Monthly Archives: April 2012

Playoffs, Baseball, and the NFL Draft. One last blast of fun before summer :)

Hey folks,

Some might call this the beginning of the end for the sports year. Most would actually. I happen to enjoy baseball but I definitely agree that the landscape of sports is pretty quiet after the NBA Champion is crowned in June and before the NFL kicks off in September. Of course, the regular baseball season is happening, but even for a pretty big baseball fan like myself, 162 games becomes wearisome, you really only pay attention to trends as the playoffs come up. But, sports does go out in style with the NHL and NBA playoffs, which are typically amazing, and the NFL draft which never lacks storylines and intrigue. So—I felt like talking about it 🙂

Hockey: The NHL playoffs are more competitive than I personally can ever remember seeing them. However, NBC hates me and has elected to keep most of the games off NBC and onto the NBC sports network. Seeing as I don’t have cable, it means that the bulk of my hockey has been from reading about it. I did watch the Rangers/Capitals game one yesterday and it was awesome. I love that in the NHL, the college kids can get called in midseason, so a kid like Chris Kreider, who led BC to an NCCA title can come in and basically put the New York Rangers on his back for a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I wonder if anyone has ever won an NCAA title and a Stanley Cup in the same season. This is why i need a stat boy. Anyway, awesome game. The playoffs have been crazy competitive, lots of OT and close games (I watched the third period of the capitals/bruins game 7 that went to OT, holy smokes that was a close one).

Baseball: I’ll keep this brief because I have all summer to blog mocking things at the Red Sox and talk about how great the Yankees are. My thoughts from the first few weeks: The red sox are awful and Bobby Valentine, while he may be a good manager is a comical choice for Boston. The Yankees losing Michael Pineada, no matter how shady the deal was, is going to hurt them. Not now, but in September—-Yankees have ALWAYS had a problem with the rotation and with the bullpen, Pineada was going to be a STRONG 3rd in the rotation. It was going to be Sabathia, Kuroda, Pineada, Hughes and eventually Pettite-moving Garcia and Nova to the bullpen (although it may have been Nova in the rotation and not Hughes). That would be, to me, the most versatile and exciting rotation since Roger Clemens, El Duque, Pettite and Mussina.

Finally—I think the Washington Nationals might be the most exciting team I’ve seen in a while. They are LOADED with potential and are already talented and winning games (and this was supposed to be their “we’re almost there” year). I’m a loyal Yankees fan, but if anyone were looking to get into baseball by jumping on a bandwagon and wanted to win for the next 5-7 years, jump on the Nationals.

Finally, the NBA….So the playoffs started yesterday. I watched a bulk of the Knicks/Heat game (Which was a travesty) and then a bit of the Bulls game, but the Bulls game interrupted me from eating burritos with my brother so he won. Here’s what I took out of it though—-the two major injuries in game 1 should be a condemnation of the short NBA season and, if nothing else, there should have been a week or so between the last game of the regular season and the first game of the playoffs. I mean come the hell on, these guys played 66 games in 4 months, sometimes 3 in a row, no practice time, no time to rest or get treatment, what did you think was going to happen? Derrick Rose, the reigning MVP, who was hurt most of the season, tears his ACL in GAME 1 and Iman Shumpert of the Knicks, a far less important player to his team but still a pivotal part of a team that will lose to the Heat either way, tears his ACL in much of the same way.

Here’s what happened in NBA headquarters yesterday: “What happened in Miami? ACL OH S**&. Wait, it’s not LeBron. Whew OK, we couldn’t take the Tiger Woods-esque ratings hit. Shumpert isn’t a big deal, the Knicks will still draw viewers. What’s that? D-Rose? Someone put LeBron in a protective bubble”.

So basically, now the playoffs are inconsequential—here’s what happens: the Heat romp through the East, which they might not have done because the Bulls are really a better team but without Derrick Rose, they just aren’t quite spectacular enough. The Heat gets to the finals where they presumably play the Thunder. Here’s why that’s not bad for the NBA:

You have a small market team like the Thunder on the biggest stage against the Heat in, perhaps, the most compelling storyline in all of sports “Can LeBron win a ring and shut everyone up?”. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook could seriously give the Heat a run for it and all of America will actually notice. Next season, win or loss, Durant is a star, the Thunder are paid much more attention. The league wants the Thunder to win—-They want LeBron to always be close but never get it—what else drives the narrative. Unfortunately for the NBA, this has to be LeBron’s year, in my estimation. Heat will win in 6 and then we can start discussing if the Heat will unload Chris Bosh or sign Steve Nash (Bosh-probably not if they win a ring, Nash-maybe, still hard to say, a case could be made for Dallas or the Knicks).

A brief  discussion of the NFL Draft

Sorry, this is a long post but there is a lot of sports stuff going on. Overall, the draft was fascinating. The Cowboys coming up for Clayborne was ballsy and, unfortunately because I hate the effin Cowboys, will probably pay off. He’s an amazing talent and fits perfectly in their system. Maybe we can get him to date Jessica Simpson, that worked for Tony Romo 🙂

I liked the Panthers draft a lot, they drafted in places they really needed help, in the middle of the defense and on the defensive line. They got a guard in the second round which appears to be a good pick, although I was unaware of him before the draft. They did get a WR in round 4, so could be a good developmental WR.

I like the Jets draft mostly. They really needed some help on the offensive line and I don’t really think they did that. They needed a right tackle so bad. However, they did get a really good receiver (Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech) and the more i see of Quinton Coples (DE from my alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill) the more i love the pick. He’s a quick, versatile pass rusher who could play outside linebacker if put in a 3-4 set. I love that kind of defensive end and I think Rex Ryan will make some interesting moves with him at the end. Hopefully, they can sign an offensive lineman before the season otherwise Mark Sanchez may spend a lot of time on the ground (you know, or Tim Tebow :p)

Anyway, sorry for the long post, I hope you enjoyed it. Tomorrow I may blog again but I’ll try to make it non sports :). I have a few thoughts about TV/Movies I’d like to share.

NFL Draft Speculation

Howdy all. I figured I’d weigh in a bit preceding tomorrow night’s NFL Draft. You should know that if you read this blog you will read largely NFL rants as I am definitely a more rabid NFL fan than any other sport (although I love everything and am blogging while watching Game 7 of the Capitals/Bruins on my computer). Also—you should know, in the interest of full self disclosure, that I am a huge NY Jets fan. I also am a big Carolina Panthers fan as of recently, so I figured instead of being like ESPN and obsessing on the first few picks (although I do have a thing or two to say about them and will) I’d talk about those two teams and what I think they should/will do in the draft.

CAROLINA—

Carolina picks number 9 and in the first round I’d like them to take the linebacker out of Boston College, Luke Kuechly. He’s big, and a position of need the Panthers have. He’s a smart kid too, chose to go to BC for academic reasons, and I think with such a young team that is really going to go places, putting strong leadership and character guys on that defense will really be a good force. I don’t think that Morris Clayborne will fall to 9, but if he did, the Panthers need a corner real bad and that’s a move they have to make. They absolutely should pass on both Ryan Tannenhill and Matt Kalil. Carolina already employs Ryan Kalil, who was far more polished coming out of school than Matt.Later in the draft, I’d like to see them draft a wide receiver that can be developed and otherwise stick on the defensive side of the ball. Cornerback is a high need position.

NEW YORK—

The Jets are in an interesting in that they are good in a lot of places but great in only one (cornerback—-Darrelle Revis continues to be the most dominant lockdown corner in the league). So there are a lot of ways the Jets could go at 16, if they stay at 16. Recently, there has been a good bit of chatter that the Jets would consider trading up with the intention of taking Trent Richardson out of Alabama. Richardson had a great year, is an awesome back, and has been said to be better than Mark Ingram who also came out of Alabama, won the Heisman, and immediately contributed to the New Orleans Bounty Cheaters( the fact that they tape opposing coaches—they should be effing contracted and done away with. At the very least, Mickey Loomis better be Pete Rose’d from the NFL, immediately). Anyway, Richardson is great, but as most things it depends on what they have to give up. I’ve heard Shonn Greene and a later pick in the draft. I’d say if its a 3rd or lower pick—-then hell yes they have to take that. Richardson has some scouts saying he looks like Adrian Peterson and the best thing that could happen to Mark Sanchez is a competent running game behind him. Assuming the Jets don’t do something crazy and Jets like and trade (the jets are known for drafting all crazy like) then I think the best pick at 16 will be Courtney Upshaw, the defensive end out of Alabama. I’m a big defense guy, so I always am going to prioritize that side of the ball, but with Rex Ryan, the most important thing a defense can do is rush the QB and the Jets were flat (and that’s a kind way to put it) in that area last year. I’d really like a strong linebacker to play with David Harris, but I don’t think Luke Kuechly falls past Carolina and Upshaw is a beast. I could also see them going offense with Michael Floyd, the wide receiver out of Notre Dame. I think this is a FANTASTIC pick if they want offense, i just don’t think it’s the way they go. I like the offensive systems that are built around 2 WR, one small, chirpy and fast, one big, tall and will catch anything (see Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks super bowl). We tried that last year with Plaxico, but you also have to not be broken down and still hurting from prison rape. Floyd has a ton of potential, I like him at 16, but I really think the Jets go defense and if so, Upshaw is our guy.

As far as the overall draft picture, I like Luck and RG3. They are both really talented  quarterbacks and I’d be very happy with either of them on my team. Outside the top 2, I’m not crazy about the other top guys. I think Kalil is OK, offensive lineman are tough to come by so he’s a good pick for a team in need. I think Justin Blackmon is a punk, he at best ends up as Santonio Holmes (take it from a Jets fan, that’s not a good thing). I think that Morris Clayborne is good but not a game changer for a team and at the 1-6 positions that’s pretty much what you are hoping for. I think Ryan Tannenhill gets drafted at 8 by the Dolphins and if he doesn’t, he shouldn’t because if anyone is going to draft him, it is his old college coach (Mike Sherman) who is now the OC for the Dolphins.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the draft tomorrow night, go Jets, go Panthers, and GO RANGERS IN GAME 7 TOMORROW NIGHT!

Scott

BEER, SPORTS, MANLINESS

Hello, I am Scott. I will blog about beer, sports, and testosterone.

I am not as good of a writer as Sonya, so you should know when I’m posting. Also, She’ll probably be more regular than I am. I really don’t eat enough fiber.

Today, I’d like to do a combo post, because normally I’ll stick to one of my topics. However, I’d like to briefly talk about sports today and then tell you about my homebrew!

Sports:

All of this nonsense with NBA players being paid to play in the Olympics has been bothering me all day. The simple reason (as originally opined by Tony Kornheiser, but completely logical and true) is that other Olympians are given a small stipend, which the whiny, overpaid, NBA players also receive. I think the Dream Team era should be over and we should go back to having college players play in the Olympics. In this age of one and done anyway, it’d still be an awesome team. Can you see the starting five? Kendall Marshall, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Anthony Davis, Jared Sullenger and Thomas Robinson? Holy Balls. I bet they could beat the Bobcats.

(The whole “could the Kentucky Wildcats beat the professional horrible Charlotte Bobcats” is not really worth a discussion. The Bobcats would win by 15. You know why? They have every freaking first round pick in the past five years. They may be NBA busts but they definitely could beat Kentucky. In fact, one of the “great Kentucky 5” will most likely be a Bobcat and continue the age of suckitude under Michael Jordan. What a worthless debate.)

Beer:

So for my birthday, my amazing and wonderful girlfriend bought me a homebrewing kit, which is something I’ve wanted to get into for such a long time. I think that the next batch I brew, I will go step by step through the process so if someone stumbles upon this blog, they will be able to follow along and brew. However, given that I am learning myself, this is not the best batch to work that on.

I am brewing an American Amber, which if you want to compare to a store brand, is probably closest to a Sam Adams. I don’t really expect it to taste anything like Sam Adams as conventional wisdom states the first few batches of homebrew are barely above garbage (hopefully).

This weekend, I transferred my future beer from the fermentation tank to the cool plastic carboy my parents bought me. The reason that’s noteworthy is because fermentation tanks (which need to remain sealed) are white and you are not able to see into them. Carboys are clear. SO—this is the first chance I’ve had since I started fermentation to take a look at my beer. It looks and smells perfect (there is a picture on the page). I can’t wait to drink it!

The next step is to transfer it to bottles (with some sugar for the little yeastys to eat) and then 2 weeks till drinking! I think I’ll probably give it 1.5-2 weeks in the carboy.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back soon 🙂

This is the beer going into my carboy!

Doesn't that look like it will be delicious????

Gallo

Note: This wine came from Harris Teeter. 

Label: Gallo Family Vineyards, Sauvignon Blanc

Price: $6.50

Origin: California

Alcohol: 13%

We bought this wine to drink with Easter dinner. It was, much like the Vin-Koru, light and crisp. Overall, it was less fruity and, honestly, less remarkable. Still decent. Some Sauvignon Blancs don’t taste very good or taste too much like alcohol, and this one was very drinkable.

Scott’s rating: 5/10

Sonya’s rating: 6/10

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Lunch!

Nachos! Chips, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, jalapenos, and guacamole. Sonya has only recently decided she likes guacamole. She likes avocados. But not guacamole? Don’t ask. It’s been a lifelong argument.

Anyways. This was om nom nom.

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Vin-Koru

Label: Wine of New Zealand. Vin-Koru. East Coast Classic, Pinot Gris.

Price: $5.99

Origin: New Zealand

Alcohol: 13%

This crisp, fruity New Zealand wine took us by surprise. We often try to stay away from the Pinot Gris wines because, while we love a simple sweet one, they tend to be too sweet. But they were sampling this fun white bottle at TJ’s last week, so naturally we had to try it. It’s light and refreshing. It’s also easy to sip and luckily lacks an after bite–not often the case with an alcohol level of 13%. Definitely a good spring/summer wine, and a bottle that’ll be enjoyable to drink over the summer while watching new episodes of Burn Notice.

Scott’s rating: 6/10. Not his favorite, but he likes it.

Sonya’s rating: 9/10. Fun and fruity.

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