College Football Week 5 Predictions

Last week: 9-11
Year to date: 38-41-1

Still under .500. I only made 3 real bets this week. I bet two units on Kansas State (-14), one unit on Kansas State money line, and one unit on Arizona (+24). I’ll call that a tiny, but very successful, little week.

Less talking, less thinking, more gut. That’s my new motto.

Thursday, September 27

Stanford (-7) @ Washington

I’m a big Keith Price fan, and the Huskies are usually pretty solid at home, but they have a banged up offensive line and that Cardinal defense will take advantage of that. I guess you could make the argument that this is a trap game, but they’ll have had a few weeks off to forget about their big win and focus on the schedule ahead of them.

Read more of this post

Week 3 NFL Picks

Week 2 record: 7-8-1
Year to date: 15-16-1

It was not really a good week, and it could have been a lot worse. I started off very poorly, but caught back up a little, especially with the totals. Chicago was a huge disappointment, the New England upset was unforeseen, Kansas City and New Orleans continues to play incredibly poor football and Dallas flopped hard. It was a weird week, but that’s the NFL for you.

No talk, let’s just get to the games.

Thursday September 20

New York Giants @ Carolina (pick) 

The Panthers want Cam Newton to keep running, but if the Panthers want to beat the Giants, they’ll need him to have a huge passing day

The Giants are 0-2 against the spread to start the season, as their run game has been non-existent, their offensive line has been porous and their secondary looks dismantled. They needed a big comeback to beat the Bucs, who were beating the G-Men soundly for the first three quarters. I still think the Giants will continue to waver up and down all year. There are a lot of holes on this team, and they’re holes the Panthers can exploit. Cam Newton can neutralize the Giant’s biggest defensive strength, their pass rush, and exploit their secondary, which is their biggest weakness. The Carolina defense did a solid job against Drew Brees and the Saints on Sunday, and I think that will carry over. They also ran for 219 yards, something they won’t be able to do as well against the Giants, but any semblance of a run game should open up the pass game a good bit. The total is at 50.5 right no which is the week’s second highest, and rightfully so. This figures to be a shootout, but I think Carolina comes away with the win at home.

Read more of this post

Hip Hop Album Release Dates

Today is the official release date of G.O.O.D. Music’s highly anticipated Cruel Summer. The preliminary consensus is that the album fell a bit short of the lofty exceptions, which is something I strongly agree with. Luckily for hip hop fans, there is plenty of actual good music set to release by the end of the calendar year. Here is a preview of the most notable works.

Click on the album art for tracklists.

September 21: Brother Ali – Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color

The Rhymesayers emcee released a streaming version his 5th full-length album today. The physical version will be released on the 2st. He’s kicking off a national tour as well, and if you haven’t ever seen him live, you should make an effort to do so. I was lucky enough to see him perform with another personal favorite of mine, Fashawn, a few years back. It was amazing. The album is very light on features, and is produced by Jake One, another personal favorite of mine. The album is inspired by his recent travels to the Middle East and the Arab Spring, as well as the various political movements here at home like the Occupy movement. As the leaked songs already suggest, and as his website suggests, this album figures to be a thought-provoking “scathing, yet honest, critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities”.

Read more of this post

College Football Week 4 Predictions

Week 3: 11-8-1
Year to Date: 29-30-1

Was worried for a little bit there. After my first eight picks I was 1-7. I bounced back well to post an even week. There’s still plenty of time to get my record to 55%-60%. We’ll see. I’m going to start including the games that I actually am betting on as well in these picks.

I was very surprised to see Michigan State get manhandled by the Irish. I knew their offense was a bit one dimensional, but I had no idea ND’s defense would suffocate them so much. Of my preseason “sleepers”, only Kansas State remains. Obviously there were other shockers too, most notably  USC losing to Stanford, Pittsburgh pummeling Virginia Tech and even the mini-upset of Florida over Tennessee, which even I didn’t expect.

This week conference play is almost in full swing.

Thursday September 20

BYU @ Boise State (-7.5) 

Boise State just doesn’t lose at home. The team has lost 3 games at home since 1999, and their loss to TCU at home last year was their first regular season home loss since 2001.

We will learn a lot about these two teams on Thursday. Both have losses to respectable (though now one-loss) teams and rather unimpressive wins early on. For Boise, this is one of their last remaining chances at a quality win with MWC play on the horizon. For BYU, they have 6 tough games in a row coming up, so back-to-back losses here would be brutal. Boise playing at home and playing perhaps their last game on national television this season will seek to make a statement. DJ Harper needs to play well for this to happen, and that might be a tall task against this strong Cougar defense. He struggled mightily against MSU (perhaps one of the 5 best defenses in the country) and they won’t win again unless he puts forth a better effort. He was unstoppable against Miami (OH) and I think he keeps the momentum going. BYU will struggle to score on this Boise defense, and Harper and Southwick play solid mistake-free football and take away the win.

Read more of this post

Top 10 Singles of the Week, Vol. 2

T’was a slow week…not a whole lot released….

Pusha T, Raekwon & Joell Ortiz – Tick, Tock


Clean?!? NO!!!

Read more of this post

NBA Power Rankings

Not to long ago I concocted a power rankings for the NBA in an unnecessarily long-form way of determining how bad the Magic really were. That was unnecessary really because the Magic only will be competing with a few teams for the NBA’s worst record (something I’m ready to root for). Either way, I made them, and figured I’d share them here. I plan on breaking down each division more in depth during the upcoming weeks, just for fun. The NBA is, after all, my favorite sport.

I am not at all a fan of power rankings if for no other reason than the fact that they are completely useless and serve no purpose other than to generate arguments between fans. They really just don’t mean anything, but it’s fun nonetheless.

I digress, and I’ll indulge a little, just this one time.

Note: The purpose of this initially was to hash out where I thought the Magic ranked, so focus on the teams at the top was marginal. You’ll find nothing in depth here.

1. Miami Heat: If Wade gets healthy, and if Lewis and Allen are draining threes, there’s no reason to think that this team can’t be better than they were last year.

Read more of this post

10 Favorite Kendrick Lamar Songs

Every week or so – as I’m on my continual quest to kill time and not waste it on twitter – I’m going to highlight some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite artists.

Without a doubt at this very moment in time, Kendrick Lamar is my favorite artist in the game. He’s not my favorite ever – he’s not really even close – but right now it’s the exact cup of tea I crave. It took me a long time to get into him actually. I never really liked his sound, I guess that’s an acquired taste, because after one listen through his first independent album, Section.80, I couldn’t stand any of it. A few months later after the constant hype from people who share similar tastes to me, I gave it another listen through, being a bit more patient. Eventually about half the songs I liked, and half I hated. I still didn’t love his sound. Slowly but surely, it grew on me. It started with my obsession with the song “HiiiPoWeR”, which I listened to on repeat for weeks and racks, racking up the iTunes play count to almost unprecedented levels. I would occasionally go through the songs again, and slowly I started falling in love with most every single one of them. Ultimately, it became the first physical CD I had purchased in years, and my love affair has continued to grow.

Selecting just 10 was really hard to do, and I doubt my list will look like any other Kendrick fan’s out there. I really only included songs that are his, not features, except for one I couldn’t leave off.

Enjoy!

Oh, and real quick. Explaining why I love music, and finding the right adjectives to describe things is a futile effort. I’ll do my best, but I’m sure it will all sound so contrived. I didn’t want to explain why I liked these, but felt it was worth giving a shot. I’d be an AWFUL music critique.

1. HiiiPoWeR

Read more of this post