An Olympic-Sized Controversy October 5, 2009Posted by Matt in Obama, politics.
Tags: 2016 Olympics, bikinis, Chicago, fat guys, Rio, women
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Over the past few days there has been a good deal of heated discussion regarding the IOC’s choice of Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games over Chicago, the city which Obama lobbied for in person to the committee. So, the inevitable questions have been asked: Is Obama not able to close the deal? Is this more than just a bump in the road for a presidency dogged by uninformed but loud allegations.
Well, before laying the blame at Obama’s feet, please consider two things:
Was this ever really a contest?
2009 NFL Predictions – Part 2 September 9, 2009Posted by Matt in NFL.
Tags: 2009 predictions, Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York Giants, NFC, NFL, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Washington
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New York Giants 13-3
Green Bay 9-7
New Orleans 9-7
Tampa Bay 6-10
San Francisco 7-9
St. Louis 2-14
New York Giants – The 2007 Super Bowl champs failed in their bid to repeat last year despite tying Carolina for an NFC-best record of 12-4 during the regular season. They return Eli Manning, 2-time 1,000 yard rusher Brandon Jacobs, a top-notch defense, and one of the best offensive lines in the league. The Giants are almost a sure thing for the playoffs and an early favorite to play in their second Super Bowl in three years.
Dallas – Yeah, I know I’m a homer with this pick over the Eagles, but as a longtime Cowboy fan I can’t help myself. Terrell Owens is gone and the passing game will no doubt be hurt because of it, but the team atmosphere will probably improve a good deal. Dallas has a great defense and a very good running game which includes former Razorback star Felix Jones, so I’m doubly a fan now. They will battle Philly for a wild card spot, but give this one to my favorites.
Philadelphia – The verdict remains out on how large ex-con Michael Vick’s impact will be on a very good Eagle team. Will there be friction between he and longtime Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb? The Eagles also return one of the better defenses in the league as well as an elite offensive line, so there is no doubt that they will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Washington – The Redskins have seen better days and, despite their mediocre 8-8 record in 2008, I expect a dropoff in Jim Zorn’s second year as head coach. Quarterback Jason Campbell will never be better than average, his receivers are aging, and the defense is average at best. RB Clinton Portis will carry the team again but it won’t be enough for a winning record.
Minnesota – With a stellar defense and the best running back in the league today, many had the Vikings penciled in as early favorites soon after the 2008 season ended. Thus, the addition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is icing on the cake. The Vikings are in a tough division and they will fight some tough battle against Chicago and Green Bay, but I expect them to come out on top in the end.
Chicago – Is there a front office in the NFL that brokered a better trade this offseason than Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton? Cutler proved himself to be among the best QBs in the league in Denver and he may be just what the Bears need to invigorate their stagnant offense. Second year RB Matt Forte will also put up some great numbers and the Bears return another excellent defense, led by perennial Pro Bowlers Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Tommie Harris. Chicago will battle Minnesota for the division this season, but, even if they do lose that, they should make the playoffs.
Green Bay – In his first season as a starter, QB Aaron Rodgers quickly moved up the ranks in the NFL to become one of the best young signal-callers in the league today. He, along with third year RB Ryan Grant and WR Gregg Jennings, anchor an offense that could be great for years to come. The Pack also return an excellent defense that should be able to hang with any team they face. Green Bay will definitely be in the hunt for either a spot as division champ or a wild card playoff berth, but they may be hurt by being in such a strong division.
Detroit – Ewww…. Once again, the Lions are awful, just awful. According to reports, many Lions players are unhappy with the decision to start top draft pick Matthew Stafford at quarterback from the beginning of the season and that’s never a good sign. Once again, Detroit will be in the fight for a number one draft pick.
Atlanta – The Falcons had a huge turnaround last season, going from a 4-12 record in 2007 to 11-5 with a playoff appearance in 2008. This season they look to continue their excellent play led by second year QB Matt Ryan and the elite play of RB Michael Turner. The addition of Tony Gonzalez, one of the best tight ends to ever play in the league, will only bolster their chances to win the division and skate into the postseason. The only problem I see for the Falcons is that their division is very tough and they may find themselves battling it out with Carolina and New Orleans for an elusive playoff spot.
Carolina – The Panthers broke through in a big way in 2008, putting together a 12-4 record before falling early in the playoffs. Their running game, led by former University of Memphis star DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, was among the best in the NFL and their defense was above average. The Panthers have a good shot at returning to the playoffs but, again, their tough division will take its toll on the team.
New Orleans – In three seasons, Sean Payton has amassed a yawn-inducing 25-23 record as the Saints’ head coach, despite having one of the top performing QBs in the league in Drew Brees. The emergence of RB Pierre Thomas in 2008 to displace the underachieving Reggie Bush is a major plus and their receiving corps is excellent. Their defense is below average, but serviceable. I expect New Orleans to fight for a playoff spot but to eventually fall due to their lack of elite defensive players.
Tampa Bay – First year coach Raheem Morris may have his work cut out for him this season with the Bucs, but at least the cupboard isn’t completely bare. WR Antonio Bryant finally broke through as a receiving threat in 2009 and TE Kellen Winslow is still among the league’s best at his position. The Tampa Bay defense may not have a lot of marquee players, but they are pretty good and should be competitive. This division will just be too tough for the Bucs this season, though, and I expect them to finish a few games under .500.
Arizona – Last year’s surprise Super Bowl runner-ups are back form more in 2009 and this time, for perhaps the first time ever, they actually carry with them the expectation of winning. I would be a little concerned about counting on the fragile and aging Kurt Warner at QB, but with the Cardinals’ selection of receiving targets, it seems as though anyone could play under center. The defense is decent, but that’s good enough to be perhaps the best in the weak NFC East. Due to their poor division, Arizona should make the playoffs by default.
San Francisco – The 49ers top draft pick, the still-unsigned Michael Crabtree, grabbed most of the headlines for the Frisco squad, but there are a few other good players to discuss – namely RB Frank Gore. Gore may not find the endzone as many times as some backs, but he is still a great back in his prime. The defense is poor, as is the offensive line, so don’t expect much from the 49ers in 2009.
Seattle – On the plus side, the Seahawks have an excellent veteran corps of receivers, led by former Bengal TJ Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson, and Deion Branch. Then there’s the rest of the team. If you are a Seattle fan, I suggest you learn to hold your nose.
St. Louis – There are plenty of bad teams in the NFL this season, but there may be nobody worse than the squad that will be fielded in St. Louis this year. Words can’t describe just how horrible this team is. They’ll be lucky to beat anybody.
Next: The Playoffs and the Super Bowl