Random thoughts on baseball and RSS

* A quote that appeared on my Google homepage quotes widget:

“No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.”
Jascha Heifetz

* Former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke is retiring from baseball at age 34. Foulke said some dumb things during his tenure in Boston, but also earned 34 saves in 2004 as well as the final out in the World Series. Thanks, Keith!

* Following in Scoble‘s footsteps, I’m now sharing recommended items that I find in my Google Reader stream. My shared items are here, and the feed is here.

* Speaking of RSS, I’m now offering a meta feed of all my feeds– my blog, podcast, links, videos, and shared Google Reader items, all in one big stream. In addition, I’ve got an OPML file of all my RSS feeds if you like it that way.

* You may have noticed a few changes around this blog, or you may not have if you get me in your RSS reader. I recently neatened up my sidebar thanks to the useful “Javascript Tabifer” Javascript courtesy of BarelyFitz.com. The tool creates handy tabs that I use to group my archives and my topics together to shorten up pages and hopefully make it easier for visitors to find the archived content they’re looking for.

* It looks like 2007 will really be the year for OpenID, a public, de-centralized indentity system for the web. The format has earned adoption from a number of big players in recent weeks, including Microsoft, AOL, and popular social news site Digg.

My NFL picks for week 15

Here we are again- it’s time for this week’s NFL Pool wrap-up and preview.

Last week: 7-9

Summary:This past week was a four-way tie between all four of the participants in the pool. So technically, I haven’t lost for two straight weeks now following my win in week 13.


Season to date:
104-93 – Good for 53%

My for this week are below in BOLD. Leave yours in the comments!

SF at SEA –Sea
Dal at Atl – Atl
Mia at Buf – Buf
TB at Chi – Chi –
Det at GB – Det
Jax at Ten – Ten
NYJ at Min – Min
Hou at NE – Hou
Was at NO – NO
Pit at Car – Pit
Cle at Bal – Bal
Den at Ari – Den
StL at Oak – StL
Phi at NYG – NYG
Cin at Ind – Ind

My picks for NFL week 11

Here we are again- it’s time for this week’s NFL Pool wrap-up and preview.

Last week: 7-9

Summary: Yet another bad week. Not much else to say on that one.


Season to date:
71-55 – Good for 61%

This week, I’m playing it safe pretty much across the board. My picks below in BOLD. Leave yours in the comments!

Pit at Cle – Pit
New at GB – NE
Oak at KC – KC
Min at Mia – Mia
Cin at NO – NO
Chi at NYJ – Chi
Ten at Phi – Phi
Was at TB – Was
Stl at Car – Car
Atl at Bal – Bal
Buf at Hou – Hou
Det at Ari – Ari
Sea at SF – Sea
Ind at Dal – IND
San at Den – San
NYG at Jax – NYG (30)

My picks for NFL week 10

Here we are again- it’s time for this week’s NFL Pool wrap-up and preview.

Last week: 6-8

Summary: Yipes, another bad week. Worse, I finished 5 games worse than the leader, meaning I’m now a total of 11 games out first place in the overal yearly standings. That’s still good for second, but a gap of only 3 games separates me from 3rd.


Season to date:
65-46 – Good for 59%

This is a tough week- a few toss-ups- so it’s a combination of skill plus luck if I’m going to see my first win. My picks below in BOLD. Leave yours in the comments!

Cleveland at Atlanta
San Diego at Cincinnati
San Fransisco at Detroit
Baltimore at Tennessee
Buffalo at Indianapolis
Kansas City at Miami
Green Bay at Minnesota
New York Jets at New England
Washington at Philadelphia
Houston at Jacksonville
Denver at Oakland
Dallas at Arizona
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
St. Louis at Seattle
Chicago at New York Giants
Tampa Bay at Carolina

My picks for NFL week 9

Here we are again- it’s time for this week’s NFL Pool wrap-up and preview.

Last week: 8-5

Summary: Arghhhhh!!! I did well this week- but, amazingly, not well enough to win. I can in second place overall.


Season to date:
59-38 – Good for 61% (on my way back up- 1% over last week)

This is a tough week- a few toss-ups- so it’s a combination of skill plus luck if I’m going to see my first win. My picks below in BOLD. Leave yours in the comments!

Green Bay at Buffalo
Miami at Chicago
Atlanta at Detroit
Kansas City at St Louis
Houston at New York Giants
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Dallas at Washington
Tennessee at Jacksonville
Cincinnati at Baltimore
Minnesota at San Fransisco
Denver at Pittsburgh
Cleveland at San Diego
Indianapolis at New England
Oakland at Seattle

My picks for NFL week 7

It’s another Friday, and that means it’s time for this week’s NFL Pool wrap-up and preview.

Last week: 8-5

Summary: Not only did I not win again last week, I actually had my worst week yet- finishing at just 8-5 in the bye-shortened week.


Season to date:
46-25 – Good for 65%

This week I plan to bounce back though! Herewith, the upcoming week, with my picks in bold. Leave yours in the comments!

Detroit at NY Jets
Green Bay at Miami
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
San Diego at Kansas City
Carolina at Cincinnati
New England at Buffalo
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Jacksonville at Houstonupset pick
Denver at Cleveland
Washington at Indianapolis
Minnesota at Seattle
Arizona at Oakland
Dallas at New York – Points: 38

My picks for NFL week 6

I’m in a football pool with some family. I’ve been logging my progress so far– here’s the latest update.

Last week: 10-4

Summary:Last week was just a plain-old off week…not much to report. I came in second again, for the third straight week and fourth overall, so I hold onto a close second in the overall standings. But I just can’t seem to put together a weekly win.

Season to date: 38-20 – Good for 63%

Here are my picks for the upcoming week 6:

Buffalo
Carolina
Atlanta
Dallas
Washington
Cincinnati
Philadelphia
Seattle
NY Jets
Pittsburgh
San Diego
Denver
Chicago (40)

Want to supply your own? Leave them in the comments!

Reading Bill Simmons

If you care even in the slightest for either sports and/or magazine writing, you should be reading ESPN’s Bill Simmons now more than ever.

After a couple shaky months (a career so prolific, yet so organic, creates natural ups and downs), Simmons has been on fire lately, with two excellent mailbag columns and two other uncharacteristically short pieces of late- one on former Red Sox great Fred Lynn, and the other a hilarious and on-point review of Seabiscut.

For those who aren’t familiar (though he’s in ESPN The Magazine, on ESPN The Web site, and a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live), Simmons is the former “”Boston Sports Guy”” who self-published a large volume of columns and daily links for the die-hard Boston sports fans first on his own site, and later at Boston’s CitySearch Web site.

Simmons’ columns are some of the best- and most original- examples of American sportswriting anywhere, despite his now-classic rough-edge, college-guy writing style. An unchallenged expert on sports history, sports movies, television, and most of the rest of pop culture, he combines each of these elements into long-form first-person narratives. His best quality, despite all of his other talents, has always been the palpabable passion for all things sports that he delivers at times cleverly, wisely, and reverently.

There are people who still love sports for the drama, for the game, and for its better characters- and not all of them are middle age balding men in sports coats and toupees. There is at least one great fan who came of age with us, saw the things we saw, and remembers the things we do.

I am very grateful he has chosen to write most of them down.