2012 Arch Madness Prediction

Arch Madness Starts tomorrow…below are my predictions.  Going mostly straight chalk. 

Good luck to  UNI and Drake!


And the Oscar Goes too....

Tonight is Oscar Night and here are my predictions to really the 6 categories anyone really cares about.  

The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Money Ball
War Horse
The Tree of Life.  
Prediction -  Hugo

Demain Bichir:A Better Life
George Clooney:The Descendants
Jean Dujardin:The Artist
Gary Oldman:Tinker Tailer Solider Spy
Brad Pitt:Money Ball
Prediction - George Clooney

Glenn Close:Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis:The Help
Rooney Mara:The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep:The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams:My Week With Marilyn
Prediction - Meryl Streep

Kenneth Branagh:My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill:Money Ball
Nick Nolte:Warrior
Christopher Plummer:Beginners
Max Von Sydow:Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Prediction - Nick Nolte

Berenice Bejo:The Artist
Jessica Chastain:The Help
Melissa McCarthy:Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer:Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer:The Help
Prediction - Octavia Spencer

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Prediction - Kung Fu Panda 2

2012 Daytona 500 Prediction

Gentleman.....and Danica Patrick.....start your engines.

It's race day again.  NASCAR's super bowl in Daytona.  The Daytona 500 runs today, and if you've read my predictions before you know who I'm going to be picking.

Tony is due at Daytona.  I think he'll have a good run coming off the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship.  I also think you'll see Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon up there too.  Also wouldn't be shocked to see Dale Jr win too.

Danica, sorry....get some run on the Nationwide Series.

For another prediction, check out my buddy Quentin's vlog.  


The Great American 6 Pack

1)  NASCAR returns this week with their biggest race of the season, the Daytona 500.  Last year the championship was won on a tie-breaker and last weekend's Budweiser Shootout has the smallest margin of victory ever (.013 seconds).  Are you going to watch the 500?  If not what would it take to get you to watch?  If you are going to watch who is your pick to win it?
Matt – I’ll watch the start and the end and some of the middle with the boy.  Also will be making bbq ribs!  It’s become kind of a tradition on Daytona 500 day to make ribs.  I’m going to go with my pick every year till he wins it….TONY STEWART
Painter – Of course I'll be watching, it's one of those sporting events I will never miss.  Kyle Busch had a great car in the Shootout as did the Hendrick drivers (until they got caught up in wrecks).  The return of pack drafting puts the race back into the drivers' hands more than the tandem racing of the past couple of years.  I want Dale Earnhardt, Jr to win very badly but I have a feeling Busch will pull it off.
BlakeAs with most sports key events, I at least try to watch the finish.  The NBA All Star Game is this weekend too.  That being said, I could care less who wins Daytona
BSox – I think i will try and watch it. i can't promise i'll watch it from start to finish, but i'll dive in there at some point. really though, of all the sports that have rebranded over the many years, nascar has turned into something fun to watch.

2)  Pitchers and catchers are reporting, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has been released, March Madness is approaching.  What are some of the other signs that spring is approaching?
Matt – There is mud in my yard and dog shit that needs picked up from the winter….that’s the biggest sign…the ones I’m looking forward to are March Madness and Golfing
Painter – The Swimsuit Issue and commercials for the Masters are the biggest signs for me
BlakeA distinct and strong urge to drink on a patio?
BSox – girls wearing short dresses. serious, go to a college campus, you can get entertained all day.

3)  Spring in Iowa means more opportunities to get outside and enjoy different activities.  What outdoor activities are you most looking forward to?
Matt – I can’t wait to hit some golf balls and softballs!
Painter – I'm really ready to get out on the lake and catch some fish.  I didn't get to go out very much last year and I've been ready to go for a while.  I'm also going to my first LAZERfest this year.  That should be a blast.
BlakeSee #2.  Oh, and getting to an I-Cubs game this year that doesn't get rained out
BSox – lazerfest lol, sorry shameless plug. more details @ lazer1033.com ;-)

4)  Greg Oden's knees continue to keep him off the NBA court.  Will he ever be able to play effectively in the NBA?
Matt – Does Columbus have a DLeague team?  He’s done in the big leagues unless he get’s a bionic knee.
Painter – I really don't think he'll play again.  I don't know if staying in college would have benefited him, other than getting his education, but at least now he's getting paid to sit on the sidelines.
BlakeGrant Hill had a similar start to his career with his feet and ankles.  He ultimately came all the way back, and has had a solid, and long career.  That being said, Oden is a 7 footer, so it's probably a little less likely that he comes back, as their bodies break down faster.  I wouldn't count him out yet though.  I'd say his odds of playing significant time at any point in future are about 33%
BSox – He might get picked up again, but who is going to spend top dollar on a broken down used car?

5)  Kirk Ferentz named his son Brian as the Offensive Line coach and former player LeVar Woods as the Linebackers coach before heading out of the country on his annual cruise.  All we have left is Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach.  Are you surprised by these hires and who do you think will be the other hires?
Matt – I’d like to see Campbell get OC.  We all know that the offense won’t really change though.  I think that Woods and his kid are decent hires.  I would be weary if Brian hadn’t had any experience, but working with the Patriots last year I think that helps.   
Painter – I'm not surprised at all and I think we're going to see Kirk's replacement being groomed (it will still be a Ferentz program).  I'd still like to see Eric Campbell get promoted to OC and I have a feeling that David Raih will be QB coach if that happens.  Otherwise I could see Chuck Long come in as the OC and QB coach.
BlakeYeah, I don't care.  Sorry, I don't know anything about assistant coaches, other than when they suck or when the head coach sucks.  They're kind of like back up quarterbacks that way.
BSox – A little by his son. The dude was with new england, why come to iowa? other than being with dad and such, you were with a pro team working your way up...i don't THINK he topped out there. but hell, maybe he just likes being close to family.

6)  Lent started this week.  What are you giving up this year?
Matt – I’m giving up not a damn thing!
Painter – Nothing.  A few years ago I gave up giving stuff up for Lent and I have stuck with it.
BlakeStarbucks and any other schwanky coffee.
BSox – not catholic, and proly won't be giving up anything...except meat on fridays because my fiance is catholic.


What's been happening

I haven't posted in a while so here are some nice little bullets of the past few weeks or so.

  • Saw the Descendants with S.  I thought it was a really good movie.  I still say that 50/50 is the best movie and Joseph Gordon Levitt was robbed of an Oscar nod but Clooney was really good in this, and more so the interactions with the daughters and their performances.  3.5/5 stars.
  • Addy was sick this last week with what was a little bronchitis.  It sucked having her sick.  Especially with her missing her Valentines party.  She still got them from her classmates but she missed the party.
  • On top of that I had a nice little trip to the ER.  I started experiencing chest pains and tightness Tuesday night at 930, went to bed and fell asleep.  I woke up about 90 minutes later with a lot of pain in my chest.  It felt like a boulder on my chest with a knife in my heart. I drove myself to the ER and go hooked up to an all the cords.  I got my first IV and had blood drawn, and had an EKG and then X-Rays.  Had some high blood pressure but everything else turned out ok.  It ended up being something muscular and skeletal.  I got some nice pain killers and something shot up my IV.  After 2 days off work I was ready to get back.
Happy 1 year old!
  • Saturday my youngest daughter Ryleigh, turned 1.  1!  Where the hell did the year go?  We had a previous outing with S's family at Hickory Park, unfortunately they couldn't make it Saturday at the Tavern.  So my family showed up there and we had a good time.  Ryleigh had a cupcake and seemed to have a good time.
  • At work Friday my supervisor had her last day.  She's been a great boss and got me 2 promotions.  That was a real nice surprise when I got that news.  Friday we had a going away thing at the Chicken Coop.  Had a good time there, and then Monday we had our new boss.  It will all go ok, but day 1 started out with my computer getting fried and spending 2 hours on the phone with the help desk.  Like I said it will get better!
That's about it.  


Friday 6 Pack

A BSox 6er

1. Iowa State got another big win yesterday at Hilton, at the moment; they are 18-7/8-4. What's the ceiling for this team, and at the end of the year, what will we be saying about Iowa State?
Matt – I think this team’s ceiling is Sweet 16/Elite 8 if they get the right draw and matchups and White can make free throws.  Then if White stays and they get the other transfers playing this team will be getting major buzz going into next year.
Painter – Even at 18-8/8-5 (which they are after the Baylor game) I still think they are somewhat inconsistent.  They're a bubble team right now but a good showing in the Big XII tournament will help their chances.
Blake – Iowa State could be a team that makes a sneaky run either during the Big 12 Championship or the NCAA Tourney.  They have a ton of talent, but just need to continue to grow as a team.  I wouldn't be surprised if they got to the Sweet 16.
Zach – The ceiling is higher than what most want to give. I can see ISU WINNING the Big XII Tourney. At the end of the year, fans will be asking when is the countdown to next season? Iowa State men's athletics will soar to new heights

2. NFL season is done, draft is on the way, what do you think was the biggest headline of the season was, and just for giggles, the biggest NON headline of the season?
Matt – Headline:  The Manning Sagas—Eli’s bling and Peyton’s ending Indy Fling     NonHeadline:Jisselle vs Welker in New England
Painter – Biggest headline:  Al Davis passing away.  He did a lot to form the NFL as we know it.  He got a bad reputation over the past decade but he was still a great football man.   Biggest non-headline:   Tom Coughlin on the hot-seat in New York.  That's an annual thing, we can all assume it will happen by week 6.
Blake – Biggest Headline had to have been Tim Tebow, and the biggest non-headline was the kickoff rule change.  Granted there were a lot more touchbacks, but by week two or three, did anyone remember any other way?
Zach – Headline: Eli Elite   Non-headline: OchoCinco Not Even Matching Receptions to Last Name

3. With state tournaments approaching, which one is the best and why?
Matt – Wrestling, when you make SI, you got something special
Painter – Even though I'm not a fan the state wrestling tournament takes the title.  Multiple matches at once and a great environment give it the edge. 
Blake – Um, Boys basketball.  Because wrestling includes men rolling on the mat together and girls basketball is painful.
Zach – Wrestling, simply because of its energy it brings

4. Kurt Warner made some interesting comments on Eli Manning, and his possible place in the Hall of fame, do you agree with the comments, and were you surprised by Warner? If you missed it, here is a link to the story.
Matt – I was surprised by Warner, one because Eli now has more rings than him, so does he think he himself isn’t HOF worthy? I think Eli has the resume to build on becoming the greatest QB in New York football history, IMO he’s already surpassed Simms and Namath.  Give him 7 good more healthy years and he’ll be in Canton. 
Painter – I agree with Kurt completely.  At this point Eli is not Hall of Fame worthy.  I think the Super Bowl ring benchmark for QB's getting into the HoF is now 3 if that's all you go by.  Otherwise they need to have a solid body of work through their career.  So far Eli has shown flashes of brilliance and flashes of crap.  If he can put together a few more strong seasons he'd be more worthy.  As far as being surprised by Warner I'm not.  He's now an analyst; he gets paid to voice his opinion and that's what he did.  It doesn't matter to me that he was a QB at one time.  
Blake – I was surprised by his comments, because it wasn't the normal "be nice to everyone without actually saying anything" talk that you normally get from former players.  I liked that he had an opinion, but he may be wrong. I think Eli has to be in the discussion for future hall of famers.
Zach – Eli is elite RIGHT NOW. Leave him alone, and once he retires, then we can bring up this conversation

5. Taking a major leap forward, Des Moines seems to be the king of the minor league teams (just sounded good in my head), how far down the road, and what would Des Moines need to do to gain a major pro franchise, and what sport would work best?
Matt – I remember back in the early 90s reading in like Sport or Inside Sports that Des Moines was one of 2 cities predicted for a major league team (along with Buffalo), I don’t see it.  I like what we have now with the I-Cubs and Stormers, Energy and Bucs.  I wish we could get a bigger hockey team in the Well with a staff that KNOWS how to get butts in the seats there.  I think the first “MAJOR” sport to come here will be NASCAR in Newton, and I think they are right on track (pun intended) to doing that.
Painter – If you're talking the big 4 (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA) it's not gonna happen.  The only top-level sporting events I can see coming to Des Moines/Central Iowa are a PGA Tour event (it still may not bring in the top draws like Tiger and Phil) or a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Newton.
Blake – I think baseball would be the only thing that would work.  Right now, the I-Cubs can nearly outdraw some of the crappy Major League teams.  The NBA wouldn't stand a chance, and I think people are so wrapped up in Hawkeye and Cyclone Football, even an NFL team wouldn't succeed.
Zach – I've argued for a little bit that Des Moines has the best minor league sports market in the country. Frankly, I think it's fine just the way it is. I would like to see more national events come around here, however

6. A kid found a Super Bowl playbook at a yard sale, what is your most prized sport possession, and how did you get it?
Matt – Most prized…wow, I have a Bob Feller ball signed when my dad, bro and I met him at the Field of Dreams with now Ohio Gov John Kasich, also have an autographed Ryno photo from ICubs Convention about 10 years ago.  Don’t know if I’d call that most prized.  I’m going to go with a ticket stub…Last Yankees/Redsox game at Old Yankee Stadium with my dad and brother.  The memories from the game and the trip are something I wont forget.
Painter – I have a simple #18 Iowa jersey that I bought at Scheel's somewhere in the 2005-2007 years.  During the 2008 game vs Maine Chad Greenway was standing on the field right in front of us.  I asked if he'd sign it he said sure and "I didn't know they still sold these".  Too bad no one had a Sharpie, all we could muster was a ballpoint pen.  Needless to say the signature is faded, but at least I still have the picture of the autograph.
Blake – Probably my signed, Derek Lee Iowa Cubs jersey.  Thanks for letting me know the jersey was available again Quentin.
Zach – My most prized sports possession is a signed Tim Lincecum baseball, and I got it as a high school graduation gift.


Lasting Images – Super Bowl XLVI

It’s less than 24 hours of being over, congrats to the New York football Giants, and I’ll have 2 lasting images from Super Bowl 46.

The spectacular catch by Mario Mannignham getting both feet down on the Giants game winning drive.  Great placement by Manning on his pass and catch by Mario.

Finally, Eli with championship NUMBER 2!


Super 6 Pack

Super Bowl Week – time for a SUPER 6 Pack

1-Easy one to kick it off – Who wins the Super Bowl Sunday, Score & MVP?
Matt – Giants 27 – Patriots 21 : Eli Manning MVP.  I think we are in for a really decent game.
Wendt – I'll take the Giants. 27-21. MVP is Ahmad Bradshaw
Painter – Picking Patriots in this one.  I've never had a problem with Brady/Belichick.  I'm not a big fan of anything New York sports unless it's played on ice
BlakePatriots...because I don't want the Giants to win.  28-21, Brady as the MVP
BSox – patriots. sorry cannot go for eli, like if he wasn't a giant i could probably pull for them...but no. i'm not sure how well the match up and all that, but i'm pullin patriots.
Silker – Giants, 34-27, MVP is Eli. I wish it was different but the Patriots D only looked good last week and really I dont think they can make it happen two games in a row.

2-Media Day is one of the circus days in sports and media throughout the year, you get one question to anyone – who you asking what?
Matt – I’d ask Tom Brady if Jizzelle wears the Uggs in the family?
Wendt – I'd ask Tyler Sash where he got the "GBNB" idea from
Painter – Ochocinco would be my target (since he's pretty good about giving sound-bites).  "Are you giving out free Priuses and  McDonalds food to all of your Twitter followers if you find the endzone?"
Blake – I'm asking Gronk who's the hottest groupie he's ever hooked up with
BSox – If you played world of warcraft, horde or alliance, and what race human, elf, dwarf, ect...
Silker – Irsay, All I have to ask is WTF? We saw it four years ago when the Packers Favre feud was in full swing. However now this is a different issue. This is a medical issue not a health issue. I understand Peyton’s pay day is just a few weeks away; however you cannot burn the bridges with the face of your franchise. All of the fans know Peyton more than they know Irsay. Restructure for three years. Give him some money but have a medical clause in it. 

3-Eli takes on big brothers nemesis in the house Peyton built.   If Eli wins his 2nd Super Bowl Sunday, is he a greater QB then Peyton?  Is it all about the Rings?
Matt – It seems like it’s always about the rings.  Marino is perceived as not as great as any of the guys with rings or Elway wasn’t great till he won his rings.  Eli is probably a top 5-10 QB playing right now.  Is he better than Peyton, I’m leaning toward no.  Peyton still better, but the margin is narrowing. 
Wendt – Sometimes I think people put too much on rings and even if Eli wins another one and Peyton never does I'd still take Peyton in his prime over Eli in his
Painter – I've never been big on comparing players based on the number of championship rings.  Trent Dilfer has as many rings as Peyton, Favre, and Rodgers (for now) and more than Marino.  Does that make him better than those 4?  Not in my mind.  Eli in the playoffs is what Peyton is in the regular season.  I think they are pretty equal in terms of talent.  Eli plays for a more run-oriented offense and doesn't have the control of the offense that Peyton has.
Blake Not yet.  But, Eli has a lot more of his legacy to write.  He still can become a greater QB.  QB's are measured on rings.  
BSox – a better playoff quarterback yes, but body of work? the dude has laid some big eggs before, and even at his worst, peyton hasn't been horrible for a really long time. but the two championships would come into play so i'd have to say yes, eli would probably be better. i feel dirty for saying that.
Silker – The Giants have given Eli the weapons he needs on both sides of the ball. Indy has only given Peyton some offensive threats with no line and no D. That showed this year with a horrible showing of all their QBs. So I have to go with no it isnt about the rings and Peyton is still the MVP of the family.

4-Tom Brady has a chance for ring 4, that would match Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, where would he rank all time?
Matt – If Brady gets his fourth ring he is probably cemented top 10 QB all time.  I don’t know if I can go top 5.  I still think Elway is the greatest Qb to play.  But Brady is definitely one of the best ever.
Wendt – *sigh* I still think Montana is the best of all time but Brady (if he wins) would be in the discussion
Painter – Just going off of rings I'd put him at #2 behind Montana.  Not going off rings I'd put him somewhere in the 5-10 range.
BlakeMontana, Unitas, Brady...notice Marino's not on the list.  Missing the rings.  See answer number 3.
BSox – system QB or not, he's gotta be up near the top. he's been so good for so long its hard not to put him up there. i think it will be hard to ever pick the all time best number 1, but for this era...its hard to argue against him
Silker – I think Brady will be thrown off by the fact that he is a pretty boy and everything has to revolve around him. I think he would rank up there, but he still isnt the best. No matter how many rings he gets. New England has built a dynesty around both sides of the Ball. Brady is just a part.

5-Indianapolis is a cold weather location for the Super Bowl, joining Detroit and Minneapolis as colder weather locations.  New York will join the 3 cities in a few years.  Should the Super Bowl be up for bids like it is now amongst all willing cities or stay on a warm city rotation?
Matt – The Super Bowl is more corporate than anything for the fans so location for the fans doesn’t do anything.  I like that it’s optioned to be rotated to the stadiums and maybe we see Super Bowl 50 in LA where it all started.  It will be really interesting in NYC when its about 40 degrees outside for a Super Bowl.  But with that you know there are cities like KC and Chicago that will never host a Super Bowl.  It will be in Arizona, Miami and Dallas more often than anywhere else.
Wendt – I like the fact that anyone could have a Super Bowl so I'm just fine with keeping bids on it
Painter – The Super Bowl should go where ever the NFL wants it to go among active NFL stadiums.  How cool would it be to have the game in Lambeau in single-digit temps or at Soldier with snow and wind?  That's football weather right there
BlakeI love the thought of the outdoor Super Bowl.  Football is great because it is an all weather sport.  Plus, the only people that go to these games are the media and huge, beyond reality rich people.  Let them suffer in the cold.
BSox – i think all the cities. football is meant to be played outside, and if people are willing to show up to cold weather games, i don't think that should stop them. can u imagine a muddy/snowy super bowl? that would be a championship.
Silker – ALL TEAMS should get a chance. The pro bowl is in Hawaii for all those that want a tropical vacation. For those who want the best game of the best, they can go to the new stadiums. If you keep it to the warm cities, Minnesota will never get a new stadium. Also, Chicago and Green Bay should get there chance as well. Everyone needs to have a chance.

6-The average person watching the Super Bowl will eat 11 chicken wings during the game, and it’s the most popular Super Bowl food.  What’s your staple Super Bowl food?
Matt – I’ll probably be on the under for wings, unless there is BWW to go run, but gotta have bacon wrapped lil smokies with brown sugar sprinkled on them and nachos!
Wendt – Meat and cheese tray, chili, chips. I'm pretty much a basic junk food junkie
Painter –  I don't really have a staple food.  I eat whatever is available at the time.
Blake – Really, that's surprising, just because homemade wings are usually not as good.  I won't argue with wings though, but any sort of dip is usually money with me
BSox – beer. pizza, dips of some kind. oh and of those little wiennys
Silker – Beer. Is that a staple food? If not boneless wings.