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Brian’s Super Bowl Bash Winner?

By bullpenbrian - February 4, 2013 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

My dad (a.k.a. Gare Bear) who hit the nail on the head picking the Ravens to win 34-31, and in doing so becomes a two time champion of this little event.

Way to go, Pops…you just edged me out (shakes head).

Thanks for everyone that submitted picks and congrats to all who forecasted a Ravens victory. Always great catching up. Let’s do it again next year…

Previous Winners:
I: Big Mike – Baltimore
II: Brian -      New England
III: Heath -     Tampa Bay
IV: Nicole -   New England
V: Nicole -   New England
VI: Talitha -  Pittsburgh
VII: Ed -        Indianapolis
VIII: Ed -        New York
IX: Talitha -  Pittsburgh
X: Heath – New Orleans
XI: Gare Bear – Green Bay
XII: Therese – New York
XIII: Gare Bear – Baltimore

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Super Thoughts On The Super Bowl

By bullpenbrian - February 3, 2013 - 2:00 pm Leave a comment.


Seeing as how the Super Bowl is the most celebrated holiday in America (unofficially, of course), here are a couple of football related thoughts before this evening’s ‘Big Game.’

*Because the word ‘Super Bowl’ is a protected trademark belonging to the NFL, and because the league limits the term for commercial purposes, broadcast advertisers, unless authorized, have to say something else when referring to the term Super Bowl.

So typically we hear ‘Big Game’ this and ‘Big Game’ that…get your big screen TV in time for the ‘Big Game’. How lame, right?

*The mainstream media is in love with Colin Kaepernick and Deer Antler Lewis. I understand the stories (and even the non stories) surrounding  these two guys brings eyes to the screen, which is their job after all.

But it would be welcomed if Super Bowl articles, especially those not pertaining to Kaepernick or Lewis, adorned the header area with photos of players other than these two.  It’s getting exhausting picturing Kaepernick in a Cubs uniform.

*Does the Pistol offense become a staple in the NFL? I don’t think so.

It’s too gimmicky and reminds me of the Wildcat. And remember when that was the next big thing in the NFL…

College football guy yearns for the day when the ol’ college fake’em, Wishbone, Wildcat, Spread, or whatever new fad offense there is, transitions to the NFL. Of course they rarely do, and even then, it’s only aspects of those formations.

Why?

Because pro football isn’t college! There are superior defenders at every position! Nearly every guy on the field was that draft pick caliber player, he was one of the best in college football…he’s fast, football smart and well coached. He can see through a gimmick offense.

Defensive minded coaches, meanwhile, who are paid well, but on short leashes, figure out ways to stop gimmicky offenses because they can’t afford not to. 

And despite what some may believe, the pistol quarterback at the pro level isn’t the single most talented athlete on the field. Occasionally it may appear that way, but trust me, he isn’t. 

There are world class athletes on the other side of the ball. Men who are plenty capable of mashing the pistol QB. It’s already happened to RGIII and it could happen again this evening.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rooting for players to be injured, or even rooting against the pistol QB guys. In fact, I love watching Russell Wilson play. What I’m saying, however, is the pistol won’t last, at least not in its current form, because it’s no different from the last gimmick offense.

Sorry, but the older brother, backyard, college trick’em game has never worked in the pros. Ultimately, you need your quarterback to read defenses, not the other way around.

*Something I learned this week. Steve Young (HOF 2005) did not take a single snap out of the shotgun formation during his 15 seasons in the league. Never would’ve guessed.

*Randy Moss says he’s the best wide receiver of all time. Child, please.
Great players (or people for that matter) don’t take plays off.
Great players don’t quit on their team.
Great players don’t say ‘hey, over here, look at me, I’m the greatest of all time.’

Ridiculous, but fitting such an absurd statement comes from Moss.

Besides, we already know who the greatest NFL receiver of all time is.
So please Randy, can it.

*I love watching the Super Bowl. I wish the Colts were playing in the game, but when they’re not I take sides anyway. This year I’m siding with Baltimore (even though they eliminated the Colts). And I’m doing this for no particular reason other than I’m captivated by the notion Ray Lewis might actually ascend into heaven following a Ravens victory.

That’s something I’ve never seen before, and I think it will make for a terrific Instagram.

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Brian’s Super Bowl Bash!

By bullpenbrian - January 28, 2013 - 4:30 pm Leave a comment.

I like to take a short detour from Cubs baseball this time of year to celebrate America’s favorite holiday, which means it’s time for you to make your winning Super Bowl pick!

Submit your Super Bowl winner, the final score, and most importantly, the MVP choice for any tiebreakers. Feel free to enter your pick in the comments section below or you can email me at bullpen_brian@yahoo.com.

All entries must be submitted before the opening kickoff. Bragging rights only. I’ll post the winner here on Monday. Good luck.

MY PICK: Taking the underdawg Ravens…

Baltimore – 31
San Francisco – 27
MVP – QB Joe Flacco

Previous Winners:
I: Big Mike – Baltimore
II: Brian -      New England
III: Heath -     Tampa Bay
IV: Nicole -   New England
V: Nicole -   New England
VI: Talitha -  Pittsburgh
VII: Ed -        Indianapolis
VIII: Ed -        New York
IX: Talitha -  Pittsburgh
X: Heath – New Orleans
XI: Gare Bear – Green Bay
XII: Therese – New York
XIII: Baltimore vs. San Francisco

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Rizzo ROY, Sammy Sosa & MNF

By bullpenbrian - September 25, 2012 - 1:35 am 2 comments.

You can make the case for a handful of players to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Anthony Rizzo is one of them, but he’s likely not the winner.

You can’t ignore the positive impact Rizzo’s made in the Cubs’ lineup since his arrival. But his late June callup puts him behind the other front-runners as far as overall numbers are concerned.

I like the Reds’ Todd Frazier to win the award. He’s played four different positions and was clutch filling-in for both an injured Scott Rolen at third base in the season’s first half and then for Joey Votto at first base in the season’s second half.

Frazier has been the glue for Dusty Baker’s lineup, and playing on a division winner certainly helps his cause.

Bryce Harper, Wilin Rosario (COL), Yonder Alonso (SD), Norichika Aoki (MIL) and Jordan Pacheco (COL) also deserve some looks…but in the end, I put my money on Frazier.

HONORING SAMMY: CSN’s Chicago Tribune Live was debating whether the Cubs should honor Sammy Sosa similar to what the organization did for Kerry Wood on Sunday.

We know Sammy took steroids, we know that was part of the game during his era, but does that mean it’s worth celebrating?

Sammy was both a terrific cheat and a terrific player, especially offensively. But, Sosa’s refusal to admit his mistakes during the steroids investigation along with his unceremonious departure from the Cubs doesn’t help his case to be recognized by the organization.

My feeling is the Cubs honored Sosa plenty with the millions upon millions of dollars they paid him while with Chicago. The fact Sosa left the Cubs, and the game, as a disgrace is on him.

I’m not saying a reunion between Sosa and the Cubs should never happen. But this is a two-way street, and right now it’s on Sammy to right the wrongs, not the other way around.

SLEEPLESS IN GREEN BAY: I hope the debacle of an ending to the Monday Night football game in Seattle finally pushes the NFL to strike a deal with its locked out officials.

To have last night’s contest wrongly decided by the replacement refs, during a prime time game, is surely one of the most feared outcomes by the league during this labor dispute.

The replacement officiating has been a disgrace to the league. What more does the NFL need to see after three weeks (not including the pre-season) of botched calls to understand its regular officials are worth paying top dollar?

Don’t blame the scab refs, either. I truly believe these guys are trying to the best of their abilities, although it’s clear they’re largely in over their heads.

Last week I talked about how professional sports leagues should learn from one another. So let this replacement officiating be a lesson for all other pro sports: pay your officials…they’re the best in the business for a reason–and that’s always worth the money.

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Brian’s Super Bowl Bash XI!

By bullpenbrian - February 1, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

Submit your Super Bowl winner, the final score, and most importantly, the MVP choice for any tiebreakers to bullpen_brian@yahoo.com.

All entries must be submitted before the opening kickoff.

I’ll post the winner here on Monday. Bragging rights only!

Green Bay – 27
Pittsburgh – 23
MVP – WR Greg Jennings

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Bullpen Session – Uncle Julio

By bullpenbrian - January 13, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!

–Not a good football week for me. I wrapped up my weekly NFL season picks at 161-95 (.628), far below my goal of (.700), went 2-2 in my postseason picks and found out my Colts pants aren’t that lucky after all.

My Wild Card picks included Colts, Ravens, Packers and Saints. This week I’m taking Pats, Ravens, Packers and the Bears.

–Meanwhile, Colts fans are crucifying coach Jim Caldwell for calling a timeout with 29 seconds left during the Colts 17-16 loss to New York.

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Heath Wins Again!

By bullpenbrian - February 8, 2010 - 12:54 pm Leave a comment.

While New Orleans won its first title, Heath won his second!

Thanks for the many emails that poured in, mostly notably Heath’s which came in Sunday at 3:51 EST.

Nonetheless, congrats to everyone who picked the Saints!

Thanks for playing.

Previous Winners:

I:    Big Mike – Baltimore
II:   Brian -    New England
III:  Heath -    Tampa Bay
IV:   Nicole -   New England
V:    Nicole -   New England
VI:   Talitha -  Pittsburgh
VII:  Ed -       Indianapolis
VIII: Ed -       New York
IX:   Talitha -  Pittsburgh
X: Heath – New Orleans

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Super Bowl Prediction

By bullpenbrian - February 4, 2010 - 1:15 am 8 comments.

Once a year I break away from Cubs baseball to talk a little NFL, specifically my Super Bowl prediction.

And would you believe this is the tenth year of my self titled ‘Brian’s Super Bowl Bash?’ Wow!

For the newbies, it’s very simple. I need three things: Super Bowl winner, final score and most importantly the MVP choice for any tiebreakers.

All entries must be submitted before the opening kickoff. No payment required, bragging rights only.

Remember, hundreds have played, but only six have won! I’ll post this year’s winner here on Monday…my pick is below!

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NFL Pick’em League Championships

By bullpenbrian - January 16, 2009 - 12:50 am Leave a comment.

Last Week: (1-3)

  • Pat on the back: Obviously, Pittsburgh whacking S.D.
  • Ouch!: Titans freeze vs. Baltimore
  • Who Knew?: Cardinals embarrass Panthers

Playoffs: (3-5) – (.375)

SUNDAY

  • Baltimore at Pittsburgh
  • Philadelphia at Arizona

Season: (167-89) – (.654)

Week 1 – (11-5)

Week 2 – (11-4)

Week 3 – (10-6)

Week 4 – (7-6)

Week 5 – (9-5)

Week 6 – (8-6)

Week 7 – (10-4)

Week 8 – (10-4)

Week 9 – (8-6)

Week 10 – (11-3)

Week 11 – (10-5)

Week 12 – (11-5)

Week 13 – (10-6)

Week 14 – (11-5)

Week 15 – (9-7)

Week 16 – (9-7)

Week 17 – (12-4)

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