Recent Comments by Howard_T

NFL Pick 'Em Week 15: Concussion Protocol Edition

After last week, I think I should be in concussion protocol. So many "sure things", so little reward. This week for sure.

We start with the horse manure bowl, and end with pirates with a bird on their shoulder. Lots of fun games in between, including a couple of rare Saturday games. Here we go.

Indianapolis by 6 (I almost typed Baltimore. Shows you how old I am.)

Detroit by 7

Los Angeles (American Conference) by 9.

Minnesota by 14 LOCK

Arizona by 7

Buffalo by 3

Even with a replacement wing, Philadelphia by 12.

New Orleans by 13 LOCK

Aaron was the sidekick to Moses at the Red Sea. He won't part any waters in NC. Carolina by 4.

Can the Browns win one? Nah! Baltimore by 11 LOCK

Jacksonville by 10 LOCK

Los Angeles (National Conference) by 6

New England by 10

Jimmy G. wants the big pay day. San Francisco by 12

Oakland by 13

Atlanta by 17 LOCK

posted by Howard_T at 01:35 PM on December 14

NBA Pick 'Em Week 9: Playing in Lithuania Takes Balls Ediition

When you pick those teams to win, if it's confusing which game you mean, include the date.

You're asking a lot of me, rcade. Most mornings I have to check my license to remember my name. Since I've been retired, every day is Saturday, and correctly remembering the day of the week is about a 50-50 thing. Well, I'll try my best. Anything to ease the burden for our good pick 'em chief.

Tuesday's games:

Speed vs plodding, bench scoring vs starters. Knicks are rated higher, but the matchups might dictate something else. Los Angeles (purple and gold) by 9.

A top-10 team against one that should be there save for injuries. Minnesota by 11 SLAM

Wednesday's games:

Pacers are a surprising top-10 team so far, while OKC has not yet put it together. Paul George is coming "home", so you can bet he will be the focus for Thunder offensively. He's been hurt, so that might be a factor. Indiana by 6

A bottom-10 team takes on number 1 in the power rankings. Is there any doubt? Houston by 19 SLAM

Thursday's games:

I've picked Lakers against 76ers, but Cavaliers are another story entirely. Barring an upset earlier in the week, Cavaliers will make it 10 in a row at home in this one. Cleveland by 14 SLAM

The Mark Cuban AC is struggling, and Dirk Nowitzki is a shadow of his former greatness (just don't leave him open from 18 feet). They travel to face the #2 team in the power rankings. Not a good thing. Golden State by 12 SLAM

Friday's games:

Thunder are well into their road trip for this one, and will face the team directly below them in the rankings. 76ers have been fighting injuries all season, but so have Thunder. This one could be too close to call, but Oklahoma City by 4

Spurs and Rockets hook up in one leg of the "Texas Derby" (if I might borrow a term from the EPL). Kawhi Leonard is expected to play Tuesday, so he might be ready to make a difference on Friday. He probably won't be enough. Houston by 7

posted by Howard_T at 05:20 PM on December 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

idea of deleting the lowest-scoring week is worth consideration

In essence that gives each of us a "by week". It makes sense, which in the world of politics, big league sports, and bureaucracies in general means it would never happen. Sports Filter is none of those things. I'm all for it.

posted by Howard_T at 10:50 AM on December 08

NFL Pick 'Em Week 14: Get Better Ryan Shazier Edition

Standing on the medal stand looking up at the gold and silver medalists as we stand now. Hoping to hit a good week and move up a bit, but I will need help from the leaders. In the meantime one of my cats has decided to pull on the power cord to my laptop. He's hungry and will not easily be dissuaded. Get the picks in quickly before he puts me off the air.

New Orleans by 6

Houston by 7

Cincinnati by 11 LOCK

Buffalo by 12 LOCK

New York (National Conference) by 9

Detroit by 10

Kansas City by 14

Carolina by 3

Denver by 6

Los Angeles (American Conference) by 8

Arizona by 10

Los Angeles (National Conference) by 6

Jacksonville by 4

Pittsburgh by 10 LOCK

New England by 13

posted by Howard_T at 06:38 PM on December 07

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

It might be more fitting for the Cotton Bowl winner to play the winner of the Pinstripe Bowl. But then, whatever suits you...

posted by Howard_T at 01:12 PM on December 07

NBA Pick 'Em Week 8: Two I's in Embiid Ediition

Making my picks in honor of Joel Embiid would certainly result in their being hurt and missing games. I'll stick with making them in memory of Fat Freddy Scolari. (Look him up. He had a killer 2-handed set shot that he could hit with great regularity.)

Warriors without Curry for a couple of weeks, and Durant has some anger management issues. Nonetheless it's Charlotte, and they just don't match up well. Golden State by 9

Bledsoe gives the T'wolves another dimension; my favorite ex-Celtics coach has problems. Say no more. Minnesota by 4

It should be Ball vs Fultz in Philly, but Fultz has yet to make it into a game, at least of late. Philadelphia by 12

By the numbers, Houston has the best backcourt in the NBA. Utah has great scenery, excellent skiing, and the Mormon Temple. Houston by 18 SLAM

Pistons have a lot going for them this season, not the least of which is Drummond's sudden proficiency at the free throw line. Warriors have the aforementioned physical problems. Detroit by 9

As of today, Boston has the best record in the league, but the last few games have exposed some cracks in the defense. Coach Pop has always been good at finding an edge. This one will be close, but along with Celtics' defensive difficulties has come increased offensive ability. Boston by 3

posted by Howard_T at 01:15 PM on December 06

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Russell Wilson's Lateral

They can't handle the Ideal Gas Law, you expect them to understand a Galilean Transfer? I always thought that the Galilean Transfer was what you needed when changing buses in Israel.

posted by Howard_T at 12:35 PM on December 06

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Just saw the selection. Alabama and Georgia both get in, and Ohio State is left out. Trouble is that they won't expand to 8 teams unless the regular schedule is cut by at least one game. The schools complain about the playoffs taking classroom time away from the athletes as it is. Of course, they never complain about the money.

posted by Howard_T at 12:43 PM on December 03

NFL Pick 'Em Week 13: With the First Pick the Giants Take Edition

It appears that only 3 of our prognosticators picked Dallas while the rest of us went with Washington. Once again, Washington (the football team, not the politicians) has let us down. The only good thing for me is that I talked myself out of putting a lock on them. And so on with the rest of the week.

San Francisco by 3

Miami by 10 LOCK

Green Bay by 6

Kansas City by 3

Jacksonville by 17 LOCK

Baltimore by 6

New England by 9

Tennessee by 7

Atlanta by 4

Los Angeles (American Conference) by 20 LOCK

Oakland by 18 LOCK

New Orleans by 7

Los Angeles (National Conference) by 10 LOCK

Philadelphia by 3

Pittsburgh by 6

posted by Howard_T at 12:57 AM on December 02

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Final Standings

all three of you worked so darn hard for this

Worked darn hard for the Costanza? Oh no, I was working hard to win this thing. I earned a share of the Costanza because I had absolutely no clue about what I was doing. Do I deserve a piece of the Costanza? Absolutely I do, but what is certainly true is that I had more than my share of fun in the participation. Congratulations to Reever on his well deserved win, and my thanks and appreciation to Dr. John for running this and all CFL contests here on SpoFi.

posted by Howard_T at 12:44 AM on December 02

NFL Pick 'Em Week 13: With the First Pick the Giants Take Edition

From the Huddle: For the NFL pick 'em: I favor Les Peaux Rouges over the bovine herders.

Washington by 12.

posted by Howard_T at 07:22 PM on November 30

NFL Pick 'Em Week 13: With the First Pick the Giants Take Edition

For the NFL pick 'em: I favor Les Peaux Rouges over the bovine herders.

Washington by 12.

posted by Howard_T at 04:04 PM on November 30

NBA Pick 'Em Week 7: NBA TV Edition

Wishing all a happy St. Andrew's Day (patron Saint of Scotland) and a happy Barbados Independence Day (birthplace of my mother). This has nothing to do with basketball, but a bit of social intercourse (not the kind that gets you fired from a high profile job, that's a different kind of intercourse) is never bad. I will be at the Celtics vs 76ers game tonight, and I will testify to the correctness of the final result if required by any of the pick 'em contestants. Here we go:

Celtics looked a bit out of sorts against Detroit, but have had a bit of time off for practice. 76ers are now a legitimate contender, and the combination of Simmons and Embiid are formidable. Boston by 4

Portland is under-performing this season. What's up with that? Milwaukee by 10

Thunder are a bit of an enigma so far this season. They have looked like a true challenger in the West, but then have looked like an also ran. T-Wolves are strong. Minnesota by 8

If the previous pick proves to be correct, it would be a telling sign should Thunder lose in consecutive home games. They won't. Oklahoma City by 9

posted by Howard_T at 04:01 PM on November 30

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

wasn't all bad.

The Jumbotron at TD Garden, as at most other arenas, is a source of great hilarity. I really believe that some enterprising producer at one or another sports channels on cable or satellite could put together a weekly 30-minute program of Jumbotron highlights.

posted by Howard_T at 01:06 PM on November 28

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Grey Cup Edition

Last minute pick. It's been a busy weekend with Thanksgiving, church, community holiday stroll, and all. My last wild-ass guess of the season.

Calgary by 16.

Mitchell

Over

624

posted by Howard_T at 11:19 AM on November 26

NFL Pick 'Em Week 12: Turkey Leg Award Edition

Wow! The week was good, but I did not expect to jump the field. Just past the half way mark, and this thing is a tight one. Some good games this week, and we will all be trying to get them right.

Detroit by 6

Dallas by 13 LOCK

New York. (National Conference) by 8

Atlanta by 15 LOCK

Cincinnati by 12 LOCK

Tennessee by 19 LOCK

Kansas City by 16 LOCK

New England by 17 LOCK

Carolina by 10

Philadelphia by 16 LOCK

Seattle by 14 LOCK

Oakland by 9

Los Angeles (National Conference) by 7

Jacksonville by 4

Pittsburgh by 12 LOCK

Baltimore by 6

To all, a happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things, and one of those is being able to enjoy the camaraderie here on Sports Filter.

posted by Howard_T at 10:53 PM on November 22

NBA Pick 'Em Week 6: 16 Games and Counting Edition

I had a very bad week, about as bad as Marcus Smart's shooting percentage. Of course, Smart does a number of things that make his lack of scoring inconsequential, but it might be nice to do better. I will be baking for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so it's on to the picks right now.

Two class teams on Wednesday night. Warriors have underachieved a bit, but never, ever underestimate them. On the other hand, Thunder have played well at times in the early going. Oklahoma City by 4

Sacramento is inept and Lakers are showing some signs of actually being not too bad. Los Angeles (Purple and Gold version) by 9

Watch out, Eastern Conference, Cavaliers are starting to take things seriously. Cleveland by 17 SLAM

Warriors are at home, Chicago plays more like the homeless. Golden State by 18 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 12:15 AM on November 22

Bills' move to Nathan Peterman is a disaster

It was a bold decision by...

George Pickett to lead a charge at Gettysburg.

George Armstrong Custer to split his forces at the Little Big Horn.

General Packenham to charge into a fortified line at New Orleans.

Titanic's captain to maintain speed through an ice field.

Well, two of them survived, but Sean McDermott's chances aren't too good.

posted by Howard_T at 12:54 PM on November 20

NFL Pick 'Em Week 11: Jerry Jones is Detrimental Edition

One pick made, 13 to go. Got the first one right, but I knew I should have locked it. No guts, no glory.

For the runner in of the state of Florida championship: Tampa Bay by 8

Arizona by 6

Kansas City by 16 LOCK

Jacksonville by 19 LOCK

Detroit by 13 LOCK

Los Angeles (National Conference) by 9

Baltimore by 12

New Orleans by 10 LOCK

Los Angeles (American Conference) by 15 LOCK

New England by 14 LOCK

Philadelphia by 10 LOCK

Atlanta by 4

posted by Howard_T at 06:22 PM on November 18

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Division Finals Edition

Wow!!! I actually got 1 point last week. How that happened is a mystery to me. Now let's see if I can do better. There's something in this about blind hogs and acorns, but I don't know how that fits.

Saskatchewan by 14

Calgary by 13

Reilly

Calgary

posted by Howard_T at 06:11 PM on November 18

NBA Pick 'Em Week 5: LeBron Still Hates Phil Edition

I picked Warriors to win by 11, and in the 3rd quarter I thought it might be more. Never have I been so happy to miss on a pick. At the beginning of the game, every seat was filled; at the end of the game, none were. The crowd was on its feet, the noise was deafening, and the ending was special. If you stand outside the TD Garden after a game, you can tell the outcome just by listening to the fans. Tonight they were yelling, screaming, and chanting "Let's go Celtics". That's a sure sign of a big win over a very good team. Nights like this are the reason I have season tickets.

posted by Howard_T at 12:42 AM on November 17

NFL Pick 'Em Week 11: Jerry Jones is Detrimental Edition

Just a quick one for tonight.

Pittsburgh by 11.

Ta ta for now.

posted by Howard_T at 06:04 PM on November 16

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The Boston Herald's Steve Buckley has written this tribute to Bobby Doerr, former Red Sox 2nd baseman, who passed away Monday at age 99. Buckley points out how Doerr was the last of an era in baseball, and was involved in games with baseball greats who had actually been active in the 19th century. Another connection is Doerr's influence on a noted Boston sports figure from an entirely different sport. A bit of a long read, but if your interests include some baseball history, it is worth the several minutes.

posted by Howard_T at 11:07 PM on November 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 5: LeBron Still Hates Phil Edition

The pick 'em race is close in the early going, but much like many NBA games, there will be runs made, errors committed, and leads gained and lost. It's a long season, boys; let's enjoy it.

Cavaliers look like they're gaining their balance after their early season stumbles. Hornets don't look like much, but they did give Celtics a game. Cleveland by 12.

76ers with #1 pick Fultz face the Lakers with #2 pick Ball. Will #2 try harder? Los Angeles (purple and gold) by 6.

Warriors vs Celtics. The local diehards say this is a preview of the finals. Long way to go before that, but I will be there to enjoy it. The Boston winning streak ends. Golden State by 11.

Houston is at or near the top of the power rankings; Suns are closer to the bottom and getting worse. Houston by 16. SLAM

Thunder vs Spurs looks like a great matchup. Tough one to predict, but Spurs are still banged up. Oklahoma City by 9.

Pelicans have surprised me a little bit this season, but Nuggets play tough at home. The twin towers will prevail. New Orleans by 8.

posted by Howard_T at 01:36 PM on November 15

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Division Semis Edition

The following picks are written in near total ignorance of the CFL playoff situation. Have I ever let sheer ignorance stop me? Of course not.

Ottawa by 6

Winnipeg by 16

Medlock

Under

posted by Howard_T at 08:10 AM on November 11

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I suggested once before, when the controversy first came up, a name that represents one of Edmonton's major attractions. Since the city is home to one of the world's largest shopping malls, might I suggest the "Edmonton Mall Rats".

posted by Howard_T at 12:59 PM on November 10

NFL Pick 'Em Week 10: Detroit Wins in Lambeau Edition

Time once again to channel my inner Curly Lambeau and predict the results of this week's NFL action. I had to type this twice thanks to my overly affectionate cat deciding to sit on the keyboard. Perhaps he's trying to tell me something...

Seattle by 9 LOCK
Tennessee by 6
Detroit by 14 LOCK
Jacksonville by 8
New York (American Conference) by 7
Chicago by 6
New Orleans by 11 LOCK
Pittsburgh by 17 LOCK
Minnesota by 13 LOCK
Los Angeles (National Conference) by 13 LOCK
Dallas by 9
San Francisco by 3
New England by 13 LOCK
Carolina by 6

Half of my picks this week are locks. Look for a triumph or a disaster.

posted by Howard_T at 04:29 PM on November 09

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

There was another play, I forget which game it was in, where after a completed pass, the receiver went to the ground, was barely missed by a defender, and then got to his feet. He stood there for a second, looking around, but not attempting to advance, while his teammates yelled and gestured for him to run. He did, gained a few more yards, and then had the ball stripped. The defense recovered, killing an important drive and subsequently scoring. In this case the receiver was better off staying down.

posted by Howard_T at 01:31 PM on November 08

CFL Pick 'Em, Final Standings

I didn't do too badly for someone who has very little knowledge of CFL football. Win or lose, it's a lot of fun. Congratulations to Reever, and many thanks to Dr. John for once again running it.

posted by Howard_T at 01:20 AM on November 08

NBA Pick 'Em Week 4: It's Spelled 'Antetokounmpo' Edition

I will be at Celtics - Lakers tonight; a chance to get togethere with my son, have a few beers together, and hope for a Geno* sighting, Should be fun.

Lonzo Ball will be sitting out this one. Perhaps he doesn't want to be embarrassed by Jayson Tatum? Boston by 12 SLAM

T-Wolves might have enough to give Warriors a good fioght, but that's about all. Golden Sate by 11.

What to think of the enigma that is the Cavaliers? They look terrible, and then come out like the Cavs of old to edge the Bucks. Rockets on the other hand are a bit more consistent. Houston by 9.

I just watched Thunder get beaten by a Sacramento team that looked fully incompetent against Boston last week. What gives here? Oklahoma City by 10.

Bucks lost to Cavaliers on Tuesday, and their game plan looked a bit underwhelming. Spurs are hurting, so this could be interesting. Spurs by 4.

*In games at TD Garden, when Celtics have a big lead late in the game, a video is often played on the Jumbotron. It is a clip from a 1950s or '60s TV program called Dance Party. Featured in the clip is a male dancer wearing a shirt with the word GENO on it, thus the "Geno Sighting". It is the latter day equivalent of Red Auerbach's victory cigar.

posted by Howard_T at 01:15 AM on November 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Can someone please talk about how much fun the Celtics are?

OK, Fatty, I can do that. Being a season ticket holder, I have opportunity galore to wax eloquent on the team. Last year they were a gritty, tenacious team that had a number of weaknesses that in the playoffs were exploited by opponents to make games closer than they should have been. This year most of those weaknesses have been eliminated, they have added length at the point, 2-guard, and small forward positions, and the defense at the point guard position is improved. No longer can opponents use a pick to isolate a taller shooter on a 5'9" Isaiah Thomas. They are still gritty and tenacious, but now there is an element of skill that borders at times on the artistic. Case in point last night was Jayson Tatum in the paint, drawing the double-team, and finding Al Horford with an excellent bounce pass for an open corner 3. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford have developed a 2-man game between them where Irving's dribble drive skills will draw defenders off of Horford to leave him wide open for shots. If the defenders go to Horford, he will return the pass to a cutting Irving for a layup or open medium range shot. The basketball is now a lot purer, for want of a better word, than it was last year, but the crowds in TD Garden are still on their feet many times per game.

Fatty, you live close enough that you can jump on the commuter rail to TD Garden. Some week night when my wife or kid can't make it, I will let you know, and you can come down and watch them with me.

posted by Howard_T at 06:40 PM on November 06

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Kaepernick might actually fit the Houston offense. The biggest problem would be how difficult it is to make an accurate forward pass when you are viewing the field through a plexiglass navel.

posted by Howard_T at 10:17 AM on November 03

NFL Pick 'Em Week 9: That Was a Touchdown Edition

Please amend my pick in the Houston vs Indianapolis game to Indianapolis by 6. There will be no lock applied.

posted by Howard_T at 08:38 PM on November 02

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Twenty

I'm hanging on to a second tier record with hope of improving. Probability of doing that? Not great, but who knows.

I don't have a lucky coin, so I had to flip my lucky cat. She kept landing on her feet, so heads and tails weren't happening. After the 4th or 5th try she grew angry, and now I can't get close to her. Hamilton by 6

Bombers against the Junior Stamps? The azure explosive dispensers should prevail. Winnipeg by 15

Indigenous Peoples have manage to finish well enough to get somewhere, while Roughriders are sitting pretty, but not quite pretty enough. Saskatchewan by 10

Argonauts must sail around the horn to the other end of Canada. Some wild beasts wait for them there. Toronto by 11

posted by Howard_T at 05:34 PM on November 02

NFL Pick 'Em Week 9: That Was a Touchdown Edition

I had a pretty good week, but not good enough. Do you think I can use a second round draft choice to get the Sports Illiterate guy who tagged Houston to win the Series 2 years ago to help me with my picks?

We start with what once would have been considered the game to determine last place in the AFC East. No longer is it so; Buffalo has become real, or it's one heck of a mirage.

Buffalo by 3
Jacksonville by 7
Philadelphia by 13 LOCK
New Orleans by 17 LOCK
Houston by 12 LOCK
Atlanta by 8
Los Angeles (National Conference) by 6
Tennessee by 4
Arizona by 14 LOCK Saint James the Savior will not play
Seattle by 6
Kansas City by 3
Oakland by 3
Green Bay by 4

posted by Howard_T at 05:14 PM on November 02

NBA Pick 'Em Week 3: No D in Cleveland Edition

Please amend my comment above to read: "Cleveland won't lose 5 in a row." They managed to lose 4 straight last night. What is wrong with these people?

posted by Howard_T at 11:26 AM on November 02

Astros Win World Series

Boston Marathon bombings followed by a Red Sox World Series win, not to mention the David Ortiz "This is our fu$#+-ng city" speech.

posted by Howard_T at 10:22 AM on November 02

NBA Pick 'Em Week 3: No D in Cleveland Edition

All was well until I dared to think that Cousins would try too hard against his former team and not play well. Instead the monster awoke and I wound up in negative territory for the week. It's a long season.

As the aircraft controlers say to aircraft on approach to an airport, "Continue your descent..." Knicks will obey well. Houston by 14. SLAM

The Cuban AC will run into a Clippers team that looks to rebound from a bad loss Los Angeles Clippers by 12. SLAM

I watched Coach Pop's team lose to Boston last night. They were missing 3 key players, were on the 2nd night of a back-to-back, and for most of the second half they did not look good. Kawhi Leonard is due back on Thursday, but Warriors had a bad loss this week too. Golden State by 6.

Trail Blazers (formerly known as a Chevrolet SUV) are one of those teams that lurks in the weeds and leaps out to surprise you. Portland by 14. SLAM

Cavaliers will sort this thing out soon enough, but for now they are in a downer. In the meantime, the Wiz are among the mass at 4-2 and appear to be OK for the early season. Cavs won't lose 4 in a row. Cleveland by 6.

Celtics start on a road trip to cowboy country. Celtics defense has solidified after the 0-2 start, and is now the 2nd best in the league. They will need every bit of defense they can muster, but it won't be enough. Oklahoma City by 9.

posted by Howard_T at 06:39 PM on October 31

Jerry Jones Leads NFL Owner Revolt Against Roger Goodell

I believe Kraft might have warned the other owners about Goodell's power during the Brady affair. Maybe they will begin listening now. Of course, as one of my least favorite talking heads was saying this morning, Goodell is doing exactly what the owners want him to do, but have now discovered that it is hurting the bottom line.

posted by Howard_T at 01:39 PM on October 31

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Why trade Garoppolo to a winless team for half of the state of Ohio

Some are reporting that the Cleveland offers were nowhere near what was being said at the time. It may be that a second round pick was the best they could have gotten then. The pre-season question was about Brady's health, and keeping Garoppolo was an insurance policy. Now the situation is that to keep Garoppolo after this season would cost about $24 million if they were to franchise tag him. Otherwise, he walks away, and the Patriots get nothing.

So who will be Brady's backup now? San Francisco has released Huard, a former Patriot. He sucks, but at least he knows how to get to the stadium.

posted by Howard_T at 01:33 PM on October 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

still am unsure what constitutes holding by an O-lineman.

So are about 30 percent of N F L officials.

posted by Howard_T at 01:24 PM on October 29

NFL Pick 'Em Week 8: Sacksonville Edition

I have just enough time before starting to cook dinner to get these picks done. Minnesota vs Cleveland is in England this week. Vikings had much success in England about 1000 years ago, principally against the brown-robed monks in their seaside monasteries. They raided Iona 2 or 3 times. You would think the monks might have learned something about defense. That tidbit aside, here are the picks.

Baltimore by 9 (From the Thursday Huddle)
Minnesota by 13 LOCK
Philadelphia by 16 LOCK
New Orleans by 16 LOCK
New England by 7
Cincinnati by 13 LOCK
Atlanta by 9 (Finally the Falcons beat an AFC East team)
Carolina by 10
Buffalo by 6
Seattle by 12
Washington by 8
Pittsburgh by 3
Kansas City by 17 LOCK

posted by Howard_T at 05:43 PM on October 27

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Kyrie Irving might not have loved the floor, but 24 points, 3 boards, and 7 assists speaks for itself. Putting Ojeleye on Antetokoumpo was a reaction to the loss to the Bucks last week. The key is to keep him from the spots where he is more effective with his shots, and most importantly to keep him from driving to the hoop.

What has never ceased to bother me is that defense in the NBA does not require great ability. It does require great athleticism, quickness, a lot of work, and the ability to move one's feet in order to get position. That said, my whole point is that if defense does not require one to be a superstar, why are so relatively few NBA stars noted for their defense?

posted by Howard_T at 01:39 PM on October 27

NFL Pick 'Em Week 8: Sacksonville Edition

Posted the following in today's huddle:

Sorry to drop 2 consecutive comments, but the NFL Pick 'em is not yet posted. For the record, Baltimore by 9. posted by Howard_T at 05:37 PM

I'll get the rest later.

posted by Howard_T at 09:13 PM on October 26

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Nineteen

Joni Mitchell described my situation quite well (check the standings over the past couple of weeks, then Google Joni Mitchell's hits). It has nothing to do with yellow taxis or parking lots either.

The scientists say cats see everything in shades of green. They cannot recognize Redblacks, so the kitties are in trouble. Ottawa by 8

Why would a Roughrider lay down for an insignificant little bird? There will be no Lark Ascending (neither the George Meredith poem nor the Ralph Vaughan Williams violin piece) in this one. Saskatchewan by 15

The Big Cats go to the airport to try out the Bombers. Lions have no hope of getting airborne in this one. Winnipeg by 14

It seems that most subscribe to the idea that the Stampeders will take a night off. It sounds reasonable, but the danger is that your starters will get a bit rusty. So what? Edmonton by 4

posted by Howard_T at 05:55 PM on October 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Sorry to drop 2 consecutive comments, but the NFL Pick 'em is not yet posted. For the record, Baltimore by 9.

posted by Howard_T at 05:37 PM on October 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Really? No talk about last night's game?

Tuned in to the WS after I watched the Spurs - Heat, which was a pretty good game until the Spurs broke it open late. It was 3 -2 Dodgers when I started watching, and then the home run derby began. For a while it looked like both managers would be indicted for improper use of pitching, but at the end Devenski was able to hold on. That last change-up to strike out Puig was absolutely nasty.

Joe Girardi out as Yankees manager

There is more to this than might meet the eye. The skinny is that Girardi had some problems communicating with his players. Firing him for one bad decision in the ALDS - one that ultimately made no difference in the outcome of the series - begs credibility. He will not have any problem finding another job. As far as Cashman is concerned, it appears that he has done a fair-to-middling job in rebuilding the roster after the aging veterans all retired. Certainly Judge and Sanchez have excelled, although Sanchez is a catcher made for the DH role. Starting pitching was an issue at times, but the bullpen was excellent. Unless there is a serious personality clash between him and team ownership, there is no reason to fire him.

posted by Howard_T at 05:33 PM on October 26

NBA Pick 'Em Week 2: Woe is Mavericks Edition

Some interesting things happening tonight and for the rest of the week. Let's see if we can get them right.

Kawhi Leonard missing for the Spurs, but Hassan Whiteside is missing for the heat. I still like Coach Pop. San Antonio by 9.

Ball's old man runs his mouth again, and "The sins of the father are visited upon the son." Gortat says it will be Hell on Ball. Washington by 11.

Celtics let a late lead slip away when the Greek Freak went off in Boston. They will be more ready in Milwaukee, but it won't be enough. Milwaukee by 4.

New Orleans injury list is almost as long as Crime and Punishment. Sacramento by 12 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 05:33 PM on October 25

FoxSports "pivot to video" decision has cost them almost 90% of their audience.

My own personal opinion is that the video is not for me. When I am visiting a sports site on the web, I will read what interests me, but if a video pops up, I will go elsewhere. I can read a lot faster than most people can talk, and my comprehension level for reading is better than it is for listening. Good, thoughtful writing, even if opinionated, is usually much better than talk. There are a few talking heads that are occasionally worth hearing, but they are neither consistently accurate nor consistently entertaining.

posted by Howard_T at 11:58 AM on October 25

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Does anyone have a spare eyepatch? Aaaaarrrrr.

posted by Howard_T at 05:05 PM on October 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

As some from coastal New England might say, "That were a real pea soupah." Best to drop the anchor and lay to for the night. Even the migrating birds, like Hawks and Falcons from the southern region, should stay down on days like that. Coach Bill, sailor that he is, had just what it took to safely reach port last night.

posted by Howard_T at 02:38 PM on October 23

NFL Pick 'Em Week 7: Brett Hundley Edition

Thursday game only. Couldn't get to the site all afternoon. Glad it's alive again.

Kansas City by 7 LOCK

I would have been better off to miss this one. Let's see if we have anything left. This week will either kill me or make me healthy again.

Buffalo by 7
Los Angeles (National Conference) by 13
Jacksonville by 6
Miami by 10
Carolina by 16 LOCK
Minnesota by 17 LOCK
New Orleans by 12 LOCK
Dallas by 9
Pittsburgh by 12 LOCK
Los Angeles (American Conference) by 4
New York (National Conference) by 8
Atlanta by 7
Philadelphia by 16 LOCK

posted by Howard_T at 04:35 PM on October 21

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Eighteen

Don't know if I'm in time, but here goes.

Roughriders and Stampeders. Who can hold the horses? Calgary by 12

Bombers doing an air strike on the big city. The anti-aircraft artillery is in place. Toronto by 6

Indigenous people face the Lions. They do better than the Christians. Edmonton by 14

Kitties vs Birds. Cats are too slow. Montreal by 16

posted by Howard_T at 08:26 PM on October 20

NFL Pick 'Em Week 7: Brett Hundley Edition

Thursday game only. Couldn't get to the site all afternoon. Glad it's alive again.

Kansas City by 7 LOCK

posted by Howard_T at 06:39 PM on October 19

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I didn't see the play live - Vestry meeting at church - but I have seen the replay a couple of times. Gruesome. They are saying dislocated ankle and broken tibia. Report is that the break is clean and there's no ligament or blood vessel damage. All that is good news, but he still won't be back before the playoffs, and may miss those.

posted by Howard_T at 12:07 AM on October 18

Enter SportsFilter's NBA Pick 'Em

Back late last night from Atlanta and the Vergers Meeting, so now it is time to flat lay the hammer on this thing. Here we go.

LeBron may be out or at least hurting, Boston is deep, quick, and unconventional.

Boston by 6

With Chris Paul to feed him, Harden might score abundantly, but not yet.

Golden State by 12 SLAM

Philadelphia must not be underrated, but Washington will be strong early.

Washington by 9

T-Wolves are going to surprise a lot of people, but then there's Popovich

San Antonio by 8.

Knicks take the first step down the road to a tank job. They don't have to try hard.

Oklahoma City by 19 SLAM

Whose sneakers will be over the wires outside the Staples Center? Not the purple ones.

Clippers by 16 SLAM

Bucks are in NBA "No-Man's-Land", too good to lose a lot, too bad to win a lot.

Cleveland by 11

New Orleans has the twin towers. Bet on one of them being gone by the trade deadline.

Golden State by 13 SLAM

posted by Howard_T at 05:01 PM on October 16

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

couple of bumpkin features reporters reviewing French specialty wines..

Preseason doesn't easily lead to insightful analysis. What the pair in question are attempting to do is twofold. First is to "sell" the team to the fans so attendance will stand up. I'm not sure this is really necessary this year; the Celtics cut off full season ticket sales some weeks ago. The second thing is to sell the broadcast to the viewers. NBC Sports Boston is heavily invested with the team (in broadcast time, not money), broadcasting not only the games but also a number of Celtics related features. Ratings must stay high, or else. Those like me who have been Celtics fans for a really long time make allowances for Tommy (Heinsohn) being Tommy and for Mike Gorman (play-by-play) just letting him run. We expect it, and while it grows old, we rather like it. It's very much like your aging uncle who tells the same corny jokes, but the fat envelopes at Christmas and birthdays make up for it.

posted by Howard_T at 06:09 PM on October 13

Enter SportsFilter's NBA Pick 'Em

Thanks, rcade, for once again taking up the unenviable task of running the pick 'em. I truly appreciate your efforts, and I enjoy attempting to impose my superior knowledge of all things hoops upon the other competitors. I will invoke the spirits of Togo Palazzi and Fat Freddy Scolari, along with the TD Garden Leprechaun, to guide my choices. Picks will be in on Monday, once I get back from Atlanta.

posted by Howard_T at 05:48 PM on October 13

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Seventeen

My picks for this week are in yesterday's Huddle. If you could move them or enter them, it will be appreciated. Thanks, Dr. J.

posted by Howard_T at 08:21 AM on October 12

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Seventeen

For the same reasons as above, please place these into the CFL pick 'em post. Bien merci.

Suddenly resurgent Tigercats host those wild horses. Cats shouldn't hang around the Calgary stables; they will get stepped on. Calgary by 17

Redblacks did well against the Lions last week. Looks like the road won't be such a rough ride. Ottawa by 3

Bombers host another variety of cat this week. This larger breed does well. BC by 6

Argonauts travel to face the team with the unpopular name. No Golden Fleece to be had here. Edmonton by 12

posted by Howard_T at 04:24 PM on October 11