Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coloma vs Watervliet: The Final Meeting

As you may have heard, Coloma vs Watervliet will play their final football game this year.  This will be the 102nd meeting between the two schools, with a rivalry starting over 100 years ago.  The two communities are close, in location and in family ties, will see their final game which abruptly announced this game will be the last.

With Coloma joining a new conference, the Wolverine, Coloma can play intra-conference games for their non conference games instead of what they have had to do in recent years, traveling to places like Hamilton High School, or having teams from Canada or Indiana come to McDaniel's Field. The downside is that the big game at the beginning of the year is gone.  Sure, the rivalry isn't what it used to be, with the teams being a less than competitive in recent years, and the game traditionally being at the end of the year.

But its a shame to see the game go away forever.  It is something I have looked forward to for the last 15 or so years, when I started going to Coloma games.  I remember the 100th game, with the throwback jerseys, the introducing old players before the game and all the celebrations.  Coloma won that contest, as they did my senior year game.  Last year Coloma wasn't so lucky in the final game in Coloma, but I thought the rivalry would continue.

Working at the local grocery store, I remember talking to customers and coworkers about the game.  Everyone was always really excited for it.  There was always a lot of bragging going on.  Sure, it was small town Michigan high school football, but the rivalry was real and intense, and a lot of rivalries can't say that. 

Its terrible this game is ending.  Its more awful that in 20 years, 30 years down the road, I will tell people about how when I was a young football fan, Coloma had a truly great and long rivalry with the team down the road. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

NCAA 12: What We Have Been Waiting For

NCAA Football came out about a month ago today.  So I have had plenty of time to play it through and try out all the game has to offer.  So here is my review.

If you have not already bought this game, do it soon.  It has the best, smoothest game play I have ever seen for any football game, Madden, NCAA or QB Club 1999.  The running engine has been overhauled, again, which at first I was not pumped about, but after playing I see why they did it.  I don't know if I could go back and play an older game after seeing this.  The running backs can make real cuts and accelerate like they should.  The tackling system is better too, with no more magnet style movement to the runner no matter if your the defensive player or not.  This makes the game much more enjoyable and easier to play. 

The graphics are better this year, as they always are.  But this year they are actually impressive.  They removed a lot of the glitches and added 3D grass.  The players look more realistic the stadiums have their own identity.  The fans are louder and look like people, not cardboard cut outs.  The atmosphere, with custom team entrances, feels like college and not like Madden comes to campus. 

The new features, such as starting as a coordinator and climbing up the coaching tree, or playing both sides on Road To Glory, makes the game more fun and deep.  I can play both and one doesn't overtake the other.  The little changes to the dynasty mode, as improved recruiting and custom schedules and conferences, makes the game more how college football should be, exciting and unpredictable. 

I can honestly say this is the best NCAA Football game I have ever played, and the best football video game ever.  Period.  They took the problems that has been plaguing the game, fixed them, and then fixed things that weren't really broken.  It is nice to see EA really try after taking a decade or so off with no competition.  I can only hope the same effort was put into Madden 12, which comes out at the end of the month.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lets Not Forgot Those Who Won

This week sports fan got a special treat as the NHL and NBA concluded and for many people their dreams came true for those who lost.  LeBron and the evil Heatles lost in 6 games to the team oriented Dallas Mavericks, who have only one superstar on their roster.  Luongo and the choke artist Canucks once again blew a lead in a series to be outplayed down the stretch.  But I feel like lost in all of this joy of the villains losing, we will forget the achievements of the heroes, much like every Superman movie ever. 

I just hope that people can successfully balance out LeBron losing with Dirk winning.  Dirk had a great story, a redemption story, versus a superstar version of the team that did it earlier this decade.  Sure, LeBron made a bunch of people angry but he didn't lose as much as Dirk won.  Look at Jason Kidd, who turned his career around by learning how to shoot a basketball.  Sure, the Big Three will probably get a title if basketball is played within the next few years.  But, lets not let the hatred for the losers cloud our judgement.

Same with the NHL.  A lot of people rooted against Vancouver because they had some players that rub them the wrong way, because they wanted to see that Canadian drought run longer, or because they have been built up into a great team.  But Tim Thomas, the NHL's Dirk, won his first cup and possibly the Vezina in a few weeks.  He battled in the minors for years to finally get a shot to win.  Boston has waited as a city for so long for a title from their sometime forgotten Bruins. 

 I just hope five years from now, we see this is as the month where Dirk and Thomas overcame the odds and waiting for years to win titles in their sports, not lost titles for two all star teams. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Glad To Be Back

It has been almost two months since I last wrote on STWWC.  And it was only about once a month before that.  Much less than at my height of almost everyday.  Work and school has really been keeping me busy, but now since its just work for a while, it isn't so bad.  Time away has made me think how much I miss doing this and miss writing my opinions at sports.  Some other factors have contributed to my not being around. 

The Cubs are awful. Awful and with little hope of improvement in the next five years.  Now we are looking to compete in 2015 at the earliest. 

The Red Wings losing was very disapointing.  Hopefully they turn it on and sign some big free agents to generate some excitement.  Otherwise, I can't see this team winning a title.  They have money now use it.

Oh and one thing,


I didn't think it would affect me so much.  Being away from Pro football, not knowing when It will come back.  I did say I wouldn't care until July, when camps are supposed to be opening and actual football was really close.  I was so wrong.  The draft was less interesting now than ever.  And the Lions had a great weekend!  It was just sad.  I'm sad there is no free agency or UFA signings.  Why haven't they settled this?  Are they waiting for one side to blink?

Well, I'll try to be on here more.  Being away has made me miss it for sure.  But unlike the NFL, I want to come back and not argue all summer over splitting up 9 billion dollars. Yeah I'm bitter!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Detroit Lions Wish List: A Draft The NFL Forgot

This is a tough year for the NFL, with the lockout in effect and the possibility of missing real game time exists.  In the mean time, lets act like its not happening and focus on the NFL Draft.

The last few years, the Draft has been something I looked forward to as my Super Bowl every year.  We seemed to always have very high picks and always had an idea of who we would take before March.  Luckily, the Lions actually won some football games and have the thirteenth overall pick, with multiple options to be taken.  Let's look at the Lion's option for this month's player selection ceremony. 

Biggest Needs:

OT:  I know people say Jeff Backus is underrated and the whole offensive line isn't that bad.  But Backus gave up kill shots and the Lions need to start thinking about replacing him.  There is some good depth at this position this year and may be some options in the second round.  Godser is in a make or break season this year, and although he looked better last year, he still isn't where I'd like to be on the offensive line.

OLB:  This is a huge need, with our options being a bunch of special team guys or Bobby Carpenter, who never lived up to the hype in Dallas when the Lions claimed him.  Lots of options here, but maybe not at 13.

CB: Houston looked pretty good last year, better than I expected.  He is a good one, probably a great two on other teams.  We need someone to pair with him to help out the other side.  Alphonso Smith looked good at nickel, and is still young.  I think he should stay there and make plays like last year.  I know he got destroyed a few times next year, but the potential is there.

Wishlist:  Maybe not as big of needs, but stuff I would like and feel better about:

Resign Stanton, or draft a young, developmental QB.  Stanton showed flashes of being a good solid backup, maybe even a successor to Shaun Hill is a longterm backup.  Then again it could just be a few games and he might search for a starting job somewhere.  A late round flyer would be nice for a QB to groom as a new backup, something everybody else in the league seems able to do. 

Another Running Back:  Jahvid Best should be good, maybe even special, but he can't do it alone, and Kevin Smith isn't the answer and Morris is aging.  A new tough running back, maybe even in the second  round.  It could go a long way to help the offense and balance out the team. 

Wide Receiver:  Nate Burleson is solid but needs to stay healthy and play better.  Megatron is a top five in the league talent.  Behind them, there isn't much talent.  A new WR should be brought in to help the offense and help Calvin not be triple covered every play.  The Tight Ends help the situation with their pass catching but there is still work to be done. 

Right Guard:  Get extreme, get a new right guard.  Peterman looked lost and regressed in a penalty filled, injury marred season.  A new Guard could do wonders for the run and pass protection for the potentially All-Universe offense the Lions could run. 

Players Weston Corbitt Likes:

TJ Yates, UNC
Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin
Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M

Running Back:

Ryan Williams, VA Tech
Daniel Thomas, Kansas State
Shane Vereen, Cal

Wide Reciever:

Torrey Smith, Maryland
Titus Young, Boise State
Terrence Toliver, LSU

Offensive Tackle

Nate Solder, Colorado
Tyron Smith, USC
Mike Person, Montana State

Offensive Guard:
Orlando Franklin, Miami, FL

Outside Linebacker
Casey Matthews, Oregon
Von Miller, Texas A&M
Bruce Carter, UNC

Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
Jimmy Smith, Colorado
Ras-I Dowling, Virginia

A lot of these positions could be filled by the end of the year with some good young players developing.  Then again, until at least half of these holes are filled, the Lions won't ever make a deep run into the postseason. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Two Year Anniversary

With today being March the 12th, we have arrived at the second birthday of Season Tickets With Weston Corbitt.  First I'd like to thank my fans, my family, my friends, all my readers (which include John Madden, Tom Izzo and Calvin Johnson) for supporting this blog over the years.  All my guest bloggers who brought a better experience for people.  And all the other great blogs who have shown me some love.  It makes it all worth it.

Sadly, I don't have the time I would like to blog and write like I used to.  I have been pretty busy with school and work this year and although I try to make time to write its still hard to find the time.  I will keep writing, hopefully more than the past few months, and hope over the summer to really write a lot about my number one passion. 

The blog has come a long way, since the ESPN news feed style stories to actual kind of good writing.  I have included my family and friends, which is the most fun I have had blogging.  The playoff picks to season predictions has been a lot of fun to think of and see on my screen.  I have so much fun doing this and I hope to for many more years past this. 

So, much like the first blog, I follow MSU and their march to madness.  This year has been rougher than the last two, but still they are alive and that is more than I could say a few weeks ago.

Thanks for reading and I hope you can continue to read and find the joy I have writing these fun little posts on my views on sports. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tiger Woods: What’s the next step?

My friend Alex Johnson is a golf expert.  Playing, watching, following and analyzing.  To better cover the entire sports world, I asked him to cover golf for STWWC for the majors, players and other stories in golf.  Here is his first entry, and although it is a little different than what I write, I think you will like it.

In the past year and a half or so, Tiger Woods has gone from having not only the Golf world wrapped around his finger, but the entire sporting world. He was the most adored athlete across the globe.  Americans loved him because he was the world beater, and he belonged to us. China loved him because he was a proven winner, and they respect that. Hell, he gave the Black and Asian communities common ground (Tiger’s mother is Taiwanese, his late father a Black American war veteran.) He was loved the world over.

 Then he crashed his BLACK Cadillac (an AMERICAN company) while wearing clothes made in an ASIAN country  into tree and fire hydrant. Symmetry.

You all know by now that he is divorced, loves feeding his kids mac and cheese more than going to the range, and is $150 million lighter in the wallet. I am all for the institution of Marriage and what it stands for, but Tiger’s biggest mistake wasn’t having sex with all those women. Tiger’s biggest mistake came when he said “I do.” Without those two words, Tiger Woods is simply golf’s Derek Jeter. Big sports star gets a ton of action and nobody cares because “Hey, he’s a single guy.”

The Masters saw Tiger return to professional golf. He played to a T4 finish and everyone thought “This guy hasn’t missed a beat.” Then Tiger shot his worst competitive total last year at Firestone, a venue he dominated. He made a run at a few other tournaments, and was leading after 54 holes at his own tournament the Chevron World Challenge. Tiger Woods after 54 holes doesn’t lose. Until Graeme Mcdowell caught him and handed him a nice second place finish worth $650,00. Don’t feel too bad for the guy.

Now it is 2011, Tiger is 15 months or so removed from his last competitive victory. He’s dropped Hank Haney as his swing coach, Swedish Supermodel Elin Nordegren as his wife, his sex addiction, his #1 spot in the Official World Golf Rankings, and seems to be completely lost as to where to go now.
Don’t worry Tiger, I’m here to help.

Sean Foley is now working with Tiger on his swing. I have seen a couple major changes in this new swing as compared to the Hank Haney swing and the Butch Harmon Swing.

The Harmon swing was just a full out, guns blazing slash at the ball. His hips began to clear before his hands got set at the top. His swing plane was much flatter, and the speed at which his body unwound was unreal. It was more of a power and talent swing then. It literally tore his knee apart. So after 8 Major titles and a couple knee surgeries, he made the decision to let go of Harmon, and begin working with Hank Haney.
The Haney swing saw Tiger’s plane go more upright, a more refined swing. It didn’t torque his knee as much, and saw the emergence of deadly precision with the scoring clubs from anywhere on the course. Through both swings, Tiger’s putting was phenomenal. You expected him to make every putt in a clutch situation, just like Rocco knew he’d make that curler on the 72 hole of the 2008 U.S. Open. Tiger doesn’t miss those putts, ever. End of discussion. 6 more Majors and another knee surgery – why not, let’s switch coaches again.

And this brings us to present times and coach. Sean Foley. Sean has worked with Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Sean O’Hair. They are all solid players. They all have about the same problem. Short game and consistency. Justin Rose won twice in a month last year, haven’t heard of him since. Hunter Mahan has a short game that makes most weekend golfers think they could hang with him from 50 yards in. Sean O’Hair just doesn’t make sense, weak as they come on the PGA Tour if you ask me. So what does this have to do with Tiger?

Since working with Mr. Foley, Tiger’s short game has looked average at best in spots, and downright awful in others. He stills shows flashes of brilliance, but not nearly as often as we are accustomed to. Tiger is missing greens from the middle of the fairway with a short iron in his hand. Never happened with his old swing(s). His putting is also average, now you wonder if he still has the magic stick when it comes to crunch time.
Tiger is just mentally shaken. He is torn between trying to make a golf shot and make a golf swing. Yes folks, they are different. You think about the mechanics of your swing during your swing, making a good golf shot becomes damn near impossible. And you aren’t Tiger Woods.

The sooner Tiger can get his mind off of where his hands are supposed to be at the top of his swing or when to fire his right hip and just trust what he has done on the range, the better of fhe will be. And he has to switch putters. The Titleist he has been using isn’t working for him anymore. He’s playing more like the weekend duffer than he has since he was 4 years old, might as well give some new equipment a try like the rest of us do.

I do think that Tiger will get comfortable enough with his swing to win a golf tournament this year. No Majors. But he will win a tournament by a couple shots, I’m guessing at the end of the year some time. Once he gets that taste of victory back, everybody else better get ready.
They’ll be playing for second place once again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Sister’s Playoff Pick Winning Blog: Twilight: The Series/Romance Story/Teen Obsession Of The Early 21st Century

As you may know, my sister won the playoff pick contest between me and my family.  Her prize?  A blog written by me about a subject of her choice.  So ladies and gentleman, the phenomenon known as Twilight:

In the Twilight movies (and I assume books) it basically revolves around a girl and her choice between living with werewolves for the rest of her life, staying human and collecting casino revenue from her new husband, WMU student Taylor Lautner.  Or she can choose to be a vampire with a group of about 14 other really good looking vampires and live a rich and pampered vampire for the rest of her undead life with absolutely no downside to being a vampire at all.  Meanwhile, she does normal high school stuff like go to dances, try to help her 27 year old friend deal with being prettier and more Oscar worthy, going to chemistry class and try to find a lab partner and hang out with dad, who is by far the best character in the entire series. 

Along the way, the vampires and werewolves fight because they do in every other movie dating back to Abbott and Costello meets Dracula and the Wolf Man Fighting over Something.  It is really getting old.  Don’t zombies fight somebody nor have feuds?  Why is always those two?  Anyways, they fight over protecting her and keeping her safe because although she is incredibly normal, she is special and this point is told to us about 30 times a scene.  Just accept the fact she is special and the whole thing goes by smoother. 

The first movie is basically where we all know everyone is a vampire but Bella is oblivious to it all.  Her better looking and more outgoing friend tells her they all can’t be out in the light, that they are pale, that the keep to themselves, they don’t like garlic in their Italian food.  Bella kind of wanders aimlessly and meets some new friends while she is awkwardly friendly towards everyone in the town of about 354 people.  Her dad, by far the best character in the series, has a legendary mustache and is the town’s sheriff, trying to solve the mystery of all the vampire related deaths started by a clan of other good looking youthful strong vampires that just came into town.  The vampire, Edward, hates the werewolf, Jacob, thus explaining Team Edward and Team Jacob stuff you have heard on Burger King Commercials.  Some guy dies in the end.  That is the first movie.

The other two films that have been released (out of five movies) were mostly the same, where there is some fighting, some other bad vampires, the enemies teaming up for some reason, and Bella not knowing what is going on.  Luckily, her dad’s mustache is there to bring us some masculinity in this movie series.  Dakota Fanning is in one of the movies for no reason too. 

Overall, it’s not a terrible movie series, and it’s even better if you throw in some rifftrax.  You can do much worse to waste an afternoon watching some of these movies.  To improve the final two movies, I’d have the soundtracks done by the classic metal band Europe; add a few machine guns, and Bruce Willis and Bill Murray.  Then, the movies could be watchable for people of all ages.  And all the boyfriends dragged to these movies could resist chewing their arms off before the movie is over.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Super Bowl 45: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

This year was a tale of two Super Bowls.  The actual game, the contest, the battle for first place in the NFL and pro football immortality was incredible.  The game had a little of everything and both teams played great.  On the other hand, well, that's the bad and the ugly.

The Good:  The game was great.  It had everything.  It had a possible come from behind win that was thwarted by a (non controversial call, sorry Troy) great play by the stout Green Bay defense.  Green Bay jumped out to a quick lead, but knowing how the Packers play combined the experience of the Steelers, I projected a close game still.  Aaron Rodgers started strong, then took some time off to go talk to Erin Andrews, then came back in and led the Packers to the promise land.  His receivers did him no favors, but in nobody has done Rodgers any favors in his life.  He had to go the JUCO route, transfer to a college who wasn't even scouting him, then fall down the first round when his favorite team didn't want him.  His well documented wait to start behind a legend, then replacing said legend means he was under a ton of pressure and had to battle for all that he has earned.  I'll wait for his movie (directed by the excellent Tommy Wiseau) to come out in a year or two. 

The Steelers were resilient and fought back, but were in too big of a hole to win.  They played well, but gave away the ball too much to compete with the flawless Rodgers.  Their defense didn't play as well as they needed to stop the Packers offense more than they did, since they were bailed out by some ugly drops.  Overall, a good game, with some big plays and unbelievable magic by two Pro Bowl caliber QBs. 

The Bad:  The commercials were once again lackluster.  Most weren't funny, and that was because they weren't trying to be.  It is OK to try and be artistic, or going for something more than the usual slapstick comedy.  I enjoyed the Pepsi Max commercials a lot, and the little Darth Vader commercial was cool.  Good for Brisk Ice Tea for coming back and making a solid commercial, and for Chrysler for making a great (although overrated) commercial for Detroit.  And Kim Kardashian was very excellent as well.  Most of the usual beer and talking baby commercials weren't very good, and the Groupon commercials were awful and not funny.  Nice first attempt, now go away.  I am just glad there isn't forty Go Daddy commercials to break down today.  One is more than enough.

Outside of commercials, the NFL mishandled the whole Super Bowl.  Sure, Dallas is not used to snowfall like they saw this last week.  But they could have made a better effort to fix the situation or bus people in.  And Dallas is getting none of the blame, when Detroit was getting all the blame for their weather in August before the season started in 2006.  Obvious politics played by the NFL about their cities.  Dallas, media darlings and ESPN sweethearts, gets a pass on this terrible mishandling while downtrodden Detroit gets dismantled on every media imaginable when a little snow falls. 

On top of the unfortunate weather, printing off of too many tickets, or not getting enough seats ready, or whatever the excuse, is no excuse.  Three times the ticket price is nice, but it wouldn't cover the disappointment of not seeing the Super Bowl.  Trying to set the overall attendance record for the Super Bowl (it got third place) seemed to be at all cost.  Now they just look dumb.

The Ugly:  The Music of the Super Bowl.  Bottom line.  Christina Aguilera spent too much time trying to jazz up the anthem and forgot how to sing the lyrics.  I know people say its a lot of pressure, but I would think she is used to it by now.  I know shes had a rough year, with a divorce, a terrible box office bomb of a film and now this, but it was still pretty bad. 

The Glee girl was all right.

The Half Time show was just terrible.  I liked having the classic rock lineup the last decade, with Prince and The Boss doing a great job.  The Who were terrible, and some were lackluster.  But the Black Eye Peas were bad.  They were lame, stale and the guests (Slash and Usher) did nothing to spice things up.  I didn't even know they were even to appear.  The presentation was bad, there were many errors and it just didn't feel like the best the NFL could have done.  There is always next year, and don't screw it up.

For the Super Bowl Picks, my entire family was right to believe in the Packers.  My brother Aaron came the closest to the final score out of all of us.  My sister Mary already locked up the win, and went 10-1 in the playoffs this season.  I got second place with 8-3, and successfully picked the NFC and NFL Champions in the beginning with Green Bay, the only one out of my family to do so.  Here are the final standings for the Playoff Challenge 2011:

Mary: 10-1
Weston: 8-3
Mom: 7-4
Dad: 6-5
Sam: 5-6
Aaron: 4-7

For her grand prize, my sister gets creative control over my blog for one whole day.  Whether its telling me what to write of writing herself, she can do what she wants on Season Tickets all day.  I know, be jealous.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Preview

Its so close now I can feel it.  The Super Bowl, my favorite holiday, the biggest game in football history and overall amazing day.  We have two classic Super Bowl champs playing this year, after a decade of fresh faces and first time champs. 

For this version of the Steelers, its their third trip to the big game, winning the previous two.  Big Ben is going for his third ring before hes 28 years old.  Most of the team has played for a title before.  Tomlin has won one Super Bowl before, over the Cinderella Cardinals.  Their only major injury is Pouncey and his broken ankle.  He says he should play.  But even being very hurt, it'll be hard stopping BJ Raji. 

These Packers aren't the same Packers that went to back to back Super Bowls in the mid nineties.  Only two players have Super Bowl experience.  The list of injured Packers could fill up their own blog.  Most of the defense is hurt, and the Ryan Grant was lost long ago.  The Packers have rallied and their backups have stepped up.  They really needed the time off to rest and get healthy. 

The venue this year is incredible, maybe the best so far.  The giant jumbotrons, retractable roof, largest crowd in Super Bowl history all make Jerry's World football Mecca on Sunday.  Sure, we'll all have to find something to watch during halftime, and listen to Troy and Buck for three hours, but this could be the greatest spectacle in western civilization. 

Why the Packers will win:  The Packers will be able to run the ball on the Steelers like the have on everybody in the playoffs.  Aaron Rodgers shakes off the bad game in Chicago and has a big game for the Pack, like he did in 2009 in Pittsburgh.  He gets in a groove early, and doesn't turn the ball over (much) and the offensive line holds up.  Outside of the Hair, the Steelers secondary isn't spectacular and all the talented Packers weapons need to show up.  Quarless could be a big factor, running over the middle and finding seams for big gains.  The Packers have to be better in short yardage situations than in Chicago.  The weather and the dome being closed helps Green Bay more than Pittsburgh.  Green Bay can win a shootout, or a defensive struggle. 

Why the Steelers will win:  The Steelers run all over the Packers, controlling the clock, momentum and the game.  Big Ben makes his big plays and throws many timely passes.  The Steeler defense destroys the Pack's oline, and Aaron Rodgers gets beat up and turns the ball over, having a game like he dad in the NFC Championship game.  Starks can't run on the Steelers defense, and Green Bay is forced to go one dimensional.  The Steelers stop the Packer pass rush, and Green Bay can't handle giving Ben time.  The Steelers play their physical game, like they did against the Jets, and use their experience to win this game.

What will happen:  The Packers and Steelers struggle to find a rhythm early.  The defenses slug it out in the first half, and players get beat up badly.  We see some turnovers, lots of sacks and the score is low, around 7-3.  Then in the second half, big plays break this game wide open and the offenses start to get some points on the board.  Aaron Rodgers takes over the game, throwing some clutch touchdowns.  We see the People's Champ celebration, on his way to Super Bowl MVP. 

Packers 21 Steelers 17

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Bowl Pick Preview

The Super Bowl is only a few days away, and I for one can't wait for the big game.  I say this every year, but it still has the same effect.  And since the Internet still works after Blizzard of '11 (up there with the Great Chipmunk fire of '79) I thought I would do my picks with one blog, and a preview with the other.  Also, I had my mom write up a list of kinda Super Bowl related material for all to enjoy.

The Super Bowl is in a couple of days and Weston once again wanted advice from his Mom. He doesn't need it but it's sweet, right?

1. There are only 2 teams left. Pick your favorite. That was easy.
2. When you are yelling at the players through your TV, they can't hear you.
3. Your team isn't going to win just because you are wearing your lucky socks. FYI when you're home get them into the hamper. (Editor's note:  I can do my own laundry)
4. During the game please don't yell so loud that it could be possible for your team to actually hear you.
5. Having a party? Semi homemade style food is acceptable. You should taste my hot wing sauce! (Editor's note: Man, is that homemade hot wing sauce good!)
6. Offer a dessert. How about ice cream novelties?
7. Beverages don't have to mean alcohol. You might be driving on the same road as one of my loved ones. (Editor's Note:  Be careful)
8. Weston, on your way home can you pick up a gallon of milk? (Editor's Note: Yes)
9. I am so sick and tired of all this snow and cold. Who's with me?? Warm tropical island, warm tropical island.
10. Be careful with your money. (Editor's Note:  Yeah, I guess it could fly away)
11. When driving watch out for others. Have you seen how other people drive?
12. Grooby says all dogs should get 9:00 O'clock cookies. Teddy agrees. (Editor's Note:  My dogs are terribly spoiled and get a cookie every night at 9 O'clock.  MacGruber and Teddy are pampered for sure.)
13. I don't like this number. (Editor's Note: Triskaidekaphobia)
14. How about cheese bread, lasagna and 3 layer bars for super bowl? Not an invitation. (Editor's Note:  YEAAAAAAAAAAH)
15. Dad and I are so proud of you and your brothers and sister. And of James and Daniela and the kids.
You have picked great people as friends.  (Editor's Note:  Awwwww, its like the Wonder Years)

Was this suppose to be all about football? Oh well. I guess most of the time.

Here is the picks!  As you may have already calculated, my sister won the top spot, clinching the first ever Corbitt Pick-a-thon. Nobody made a successful Super Bowl pick, but I got the NFC correct, and if the Pack wins, I would have picked the right champion.  Here are our standings, Super Bowl picks and score predictions!  Enjoy!

Dad:  5-5
Mom: 6-4
Weston: 7-3
Sam: 4-6
Aaron: 3-7
Mary: 9-1

Dad: Packers 27-24
Mom: Packers 29-13
Weston: Packers 21-17
Sam: Packers 32-21
Aaron: Packers 35-25
Mary: Packers 21-14

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mary Corbitt Retains Lead, Rest Of Family Close In For Title

Once again, my sister dominated the weekend, going 3-1 to improve her record to 7-1 overall.  Her only miss so far this season is the Seahawks unable to overcome the Bears on Sunday.  My parents got to .500, and I had a 3-1 record as well.  My brothers did hit on some games as well.  There is three games to go, and no Super Bowl predictions are going to come true this year for the Corbitts.  Here are the records so far in the playoffs:

Dad: 4-4
Mom: 4-4
Weston: 5-3
Sam: 3-5
Aaron: 2-6
Mary: 7-1

Here are some thoughts from our competitors:

My mother's reaction to Rex Ryan and the Jets talking trash all week: "I don't like it when people brag. it's like let me tell you how great I am.  There's and old saying actions speak louder than words"  She then added:  "I'd like the Packers to beat the Bears this weekend.  We (my family) had such a good time vacationing in Wisconsin and visiting Lambeau." 

Aaron could not be reached to comment on his terrible football picking record.

Lou commented on how his Super Bowl dream was destroyed:  "My dream of re-living the wondrous '85 Super Bowl has been torn asunder. I blame that Bieber look alike Tom Brady and Captain Cut Sleeves."
And here are the picks for the AFC and NFC championship games:

Dad: Steelers, Bears
Mom: Steelers, Packers
Weston: Steelers, Packers
Sam: Jets, Packers
Aaron: Steelers, Bears
Mary: Steelers, Packers

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Detroit Lions: Season In Review

This was a tale of many seasons for the Lions.  It started off with a huge controversial (wrong) call against the Bears, losing Stafford in the process.  The season seemed lost, and we were mostly right.  The Lions wouldn't be the same, and any hope of seeing Stafford progress into a Pro-Bowl passer were gone. And yet, the team won games, won games we shouldn't have, and gave us hope that things were turning around and the Lions are on their way to contending for the playoffs next season.

I can go on and on about how good the Lions look, their new players, decent depth, and how one more offseason could lead us to the playoffs.  A player here, a backup there, and the Lions will be going for the Super Bowl this time next season.  I do believe things are getting better, and the Lions are moving in the right direction.  We have the right people leading us to the promise land.  But there is more to this than some think.

Some problems were addressed, as the Lions finally improved their special teams, return game, defensive line and general talent level.  But the offensive line was once again a liability.  The Lions couldn't run the ball until later in the season, when they just shoved it down people's throats.  Sims played well, Raiola was solid, and Cherilus/Hiliard were improved.  But none were great, and the Lions should have at least one great lineman for all the money they poured there.  Backus played OK at times, but mostly was giving up kill shots that knocked out every Lions QB at some point in the season for some length of time.  He needs to find a new position, or be moved.  I just don't want to see him let someone bull rush past him on his way to killing Stafford.

The rushing attack was pretty pitiful most season.  We were playing from behind a lot, and Best did have two bad foot injuries, but there really isn't an excuse for how bad we looked.  Best had 3.2 yards per carry, not exactly the game breaker we all were promised.  The Lions tried to open it up, but I feel another running back is necessary, as Smith is always injured (and may not make the team next year) Best isn't a lead back, and Morris isn't a everyday back.  Felton needs to be used more, as a rusher, receiver and blocker.  He needs to have a bigger role.  I think he has some talent and can be played more than now.  We also need to use the TEs more in the running game, at the end of the year, Heller was playing well and contributed to running game.

I know the secondary was rebuilt again, and that Houston looked solid, but the pass defense isn't good.  The Dline got more talented, but they couldn't cover up our flaws.  Smith played well and created turnovers, but was beaten a few times.  I feel better about his 5 INT's than him getting beat by the Patriots.  He is still young.  Delmas and Levy were hurt a lot and that hurt our defense too much at times.  The Lions need CBs and LBs badly.  The defense just can't get better without them.

For the Lions to move forward, they need help with offensive line, linebackers and the secondary.  More talent is still needed, as is depth, to catch up to acceptable NFL levels.  Another running back or pass rusher wouldn't hurt either.  Some position battles will take place, at kicker, running back and wide receiver not named Calvin Johnson.  The Lions need to keep up the hard work and take advantage of all the young talent they have assembled.  This could be a dynamic, fun, good team in as little as a offseason.

Monday, January 17, 2011

NHL All-Star Game: An A For Effort

What do you think of All-Star Games?  If you are nine out of ten people, you just don't care.  I am part of that ten percent that does care, but that may because of my obsessive nature with sports.  I know, despite what Bud Selig shoves down my throat, that they do not mean anything. 

Of course, when my Grandpa was a kid, these games meant something.  Players made little money, and the All-Star game provided a supplement to an income.  Back in the day, Ted Williams broke his elbow in an extra inning game.  In my childhood, they stopped playing because they ran out of pitchers. 

The NBA All-Star game is laid back and fun.  All the best players play, the game is high scoring, and the skills competition is always fairly entertaining.  Stern has really influenced this game, making it a spectacle most people can buy into.  The Pro Bowl is incredibly boring.  Guys going at half speed, not hitting, giving up on tackles early, and nobody plays.  David Garrard played for the AFC last year.  That should make you throw up a little.  Making it during the break before the Super Bowl is a nice step, but not enough to save it.  I watched it in its entirety last year, and may again this year, but for the lamest, the NFL (surprisingly) takes the cake. 

MLB started the whole, "lets make an exhibition game matter" trend.  Home field advantage in the World Series can be significant, but the system is flawed.  Why should a game come down to a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher closing the game because the Little League system of where everybody plays?  What does he care, his team was 20 games out of first in early May.  The Home Run Derby was cool for about three years, when steroids were prevalent and these guys could absolutely kill the ball.  Now, I can't muster the ability to care at all.  Sorry Bud, you lost me.  I'll watch the game, but not go all out about it like you think I will.

We come to the NHL.  The most progressive All-Star game in sports.  East vs West is fun, but they played with North America vs The World, a concept that should be revisited after the success of the Winter Olympics.  But now, they are going back to the school yard, and have captain's picks from a pool of players voted on from the fans.  What a concept, just imagine the possibilities!  Rivals not picking each other, who gets picked last, teammates get snubbed, when to take a goalie?  In the age of fantasy sports, this game will be a dream match up.  Let me be clear, I am not a supporter of fan voting.  But at least this makes the teams and games a little more fun.  And besides, NHL fans know their stuff better than anybody else.  Add that with a good skills competition and you got a fun weekend celebrating Hockey's return.  And while we are at it, please please please sign with ESPN for you next TV contract.  I should end every hockey post with that, its crucial to the future of the game.  Also move teams from Florida to Canada.  That is all.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mary Corbitt Dominates, Rest Of Family Needs "More Commitment, More Team Edwards"

Last weekend, my family made picks.  My sister went 4-0.  I can not explain this one bit.  Maybe she just secretly knows more than all of us combined.  Here is the standings after Week 1.

Dad: 1-3, Super Bowl Pick Alive
Mom: 1-3, Super Bowl Pick Done
Weston: 2-2, Super Bowl Pick Alive
Sam: 1-3, Super Bowl Pick Done
Aaron: 1-3, Super Bowl Pick Done
Mary: 4-0, Super Bowl Pick Alive

This week we will see the same system of picks from family members.  This week will probably separate the leaders from the rest of the pack.

With regards to her picks my mother said, "The only reason the Saints and Colts didn't go on is because they didn't listen to me.  I hate the guy with the cut off sweaters (Belichick), he looks so dumb.  I pick the Bears and Steelers, because I can't stand that cheater."

My sister on her dominance, " I have no idea, I absolutely guess.  I don't have time to to research, since Breaking Dawn (Part 1) is coming out soon."  Her advice, "Pick the team the other person didn't." Her knowing Seattle would win: "Because Seattle is so close to Forks (Washington) so I knew Team Jacob and Team Edward would be in full force."

Aaron, on losing to his sister, "Let me put it this way, how does it feel to know your sister is a cheater?" He'll improve this week by "ignoring skill and actual thought process and picking based on gut feelings." He added, "I went 1-3 last week, I feel worse than Keanu Reeves sitting alone on a public bench."

Here are the picks:

Dad: Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Bears
Mom: Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Bears
Weston: Steelers, Patriots, Packers, Bears
Sam: Ravens, Jets, Packers, Seahawks
Aaron: Ravens, Patriots, Falcons, Bears
Mary: Steelers, Jets, Packers, Seahawks

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And Michigan Makes Another Terrible Hire

Brady Hoke was just named the new head coach at the University Of Michigan.  And that hiring was bad.  Really bad.  But how bad was it?

Hoke's career record is 47-50 as a Head Coach. This was playing teams the like of San Jose State, Buffalo, Temple, and Eastern Michigan.  He is 1-1 in bowl games, and in his best season, Ball State lost to Buffalo in the MAC Title game, then lost in the GMAC Bowl.  Sounds sweet.  But it gets better. 

He was a hot coaching candidate after he decided to leave Ball State with the cupboard bare.  His big move?  To San Diego State.  With many other jobs open, and with the opportunity to move up the ranks, he made a lateral move.  Its not like he said to himself, "better take the same job but with better weather."  There is a reason he wasn't hired by one of the big boys.  The same reason nobody hired Rod Marinelli after being one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NFL.  Then the Lions did.  And disaster ensued. 

He did have a solid year last season with SDST.  But how much is that worth?  Not much to me.  Of course, maybe he can not be a sub .500 coach with a crappy resume that only got him hired because it said MICHIGAN on it.  Now we play the waiting game.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

STWWC's Playoff Predictions: A Whole New Approach

Last year, I was really really poor at predicting NFL Playoff winners.  Then my mom came in and made better picks than I did.  So, I was wondering who is the best in my family at picking football games.  They'll pick every game and we'll see who is the best.  Tiebreakers will be made with Super Bowl predictions, and picking scores (and making it up as we go along).  Here is some profiles (cue the NBA on NBC theme song):

Dad (Lou Corbitt):  The veteran football watcher of the group, he has suffered watching the Lions for decades.  He remembers watching some actual Lions playoffs games!  He always is a force in fantasy football and loves arguing which QBs are the best in pro football.

Week 1 Picks: Packers, Chiefs, Colts, Saints
Super Bowl: Bears vs Patriots, Patriots win

Mom (Jayne Corbitt):  Freelance writer for STWWC, master chef, fantasy football rookie and football Nostradamus.  She is the favorite besides me to win this all.  She picks teams with some unorthodox methods, like who is the nicer guy, which team has a Manning, and who Howie Long picks.  She watches a lot of football, and knows her stuff.  I tell her to start her own blog all the time.

Week 1 Picks: Packers, Chiefs, Colts, Saints
Super Bowl:  Saints vs Colts, Colts win

Weston Corbitt:  Sportswriter, football fan.  You must know me by now.  If not, you have 300 posts and an about me to read.

Week 1 Picks: Packers, Ravens, Colts, Saints
Super Bowl: Packers vs Patriots, Packers win

Sam Corbitt, Brother:  A casual football fan, he still picks up info by living with me.  He was one of the last people to play Halo 2, and is awesome at all video games.  A connoisseur of coffee, music, and chicken sandwiches.  A dark horse for sure.

Week 1 Picks:  Packers, Chiefs, Colts, Saints
Super Bowl: Colts vs Packers, Colts win

Aaron Corbitt, Brother:  A solid football fan, recently converted to MSU for college football, since hes going there to be a doctor/actor/astronaut.  He follows the Lions and can't even remember Barry Sanders or them making the playoffs.  That is just a tragedy.  He is slowly but surely becoming addicted to the NFL.

Week 1 Picks: Eagles, Ravens, Colts, Saints
Super Bowl: Eagles vs Ravens, Ravens win

Mary Corbitt, Sister:  The youngest and only daughter, she runs the house.  If this was a contest to pick between Vampires or Werewolves, she would run away with this.  She says fallen angels are the next big thing, so get on that bandwagon now.  She watches football, and knows the stars and the Lions.  She probably will win this whole contest.  Team Edward all day. 

Week 1 Picks: Packers, Ravens, Jets, Seahawks
Super Bowl: Falcons vs Ravens, Ravens win

So there is the picks.  What are we playing for?  Probably nothing.  Check in every Saturday for more picks.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You're Welcome! Year In Review

I hope everyone had a nice safe New Year's celebration.  This post, we look at the top 5 people this year in sports and who captured our attention.  I am sure there are some very good honorable mentions, and if you do put them in the comments section.

Also, my favorite tournament in sports, the NFL playoffs, are starting this week, and I have an interesting way to cover it this year.  I hope you enjoy it.

1. LeBron James:  His decision show was the biggest spectacle in sports since Evel Knieval, and successfully punched a city in the nose again.  LeBron successfully destroyed an entire franchise and made the NBA more interesting to everyone in America.  Everybody had an opinion, and he knew that the whole time he was "raising money for charity."  Sure, it was brutal to watch, but nobody deserves this more than King James, King of the You're Welcome.

2.  Cliff Lee: He can single handily destroy postseason hopes and shut down a hall of fame lineup.  He can capture our attention thinking about who he'll play for while he hunts deer.  But he can't stop the team of destiny.  Sure, the Giants roughed him up, but Lee gave the Rangers hope and brought a World Series to a team that never could even imagine one.  Now he has teamed up with the most talented NL team to form the Mega Phillies, who should play the Ultra Red Sox or Super Yankees this fall.  The All-Star game will be the Phillies vs the AL-All Stars this year.

3.  Brett Favre:  Although it appears he is retired for good (I bet my money that he is done) Brett gave us another summer of drama, a few magical moments and a reminder why 41 year old grandpas don't play in the NFL.  I will miss him, and probably post something very nice about him next year when it is guaranteed he will not come back ever again.  Nobody has captured the nation quite like number 4.

4. Chicago Blackhawks:  Ugghhhhh.  I hate this fair weather fan Mecca of a hockey team.  Luckily, they sold most of their team away this offseason including one of the players I hated the most Dustin Byfuligen, Byfuglien, Bufflin, or however he spells his last name.  Guess who else doesn't know how to spell it?  Anybody in Atlanta, where he now plays.  Now we can get back to what really is important, watching teams that people actually care about.

5.  The Guy with the Beach Boys Name who plays for the Giants...uh....the one with the beard:  So Brian Wilson is actually a pretty talented guy.  Besides making Paul McCartney's favorite album (Pet Sounds), he can throw a baseball pretty fast, and RAGE!!!!!  I thinking raging is the attack Gyrados learned after he evolved from the Kansas City Royals of Pokemon, Magikarp.  Wilson is a beast and fan favorite, and should close out a lot of 1-0 games for the Giants the next few years.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RichRod: A Look Back

It seems just like yesterday I was saying how dumb the hiring of Richard Rodriguez was and how Michigan would pay for settling on a coach after kicking Lloyd Carr out of town.  Sure, they paid him a boatload of money, had to settle a legal dispute for him with 2.5 million dollars, had to handle the embarrassment of a scandal, and the losing to their two (one) biggest rival, Ohio State (MSU became a rival, for no reason, and people in corn and blue said how important the game was constantly). 

So RichRod is gone.  He left the cupboard more bare than Lloyd Carr could ever imagine.  Most likely UofM will go back to a pro style offense, to avoid more boosters and alumni backlash.  This won't set the offense back too much, because Gardner could take over and be a great bridge to the next pro style QB.  Unless their Oline gets worse, they should be OK.  The defense will really suffer, as it had little to no talent before and now they have to deal with a new coach and a completely new system.  It can't get much worse, but it could stay about the same.

So who replaces him?  It won't be Harbaugh, who doesn't want the job, and would rather go to the NFL to join his brother.  Brady Hoke isn't a bad choice, although he had only one good season as a head coach at Ball State, and even then he crumbled under the weight of the MAC Marathon Ford Field Championship Game presented by Pizza Hut.  He was a good defensive lineman coach during his stay at Michigan, but how hard was it to recruit good defensive lineman to Michigan in the mid nineties?  He never got a promotion there, and after being such a hot commodity a few years ago, went to San Diego State.  So that shows how much people wanted him to coach their programs.

Other candidates will emerge, and I am sure they will offer the world to Les Miles again, so he can bring his awful offense and grass eating ways to Ann Arbor.    But, its OK Wolverine fans.  It can't really get any worse.  Sure, next year may be tough to watch, and you may never regain the elite status you thought you had.  But hey, Nebraska made a comeback.