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Cooley Interviews Brent Celek

Posted by Matt Terl on January 12, 2009 – 4:57 pm

So Chris Cooley is getting in touch with guys who are involved in the upcoming conference championship games. First up today, Eagles tight end Brent Celek. As you’d expect from a Cooley interview, it covers nicknames, mustaches, and dance moves, but it also gets a little more specific than that.

Cool – I didn’t catch one touchdown from our quarterback all season. How were you able to get so wide open on the goal line?

Magnum PI – I’ve only scored two touchdowns this year and both on the same play Pass 64 Z corner. I think the key on the goal line is to outside release everything. Even if its a nine technique, outside release. If the inside backer who is supposed to cover you sees you go outside he always think you are blocking and lets you go.

More at Cooley’s blog. Read more »

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The Ongoing Ravens Debate

Posted by Matt Terl on January 12, 2009 – 12:53 pm

Why do you think these Ravens fans are pointing at you? Are they mocking you? Judging you? Saying, “Hey, way to finish 8-8, hon,” maybe?

Could be.

Or maybe they’re just trying to recruit you to root for their team, just like the folks at Stet Sports Blog. It’s a relatively soft sell over there, but I find the case compelling:

You could stay in the NFC and root for either the Philadelphia Eagles or the Arizona Cardinals, but what joy would you truly get out of either? The Eagles have one of the most annoying fan bases in all of professional sports. More annoying than any ill feelings you may have against purple camo. Is it really so serious to root for a team that tied the Cincinnati Bengals because you don’t like purple camo?

I have trouble arguing with this reasoning. I’m with Cooley on this one: there’s no way I can root for a team that lost to the Redskins (twice, in one case!) to win the Super Bowl, so both NFC teams are completely out of the question.

The Redskins have lost to both of the AFC teams, of course, but I think the Steeler Fan Invasion of FedEx was the most depressing moment of the season to me, so I can’t bring myself root for them. Which leaves the Ravens, and I think I’m okay with that. Whether most Ravens fans actually want Redskins fans onboard is a matter for some debate — Mark Newgent’s analysis of Baltimore Inferiority Complex has a certain core of truth. The poll on Mister Irrelevant currently has more than 50% of Redskins fans taking the opposite view from me, while a poll on DC Sports Bog from last week has 41% of responders actively rooting against the Ravens.

Still, I can’t really see any other way to go, and the questionable fashion sense of the fans isn’t swaying me back. Read more »

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Monday, January 12: How I Did With My Picks

Posted by Matt Terl on January 12, 2009 – 10:13 am

Well, that went well.

If I had been actively trying to make atrociously bad, glaringly wrong playoff picks, I don’t think I could’ve done it any more effectively. Still, after all this time criticizing other people for making dumb comments about football, I figure it’s about time I do the same to myself.

I actually didn’t do too badly with Baltimore/Tennessee. I picked the Titans, but I acknowledged that Baltimore’s defense was strong, and built most of my argument around Titans rookie Chris Johnson’s ability to run against that D. Johnson looked great while he was in, left the game with an injury, and the rest is history. This was just about the high point of the weekend as far as my picks went, which really says something.

Arizona/Carolina, on the other hand, was pretty much disastrous for me. I said that if Anquan Boldin could play, Arizona would get beaten, but if he didn’t, they’d be destroyed. Boldin sat, Arizona won. “I don’t see how Arizona can win this game,” I said. I even offered statistics about how terrible Kurt Warner was going to be. Warner’s final stat line: 21 of 32, 220 yards, 2 touchdowns. Over on Cooley’s blog I picked the Cardinals just to be contrary, but even there I couldn’t bring myself to really sell it and mainly just banged a prop football on the table. I also made the bizarre (and wrong) claim that Anquan Boldin would play. Nice work.

In that brutal Philadelphia/New York game, I didn’t just pick the Giants. I called them “dominant” and said they would not only win but would win “more easily than people think,” which was almost exactly wrong.

Technically, I did pick Pittsburgh to beat the Chargers, so that was good. But even while being correct, I managed to specify that Ben Roethlisberger would be adversely affected by his concussions (17 for 26, 181 yards and a touchdown) and to argue that Chargers running back Darren Sproles might counter-intuitively actually benefit from the notoriously bad field conditions in Pittsburgh (11 rushes for 15 yards). AND, while incorrectly picking the Chargers on Cooley’s blog, I even more incorrectly suggested that Chargers’ punter Mike Scifres would do well. Scifres had six punts averaging 35 yards, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

I’m confident that I’ll do better this week, though, mainly because it is virtually impossible for me to do worse. Read more »

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