Recent Comments by jjzucal

Premier League Fantasy 2015-16 final results

We were tops at New Year's; top 3 percent worldwide. Everything looked rosy. Then, like Crystal Palace, we started a slow collapse. Held on to Ighalo far too long; Lukaku and Barkley were worthless; and I finally grabbed Kane and Lloris just in time for the nuclear meltdown.

At least we pulled a Big Sam and avoided the drop into the second division (which could have been called SpoFi for Losers). Maybe we should have hired Rafa to save us from ourselves.

posted by jjzucal at 09:21 PM on May 19

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

I referred to a shirt as a "jersey" (such as a hockey jersey), and, oh, the responses were nasty!

I presume Man United was going to use a lineup of mostly kids and reserves considering the FA Cup final on Saturday; presumably that will be more so since the match will be played Tuesday night.

As for the device being left after a security training session, that is head-shaking. One would think all objects used, and their sites, would have been accounted. The Twitterverse was insane: "Someone can bring in a package, but I can't bring in a bottle of water."

posted by jjzucal at 07:43 PM on May 15

Texas City Will Build $62.8 Million High School Football Stadium

According to the school district, majority of the bond projects are for district schools. Presumably that's why it passed with 66 percent of the vote.

posted by jjzucal at 08:49 PM on May 10

AHL Team Soaks Portland for $34M for Arena Renovations, Leaves After Two Years

I realize it is only a minor-league team, and presumably no one thought of a sale possibility during the five-year period, but even a 10-percent payout -- $3.4 million -- might have been enough to make a prospective owner deal with the city during the process. City officials and taxpayers became an afterthought at $100,000.

posted by jjzucal at 08:48 PM on May 06

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

The Guardian's Fiver column discusses Leicester's "ragbag assortment of cast-offs, journeymen and bargain basement buys" as well as Danny Rose's "apology" after the Spurs' match.

posted by jjzucal at 07:31 PM on May 03

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

The fight around the tunnel after the final whistle was a nice touch too.

Aw, I was like Ranieri ... I had a doctor's appointment so I didn't see the match! Guess I'll have to stumble upon some videos.

posted by jjzucal at 02:10 AM on May 03

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

Yet, it Tottenham fail to win, Claudio Ranieri may be the last to know his side's the Premier League champion. Nice to know he still has his priorities in order.

posted by jjzucal at 05:12 PM on May 01

Giants' John Mara: NFL May Dump Kickoffs

I've thought about using the Canadian version of having the choice of kickoff or scrimmage, only extending it to include after touchdowns (since the rule covers only field goals).

Teams with good return men might want to have the scoring team kick off; a team which needs to score late (as in a 2-minute drill) might want to take possession immediately. Keep the start at the 20-yard line.

posted by jjzucal at 08:08 PM on April 20

James Fallows Learns Something about British Soccer and Sarcasm

As one who was part of an organization (MyFootballClub) that now gives financial support (and material given we spent money to put match commentary on the Internet) to Slough Town FC, I take great umbrage at relating Slough (7th tier) to Aston Villa. Aston Villa performs like it'd have trouble in the Southern League Premier.

posted by jjzucal at 05:12 PM on January 21

NFL Network Airs 'Lost' Super Bowl on Friday

Thanks for the heads-up - I now have something interesting to watch tomorrow.

My first Super Bowl was Super Bowl VII: Miami over Washington in 1973 when Garo Yepremian saw his only "pass" (the ball slipped from his hand as he attempted to pass) be returned for a touchdown. I find it hard now to watch the games - they're so stretched out time-wise, especially with the halftime concert. I might pop in around 10 p.m. ET - if it's close, I'll watch it; if not, I'm sure I can find a history or science show to watch.

posted by jjzucal at 07:30 PM on January 14

Eagles fire Chip Kelly

According to a former colleague (from back in the 1980's), Kelly may have been chopped by the general manager who fired the previous personnel director and likely was dissed when Kelly became coach and personnel director.

How would Tennessee fans react if Chip Kelly and Marcus Mariota were reunited with the Titans?

posted by jjzucal at 03:11 PM on December 30

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17

Ignore what I previously wrote because karma bit me in the ass. When Cresswell is your leading scorer, it's a bad day.

I don't know what's worse, that we scored only 43 points or did it as I played the All-Out option.

posted by jjzucal at 09:21 PM on December 26

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17

On this Christmas Day ...

Dear Mr. Ranieri:

Thank you for your early Christmas present of having Mahrez take two penalties last week. It helped me have my best week (100 points) in the six seasons in which I've played the EPL's game. It also put me near the top 2 percent worldwide and, ahem, atop the SportFi league.

(I only wish that Smalling's header hadn't gone off the crossbar)

Love, J.J.

posted by jjzucal at 02:24 PM on December 25

Big league baseball beneath Big Ben?

I'm puzzled as to how baseball games could be played at Olympic Stadium. I've seen some photos that look like the track is being replaced with seating so that lower-level fans will sit closer to the field (or pitch, if you prefer). When MLB was in Australia in 2014, games were played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Unless the seating is retractable, I can't see playing there unless a high temporary fence was installed (presumably in left field), much like the L.A. Coliseum had when the Dodgers played there before their stadium was ready.

posted by jjzucal at 11:13 AM on November 26

Meet Leroy Stolzfus, the Amish Marathoner

Judging by the sole of the shoe, I'm guessing basketball shoes. I can't imagine him running in work shoes/boots. Perhaps Nike, adidas or another sport-clothing company could outfit him with solid black running shoes to match his slacks.

posted by jjzucal at 03:04 PM on November 23

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 13

Seems I don't have the "edit" link on my screen, so ...

Good news: Hart (2 pts) got ripped. Bad news: Cech (1 pt) also lost and Hart getting shredded meant Kolarov (3 pts) and Sagna (0 pts) also got smacked.

posted by jjzucal at 04:45 PM on November 21

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 13

For this week, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is most-added and West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet most-dropped.

I made that switch along with Smalling for Mertesacker, so I now have seven top-three (starred) players on the pitch.

I'm still with Mahrez as captain given Vardy has a hip problem (75% chance of playing), and Cech finally gets a start for us.

posted by jjzucal at 05:06 PM on November 20

CFL Playoffs Pick 'Em, Division Finals Edition

Ottawa by 11

Edmonton by 5



posted by jjzucal at 06:10 PM on November 19

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 11: Nobody Knows Anything Edition

Tennessee by 20

Atlanta by 13

Chicago by 10

Oakland by 14

Dallas by 3

Philadelphia by 17

Carolina by 11 (Threw Away My Keys Lock)

St. Louis by 2

N.Y. Jets by 14

Kansas City by 7

Minnesota by 6

San Francisco by 7

Cincinnati by 10

New England by 15

posted by jjzucal at 06:05 PM on November 19

Bill Belichick Refuses to Be NFL's Fashion Model

If Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi, Hank Stram and Dick Nolan were alive and on the sidelines, would they wear this stuff? No way in hell. I haven't read or heard of any blowback with Belichick; then again, the NFL receives millions in revenue just from Patriot hooded sweatshirts.

October had pink for breast cancer awareness and November is the camouflage for the veterans. Maybe December will have red, green and white in honor of Christmas, perhaps sell the items to help Toys for Tots and other children's organizations. Of course, Goddell would have to explain why there would be nothing for Hanukkah.

posted by jjzucal at 05:58 PM on November 19

Holly Holm Knocks Out Ronda Rousey in Huge UFC Upset

Yes, behind the left ear.

posted by jjzucal at 04:31 PM on November 15

CFL Playoffs Pick 'Em, Semi-Finals Edition

Toronto by 10

Calgary by 2



posted by jjzucal at 09:40 PM on November 14

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 10: David Tyree Edition

Buffalo by 11

Green Bay by 21 (you know this could be bad when Tron's the only one with a single-digit spread)

Carolina by 10

St. Louis by 6

Philadelphia by 3

Dallas by 15

New Orleans by 3

Baltimore by 14

Oakland by 10

Denver by 12

New England by 17 (we'll keep Master Locking here until Brady chokes)

Arizona by 17

Cincinnati by 20

posted by jjzucal at 07:08 PM on November 12

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 12

Usually I'd feel pretty good being in the top 3.4 percent (120,761st place) worldwide. Then I realized Hillbilly (29,813rd place) is in the top 0.8 percent.

My question: do I keep Mahrez as captain or do I move Vardy up from assistant against Watford? Eventually Vardy has to be blanked in a match while Mahrez can get goals and assists. I also could use scoring from ighalo.

I guess I'll keep Hart in goal - watch Aston Villa pump 3 past him while Cech blanks Spurs.

posted by jjzucal at 06:46 PM on November 06

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Twenty

Toronto by 7

Hamilton by 15

B.C. by 5

Saskatchewan by 13

posted by jjzucal at 07:33 PM on November 05

NFL Pick 'Em, Week Nine: Blaine Gabbert Edition

Cincinnati by 15

Miami by 4

Minnesota by 19

New England by 10 (Lock It)

New Orleans by 11

Jacksonville by 10

Pittsburgh by 2

Carolina by 3

San Francisco by 6

New York Giants by 12

Denver by 11

Philadelphia by 3

Chicago by 7

posted by jjzucal at 07:31 PM on November 05

U.S. TV viewers for the Premier League broken out by club

I presume Man City haven't been on NBC: the Twitter chart notes NBC appearances. The others should be NBC-related channels.

It doesn't take into account who watches what matches on Goal Zone. I have it on DirecTV and find myself watching Bournemouth a lot (as well as bouncing around the other channels). They're like Burnley last season: enjoyable to watch but they just can't get the points.

posted by jjzucal at 02:58 PM on November 04

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 11

I still have Vardy as my assistant captain. After scoring in 7 straight games, he's due for a duck. Hopefully Mahrez (captain, oh my captain!) will have a wonderful match.

Other than Vardy, Mahrez and Ighalo, the rest of my guys are playing clubs in the bottom half.

posted by jjzucal at 07:28 PM on October 30

NFL Pick 'Em, Week Eight: Waitin' All Week for Sunday Night

New England by 17

Kansas City by 10

Atlanta by 6

Minnesota by 3

Arizona by 10 LOCK ' EM UP!

St. Louis by 13

N.Y. Giants by 7

Pittsburgh by 12

San Diego by 7

Tennessee by 14

Oakland by 2

Seattle by 9

Denver by 13

Carolina by 6

posted by jjzucal at 09:09 PM on October 29

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Nineteen

Four points and still in the relegation zone.

Toronto by 11

Calgary by 17

Hamilton by 5

Edmonton by 13

posted by jjzucal at 09:04 PM on October 29

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 10

It's Sunday night ... 65 points ... and JOE HART GOT A CLEAN SHEET! I'm still debating about picking up Adrian from West Ham and chucking Hart or Cech.

posted by jjzucal at 10:06 PM on October 25

NFL Pick 'Em, Week Seven: Don't Snap It, Griff Edition

Seattle by 17 ... wait ... oh

Buffalo by 7 (On behalf of American football fans, I wish to apologize to The FA for sullying the long history of Wembley by sending low-quality competition)

Minnesota by 10

Tennessee by 3

New Orleans by 13

Pittsburgh by 10

St. Louis by 11

Miami by 15

New England by a LOCK BLOCK at 16 points Washington by 3

San Diego by 13

N.Y. Giants by 9

Philadelphia by 17

Arizona by 2

posted by jjzucal at 02:38 PM on October 23

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Eighteen

Toronto by 10

Hamilton by 13

Ottawa by 7

Edmonton by 17

posted by jjzucal at 02:30 PM on October 23

Fantasy Premier League, Week Seven

If Klopp moves his arm like a tomahawk, would the headline read, "Klopp Chops Kop?" When the inevitable comes, would it read, "Mop-Top Kop Chops Flop Klopp (Rodgers Returns for Second Stint)?

posted by jjzucal at 10:00 PM on October 16

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 6: Mike Tomlin/Tom Osborne Edition

Atlanta by 17

Cincinnati by 10

Denver by 15

Chicago by 10

Tennessee by 19

Kansas City by 6

N.Y. Jets by 13

Pittsburgh by 7

Jacksonville by 11

Seattle by 14

Green Bay by 4

San Francisco by 5

New England by 24 (Throw Away the Key Lock)

Philadelphia by 10

posted by jjzucal at 12:13 AM on October 15

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Seventeen

Another week of no games on ESPN2 so they can bring the important match-up between Northern Jibbip State and Whatsamatta University. Sigh.

Ottawa by 8

Toronto by 10

Edmonton by 11

Hamilton by 3

posted by jjzucal at 12:08 AM on October 15

Hawks Player Cleared Of All Charges in Police Nightclub Altercation

This is just another of the long list of what could be considered police misconduct cases. It goes back before Eric Garner's death, back before "stop and frisk" under Giuliani, and has not been limited to blacks and Latinos. Police also went after whites in Occupy Wall Street marches and Republican National Convention in 2008.

I don't know if they're taught to be aggressive, are naturally aggressive, or it's "'roid rage." Someone has to lasso in these guys.

posted by jjzucal at 08:03 PM on October 10

Fifa Suspends Blatter and Platini

At least there may be one good thing from all of Sepp's work: Guam (2-1-1) has a legitimate shot at Asian World Cup qualifying second round. Thanks for looking out for the little people (even if they are U.S. territories).

posted by jjzucal at 11:46 PM on October 08

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 16

Toronto by N/A

Hamilton by 7

Edmonton by 11

BC by 6

Toronto by 15

posted by jjzucal at 11:19 PM on October 08

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 5: Batted Ball Edition

Indianapolis by N/A

Atlanta by 5

Cincinnati by 10

St. Louis by 3 (sorry, Cheeseheads)

Tennessee by 12

Chicago by 17

Philadelphia by 6

Tampa Bay by 3 (might be 3-0 final)

Baltimore by 11

Detroit by 2

New England by 20 Master Lock

Denver by 7

San Francisco by 10

San Diego by 4

posted by jjzucal at 11:17 PM on October 08

Fifa Suspends Blatter and Platini

May I nominate, for the FIFA positions and board, us? Surely we couldn't harm the world in the way this crew has.

posted by jjzucal at 10:43 AM on October 08

The NHL Season Begins Anew!

Lemme guess ... the one Leafs' goal tonight or were they more interested in the Leafs than the Blue Jays?

posted by jjzucal at 10:49 PM on October 07

The NHL Season Begins Anew!

I don't know about cable systems, but DirecTV is showing a preview of NHL's Center Ice package starting tonight through Oct. 27.

posted by jjzucal at 05:44 PM on October 07

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Meanwhile, England's women won the 2014 rugby World Cup and were third in the 2015 FIFA World Cup. I guess success means not having a penis?

posted by jjzucal at 06:14 PM on October 05

Fantasy Premier League, Week Seven

Forgot to mention: transferred Ighalo in for Wilson. I'm a bit embarrassed to accept the 4 points for his goal (thanks, Mr. Boruc!).

posted by jjzucal at 06:10 PM on October 05

Fantasy Premier League, Week Seven

65 points; I'll get 9 more from Vardy (alt. captain since Mahrez didn't play), could have had 6 more had I put Mertesacker above Cresswell in subs (Mertesacker was "questionable").

I gagged when I saw the 164-point team. Used Aguero as the triple captain.

posted by jjzucal at 05:34 PM on October 04

Coke, Bud, McDonald's and Visa Demand Sepp Blatter Quit Immediately

I can't call up the article (I think my computer is in its death throes), so I don't know if this was mentioned in it.

If he doesn't go, will the companies ditch at the end of their contracts? Will Coca-Cola allow Pepsi to get in? MasterCard instead of Visa? Heineken instead of Budweiser?

Nothing will happen, Sepp will serve until the election, and these companies will continue to reap the financial benefits.

posted by jjzucal at 04:35 PM on October 04

Fantasy Premier League, Week Seven

My heart (and team) sank when I saw Wilson fall sideways - it screamed "severe" knee injury. Of course, there was the big fat zero from defense and Joe Hart.

posted by jjzucal at 04:06 PM on October 02

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 4: First-Place Jacksonville Edition

Going with a couple of shockers:

Pittsburgh by 12

Miami by 16

Atlanta by 11

Buffalo by 3

Oakland by 3

Kansas City by 10

Indianapolis by 20

Tampa Bay by 5

Philly by 14

San Diego by 7

Denver by 18 (Chop Lock of the Week)

St. Louis by 2

Green Bay by 6

New Orleans by 17

Seattle by 5

posted by jjzucal at 03:59 PM on October 01

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Fifteen

As we try to stay out of the relegation zone we've escaped:

Ottawa by 5

Hamilton by 7

Edmonton by 5

BC by 13

posted by jjzucal at 11:22 AM on October 01

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

Zero points from the defense and GK. Messrs. Kolarov, Sagna, Gomes and Hart: thank you for playing. We have some nice parting gifts backstage.

posted by jjzucal at 03:27 PM on September 27

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

That works for the overall but possibly not if you're in head-to-head leagues or when cup matchups begin.

Just looked at the overall, and I see I'm in an area in which I've never been: top 6 percent of the world. MUHAHAHA!

posted by jjzucal at 07:47 PM on September 25

Ole Miss Fan's Jaw Broken After Win at Alabama

Ah, the good old days when winning fans would shout at losing fans who walked with their heads bowed in defeat. Further, this was a nice lesson the (presumably) father taught the children: if someone ticks you off, beat the hell out of them ... knives and guns also work.

With such a large crowd, it'll be unlikely the guy will be found.

posted by jjzucal at 09:52 AM on September 25

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 3: Indy's Bad Luck Edition

N.Y. Giants by 15

Oakland by 4

Dallas by 10

Indy by 13

Pittsburgh by 17

Minnesota by 3

New England by 20 (Front Door Lock of Week)

Philly by 11 (if Bradford can stay alive given the O-line)

Baltimore by 7

Tampa Bay by 5

San Francisco by 10

Miami by 6

Chicago by 2

Denver by 19

Green Bay by 10

posted by jjzucal at 08:20 PM on September 23

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Fourteen

Calgary by 12

Edmonton by 17

Ottawa by 3

Montreal by 12

posted by jjzucal at 08:14 PM on September 23

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

I believe the options are one-time only in the season. I won't be using the bench-scoring this week; my 3 players haven't played much, but I've been tinkering with the starting XI for a few weeks. I'll go looking now, especially since I have 9 million in the bank.

posted by jjzucal at 07:39 PM on September 22

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

I had Pelle, too. Finished with 72 points (no Monday players). That Man Chitty game will haunt me for a while.

As for Costa, I'd be curious to see if he gets retroactive punishment. Oh, it's Chelsea ... had it been a Bournemouth player, he'd be banned for a few matches, but it's Chelsea so all's cool. Don't want to get Jose's panties in a bunch!

posted by jjzucal at 03:53 PM on September 20

Fantasy Premier League, Week Six

I used my triple captain on Mahrez - 33 points, but ...

Guess who had Hart, Kolarov and Sagna (4 points combined) AND Cazorla (minus-1 with the red card) on the pitch? With the MC players, I guess that's the danger of having three players from one club, especially on the defensive side.

posted by jjzucal at 06:33 PM on September 19

NFL Pick 'Em, Week 2: Teddy Bridgewater Fail Mary Edition

Denver by 10
Buffalo by 7
Green Bay by 11
Seattle by 10
Jets by 6
Miami by 15 (Lock 'Em Up!)
Cleveland by 3
Kansas City by 17
New Orleans by 3
San Diego by 12
Denver by 13
Oakland by 2
Tennessee by 14
Giants by 5
Philadelphia by 9
San Francisco by 14

posted by jjzucal at 06:00 PM on September 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Thirteen

Calgary by 5

Hamilton by 13

Saskatchewan by 3

Montreal by 7

posted by jjzucal at 05:56 PM on September 17