Elster's World

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pre-Vacation Thoughts

Since I'll be out of the office next week for my kids winter break, here are some quick thoughts on sports:

- There seem to be more Knick rumors of shot down trades flying around; Balkman and Nate for Artest (like we need another insane forward on the team), Crawford package for Larry Hughes package (isn't that a step DOWN??), 2 different scenarios for Vince Carter (um, no thank you - we already have enough quitters on our team).

It's unclear if Isaiah Thomas is just being true to his word that all players are "untouchable" or if there is a Dolanian mandate not to add salaries. Either way, I'm not thrilled about any trade that adds salary to this team unless the Knicks are getting back a true point guard. Sadly, my trade scenario involving Andre Miller no longer makes sense because (a) since he's opted to take the rest of the season off, er I mean have surgery, Marbury is untradeable now until next year when he becomes an expiring contract and (b) despite the fact that he cannot score, David Lee should really be untouchable - he is one of only a few players who plays hard all the tie and he rebounds too well.

In the interim, the Knicks have won three straight and are playing their best basketball of the season. Jamaal Crawford is starting to show his otherworldly skills, taking over games at the rigth time AND at the same time, not making all the dumb mistakes that have plagued him up until now. And they want to trade him for Larry Hughes?

- The editor of Golfweek Magazine was fired today after putting a noose on the cover of the 'zine after the Kelly Tilgman's "lynching" comment about Tiger Woods. I wholeheartedly agree this guy deserves to get canned. Tilghman's comment, while idiotic, was harmless. Tilghman (who made the off the cuff comment, possibly with 2 seconds of thought) didn't seem to mean it in a racist way (though admittedly I don't know this). Tilghman got suspended (which I disagree with but I can certainly live with - I would have argued a public reprimand would have been enough) but Dave Seanor consciously made a decision to fan flames. Why? To sell a few more magazines that probably no more than 10 people read anyway? So bad judgement call on his part and he's paying the price.

- And now for what you truly want to hear, my predictions for this weekend's championship games.

Giants/Pack - Everyone seems to be waffling on this one. The Giants have a great D-line which can put pressure on Favre, making him less effective. Eli has been much improved and the running game (important in cold cold weather) is fantastic right now.

But here's the thing - Playing in zero degree conditions in Lambeau Field - one of the hardest places to play in general, with Brett Favre looking like a guy of destiny at 38 - with the freezing field and the crazy crowd and the frigid temperatures - who would YOU put your money on, Eli Manning or Brett Favre?

Exactly. Packers 24-Giants 17.

Pats/Superchargers - No one is waffling on this one. What's to say. Tom Brady is playing out of his mind, the Pats are healthy and the Chargers are not. Antonio Gates is hobbled at best and don't think for one second the evil coach Bill Belichick isn't giving the "sweep the leg Jonny" speech to his locker room about LDT. And Phil Rivers, even if he goes, hasn't practiced all week. How confident are you with Billy Volek out there? On the other hand, the Chargers can get at Brady, they have Cromartie blanketing Moss and Jammer on Welker and they have 2 game changing linebackers.

But in the end, let me quote Peter King:

"But football is such a great game because who could see the Jags winning twice at Heinz Field in a month and the Chargers defeating the Colts with Tomlinson and Rivers on the sideline? So I would never say San Diego doesn't have a chance -- especially after giving up 12 points a game over the last eight games. They'll send the house at Brady and hope to force some turnovers. But we've read that script throughout this season, and it always ends the same way."

Pats 34-Chargers 20.

Have a good week.


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