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.