 12-4 so I’m not totally surprised at their success but I know a lot of you casual fans probably are, and couldn’t even tell me which state Kansas City plays in. (Here’s a hint, it’s not Kansas.) Well in an effort to win back some good graces of the future wife I’m going to take the Steel…
Wait a second. You  know what, I’m going Chiefs and it’s because I saw the way you looked at Antonio Brown when he’d go shirtless on DWTS, miss fiancée, don’t think I’ve forgotten. Let’s go Chiefs! Can’t wait to see the state of Kansas…I mean Missouri represented in the AFC title game. #CouchGuyStrong baby!

Chiefs 33 Steelers 24

Bizzle’s NFL Divisional Round Playoff Picks! 

Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview!

I’ll blow this place to kingdom come – Wild Card, bitches!! It’s Wild Card weekend, baby!! Finally that means no more 49ers or Browns football, no more ties, as well as no more god-awful Thursday Night Football. Those things alone make wild card weekend special. It’s even more special for the Patriots, Chiefs, Cowboys and Falcons, as they all have a bye this week. I would suggest to all of those teams, don’t do anything at all, especially travel. The world will crush you if you enjoy your bye week. Sure, the Giants’ players weren’t on a bye, but they enjoyed the new year in Miami and the world lost their minds. That’s dumb. It didn’t get in they way of their jobs. Be honest, if you had that type of money you would do the same thing. So for guys like Dez Bryant and Alex Smith, you should just sit at home, grab some popcorn, maybe a Vitaminwater, and study the teams you may potentially play next week. I repeat, Julio Jones, Julian Edelman and Jamaal Charles, have zero fun this Wild Card weekend. Maybe if you guys are free, take a few minutes and read Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview. They probably won’t, but you should. Without further ado:

4:35pm Saturday

Oakland Raiders 12-4 at Houston Texans 9-7

This game has lost some of its appeal – well, actually, a lot of its appeal. The QBs you want to be playing in the matchup aren’t, and the two you don’t, are. For the Raiders, Derek Carr was having a career year: 28 touchdowns and 3,900 yards and even some MVP talk. Finally, the Silver and Black were actually back and they were for real. Well, Carr won me a fantasy football championship, then broke his leg. Matt McGloin started week 17, and he got hurt as well. Now, enter rookie Connor Cook who, before the week 17 relief appearance, we last saw him getting destroyed by Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Luckily for Cook, he’s got a great offensive line and running game behind him, and a stud wide receiver in Amari Cooper.

For Texans fans, they finally got what everyone wanted when Bill O’Brien benched Mr. “I Can’t Throw a Football More Than 4 Yards Downfield” aka Brock Osweiler. In came Tom Savage on his majestic white horse and saved the day for Texans fans, hell, football fans everywhere. Finally, no more Osweiler making DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller obsolete. Fantasy owners everywhere hadn’t exactly been thrilled about that. Well, of course the football gods had to take away everything wonderful about Tom Savage by concussing the shit out of him. The football gods have single-handedly taken away everything wonderful and pure about this Wild Card game. Thank God it’s the Saturday afternoon special.

As I’ve stated before, I’ve got kids and things to do so I might skip this one. Sure, Connor Cook could become the next Tom Brady (doubtful), but the Lord knows who Brock Osweiler is, and the only reasons he is here are because Texans’ management is dumb and someone had to win the AFC South. Whatever the over/under is for this game, you should definitely take the under and probably just watch the fourth quarter, because points will be impossible to come by, especially if Connor Cook isn’t the second coming of Ken Stabler. Tough decision here, but my hatred for Osweiler is going to break the tie.

Raiders 17 Texans 12

8:35pm Saturday

Detroit Lions 9-7 at Seattle Seahawks 10-5-1

It’s safe to say that the Seattle Seahawks are the New England Patriots of the West Coast. No matter what happens they manage to get into the playoffs. Whether it be key players leaving via free agency, injuries or even having a tie on their record, it won’t keep them outside of the playoffs. Pete Carroll and Co. always get in, and that’s all you have to do to give yourself a chance to win the whole thing. It could also be that that Seattle plays in a weak division that includes 49ers and Rams teams that make train wrecks seem mild. Even with a down year from Russell Wilson – which I’m all but convinced had to do with finally tying the knot with Ciara and breaking his vow of abstinence, which meant he had to put more strain on his body. Maybe it’s just me, but those certain activities can exhaust a person, especially if out of practice. So I can understand why he seemed a bit off all season, even if it cost me a chance to repeat my previous years fantasy success, thanks to Ciara.

Whether or not she really had anything to do with Wilson’s play this season, they still managed to get into the playoffs and are a heavy favorite against the Lions, who surprised quite a few people by making it in the first place. Who would have thought that losing Megatron, Calvin Johnson, would mean a a playoff berth? I know I didn’t. Funny, Megatron retires from football, probably because he was sick of losing, only to lose on Dancing With The Stars to Laurie Hernandez, an Olympic Gymnast. That doesn’t seem even remotely, fair but thats another article altogether. That said, the Lions  basically controlled their own destiny the final three games, but decided to go 0-3. One win and the division was theirs, but no, they had to give it away to the red-hot Packers in true Lions fashion.


Now they are being counted out by everyone and rightfully so. Seattle is no easy place to get a win even if the Seahawks are not as dominant as in years past. But you brought this on yourselves and Jim Caldwell should be thankful that Jim Bob Cooter isn’t taking his job in Detroit. Man, I love saying Jim Bob Cooter. For that reason and that reason alone:

Lions 23 Seahawks 17

1:05 pm Sunday

Miami Dolphins 10-6 at Pittsburgh Steelers 11-5


So here I am in a very tough spot while previewing and predicting this particular matchup. Earlier this season the Dolphins put it to the Steelers. Well, back to my dilemma. So my wonderful and amazing fiancee is a die-hard Steelers fan, and I happen to be a Bengals supporter (unfortunately). Naturally, I have a distaste for the black and yellow. This has me hoping they lose because I’m sick of hearing about all their success and personally, I think Terry Bradshaw is an idiot and can’t wait until he retires from Fox. Sorry to get off track but if you are reading this you know we tend to do that.

The Steelers are finally for the first time going to play a playoff game with the three B’s all healthy: Ben, Bell and Brown. From a purely football perspective it’s about damn time to see what this offense can do. The Dolphins will have their hands full stoping the B’s. I’m still shocked that Miami is even here. If you would have said they will lose Ryan Tannehill at any point and make the playoffs, I’d have laughed. Hell, you could have said with a healthy Tannehill they’d make the playoffs and I’d call you slightly crazy.

Unfortunately for Tannehill, Matt Moore has been serviceable since taking over in week 14 and has the Dolphins on the right track going 2-1 to close out a 10-6 record. A playoff win for Moore could help answer the question of whether or not Tannehill is a top quarterback or just another overrated top pick. Moore isn’t going to be expected to do this all alone on Sunday afternoon, as he has breakout running back Jay Ajayi who made fantasy football junkies cream their jeans with his stellar play. Ultimately, it will come down to the defensive line and Ndamukong Suh, getting pressure on Big Ben, and holding Bell to a modest day, That’s been hard to do since he came back from a suspension he got due to smoking the chronic or missing a drug test for enjoying the stickiest of the sticky – ultimately the same thing.

Sure, the Steelers on paper look like the smart pick here, but as but as Charlie Kelly famously once said, “Wild Card, Bitches!” So in true wild card fashion, I’m going Dolphins! Now, I’m sure if my Fiancee reads this, she’s not going to be thrilled by the previous statements made in this prediction. I can only hope that the couch is kind to me tonight.

Dolphins 34 Steelers 27

4:40pm Sunday

New York Giants 11-5 vs Green Bay Packers 10-6

It’s that rare time that both Aaron Rodgers and his brother Jordan are both relevant at the same time. For those who are unaware, have no fear, I’m here to connect the dots. Obviously, Aaron is relevant for being the best quarterback in the NFL and leading the Packers back from a 4-6. dead in the water record to win the final 6 games and the NFC North – which I called, so look at me now haters! Blah blah blah, Jordy is back, we are going to be better than 10-6, they said, guess not.

When it comes to Jordan, well, the Bachelor is back and better than ever with Nick attempting to find love for the 4th time, which means you’ve seen Jordan and Jo-Jo showing their support and giving advice in preview shows. Which got me thinking, do you think that Jordan is rooting for the Giants just to spite his brother, who apparently cut off the family years ago and hasn’t spoken to Jordan in years? Unlike Aaron and Jordan, Eli and his brother seem pretty close and you may have heard of him. He’s pretty famous. Cooper Manning. In all seriousness, if the Giants make a run and win the Super Bowl that would make Eli 3-0 in Super Bowls and give him a commanding lead over Peyton, who is now retired and doing Papa John’s commericals at an alarming rate. If Eli goes three for three in SBs, does that make him better than his brother Peyton? Some people that buy the “he has more rings” logic would think so.

Would Eli surpassing Peyton cause a Aaron/Jordan type rift amongst the Manning brothers? Will Odell Beckham Jr. marry any more sideline equipment? Maybe Eli Apple’s mom will let her son stay out past 10 if he wins a Super Bowl. I have so many questions and intrigue on the Giants side, but I am all in on all things Bachelor. I’m first in my Bachelor fantasy pool by the way. So Green Bay, will you accept this rose?

Packers 33 Giants 21

Well, there you have it folks. I’m sure I’m wrong and if so, you’ll all tell me about it. Until next week Junkies Nation, enjoy the Wild Card games and a Happy New Year to you all!!

Bizzle’s Wild Card Weekend Preview!

The Baldness Sure To Be Wrong UFC 207 Predictions

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So Baldness is back to give you some hot sports takes – even hotter than your mom – with the upcoming UFC 207 event. My last prediction special was for the huge MSG card and UFC 205 which saw me correctly call the McGregor TKO in the 2nd round. But on the night, I was a somewhat disappointing 7-5 overall. So, for this event, I’m going to put information in, but pick with my fan cap and go with my gut. So, without further ado… Here are Baldness’ picks for UFC 207!!!

Prelims:

Tim Means Vs Alex Olivera (Welterweight Bout)

This matchup of two very technical strikers could be one of the better bouts of the night. It’s the prelims, but this could overshadow most of the main card. Means comes in 26-7-1 with his last two wins coming by way of KO. Olivera comes in at 15-4-1 looking less impressive in his last two matches (albeit both wins). Would not be surprised to see these two stand and bang until someone falls over, but both have legit ground skills too, Means should get the win.

Mike Pyle Vs Alex Garcia (Welterweight Bout)

41 year old Mike Pyle to take on heavy handed Alex Garcia. Short and sweet on this one. I’m going with Garcia to KO Pyle in the 2nd round.

Johny Hendricks Vs Neil Magny (Welterweight Bout)

Hendricks has looked awful in his last 4 fights, albeit against top class opponents. He has had trouble making the weight at 170, and has hinted that if he loses, he may decide to retire. So, that tells me that his heart isn’t in it anymore. Neil Magny has also an 11 inch reach advantage, so if he can keep Hendricks out of grappling range, He should wear Hendricks down. Gimme Magny via decision.

Main Card Matchups

Dong Hyun Kim Vs Tarec Saffiedine: (Welterweight Bout)

Kim has looked bad in losing 2 of his last 3 fights. Saffiedine has split his last two fights, winning a decision vs Jake Ellenberger, but dropping a decision to Rick Story in May. Im going to pick Saffiedine by unanimous decision, but my gut tells me Kim could win it.

Louis Smolka Vs Ray Borg (Flyweight Bout)

Im going to be honest here. I know next to nothing about these two. If it is flyweights and If it’s not involving Demetrious Johnson, really, what,s the point? Borg is probably the better of the two here, and there is some talk of him making a run at Johnson if he wins here. (This run would end in defeat for Borg.) All signs point to a Borg win, which means Smolka will probably pull this off. I will, for the record, call this for Borg via submission.

TJ Dillashaw Vs John Lineker (Bantamweight Bout)

The winner of this matchup should be in line for a title shot against the winner of the Cruz vs. Garbrandt co-main event. This is a classic speed vs. power duel here. Dillashaw, the former title holder, has all the quicks. Hands, feet, and is by far the better grappler. Lineker is a powerhouse Brazillian who wants to put Dillashaw to sleep. TJ has a pretty large chip on his shoulder since losing a split decision to current champ Cruz, which most of the UFC head honchos said they felt Dillashaw won. Either way, look for Dillashaw to outclass Lineker, for a 3rd round TKO after wearing the Brazillian down.

Dominick Cruz (Champion) Vs Cody Garbrandt (Bantamweight Championship Bout)

Ok, so this fight has gotten some degree of hype, due to the talking going on before the match. Clearly they don’t like one another, and Garbrandt is the more vocal of the two.

Here’s how it breaks down. Cruz is one of the most elusive fighters in UFC history. He is lightning fast, and has some solid power as well. Garbrandt is a straight brawler, with 7 of his 9 knockout wins (10 wins overall) coming in the first round. I’m going to call Cruz in this one, probably via 3rd round stoppage after he wears Garbrandt out. BUT… Garbrandt has for real power, and with a 6-oz glove, ANYTHING could happen. Chances are if Cruz can withstand the first round or two, he gasses Garbrandt and wins in the 3rd.

MAIN EVENT: WOMENS BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

AMANDA NUNES (Champion) 13-4 Vs Ronda Rousey (Challenger) 12-1

Ok, so it’s somewhat of a known fact, that I am not a huge fan of womens MMA. I find most of the fights to be slow, boring, and without real appeal. However, the one exception I make, is for Ronda Rousey. Prior to her loss to Holly Holm in Nov. 2015, Rousey was the poster child for the UFC, the most dominant athlete in ANY sport. She was mangling the competition in every fight working her way to a 12-0 record. That all changed at the :59 mark of Round 2 against Holm, when Rousey found herself looking up at the lights for the very first time.

Much has been made of her journey since that point. Depression, suicidal thoughts, a couple of bad movies, and finally she got herself together and is now ready to return to the octagon. Question is, how will a full year off of the sport sit with Rousey? Is her heart still there, her desire and fire? Sure, she can talk a good game, but what will her reaction be if and when Nunes hits her in the face for the first time?

Nunes is the champion that no one is giving a chance. She comes in riding a 4-fight winning streak and looked sharp as a tack, in taking the title from Miesha Tate. (She beat her into retirement!) If you compare common opponents, that may be the reason why no one is giving Nunes a chance. Rousey beat Cat Zingano, Alexis Davis and Sarah D’Alelio all very easily. All of those three have beaten Nunes in the past. The question comes down to heart, and ring rust. Does Rousey still have that championship fire?

Will her lack of any real action in over 400 days be an issue? If those things can be answered early enough, I don’t see much hope for Nunes. If Pre-Holly Holm fight Rousey shows up. It could be a short night for Nunes, but if not, it could end in disaster for Rousey. My prediction,

Rousey by 2nd round submission (probably an armbar).

So, there you have it. My SURE TO BE WRONG predictions. Sad note on this card, too, as UFC 207 will mark the end of an era. Mike Goldberg will be calling his last event for the UFC. He and Joe Rogan made an awesome pair, but the new ownership of the UFC want to go a different direction. Rogan will stay on, and a new partner has yet to be determined for Rogan. Although rumors swirl that it will be Jim Rome????

The Baldness Sure To Be Wrong UFC 207 Predictions