Monday, June 29, 2009

Bad News In Houston and What's Going On In Milwaukee?

Bad News In Houston: The Houston Rockets should be very worried, their 7' 6'' center Yao Ming will be out for all of next season and possibly forever with a micro-fracture in his foot. It would be very sad if this means the end of Yao's career, arguably the best all-around center in the league. I believe he's definitely the best shooting center in the league. With the uncertainty of Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest, I don't know what looms ahead for the Rockets. One question they have to ask theirselves is if they saw this coming, Yao played through the injury during the Bejing Olympics, anything to play for his country. I don't blame him for wanting to do so, but I think the Rockets should have intervened when it came to their centerpiece of the team. Let's all hope this is not the end to an already short and successful career for the big man.

What's Going On In Milwaukee: Ok, let's see here, they trade Richard Jefferson to the Spurs to free up some money in order to go after Sessions and Villanueva. They offer a deal to Sessions, but decide to pass on Villanueva, who is most likely heading to Cleveland. I knew that Amir Johnson meant that they might pass on Villanueva, but I was hoping this was not the case. How about our number one draft pick, Brandon Jennings, already causing problems and acting like an immature kid. If you guys haven't heard, Jennings is friends with a rapper named Joe Budden, a few days ago, a youtube video surfaced with Jennings talking over the phone with Budden. I won't go into the immature and unacceptable details, you guys can read it yourself:

All I know is that I'm not happy with the Bucks draft pick, even if he does turn out to be a decent player.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: A solid day for me as I went 3-1 with two more correct tennis picks. I reached my sixty win plateau a day early, so everything is looking good! The contest wraps up tomorrow on my bday!!!! Chad makes a pick, picking the wonderful Milwaukee Brewers to go 1-0, good pick! Joe continues to not pick, standings are as follows:

Nick 61 Wins
Chad 37 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Bday Shoutout To Little Man!!!!

Have to give some props to the next sports guru for turning the big 18 today, hope you went out and got yourself a lottery ticket and a pack of smokes. Just kidding on that last part, you really shouldn't smoke, it's bad for you! Also would like to say that me and my best friend Joe went out and played a nine hole Par 3 golf course today which was a lot of fun. Joe was great with his short game and won by five strokes, we will be back out swinging the clubs on Thursday, so stay tuned for updates. You might be wondering why I'm not talking much about sports today, kind of upset after the U.S. meltdown and the Brewers getting shut out, I'll have something to say tomorrow!!!! I would like to note I was right about Donovan and Dempsey scoring U.S. goals, just not about the U.S. winning, oh well, can't predict them all.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: A decent day for me, I correctly picked the U.S. soccer prop as they only lost by one goal but was wrong with my MLS soccer pick to go 1-1, I'm still on pace to reach my goal of 60 by the end of the month. Joe and Chad have given up and are no longer picking. Standings are as follows:

Nick 58 Wins
Chad 36 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

The Biggest U.S. Soccer Game Ever and Someone Gots His Blue Star!

I think everyone should tune in to ESPN tomorrow at 1:30 CT to watch the U.S. National Team take on Brazil in the Confederations Cup Final. I know that I already predicted a 2-1 Brazil win, but I will let you all know that I'm heavily rooting for the U.S.A. So, I'm going to make it more fun and change my prediction, I think it's alright to change a prediction the night before a matchup. Due to Brazil's lackluster effort against South Africa and the heart that the U.S. will play with, my new prediction is a very very close match ending in the Americans victorious by the score of 2-1.

Nick's Prediction: Once again, U.S.A. will be fired up by the cheers of the South African soccer fans and will rise to a 2-1 lead and shock the world for the second time this week. Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan will have one of the goals in the match.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: What a day, so much accomplished! Besides having a great day, going 4-1, I received my blue star and extended the new group record streak to W12 (previously held by me at W9) I made some excellent Wimbledon predictions to get my streak to double digits and receive my blue star, something else I predicted I would do before the end of the month. Chad and Joe opted to make no picks on this great Saturday. I have three days to reach my goal of sixty, the standings are as follows:

Nick 57 Wins
Chad 36 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brewers in First Place By 0.001 of a point!!!!

The Milwaukee Brewers regain first place today with a record of 39-34 (0.534). The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Minnesota Twins as their record fell to 40-35 (0.533). We can only hope that the Brewers can start rolling now that interleague play is over for them. The played a solid game today as Gallardo took the mound against Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants. Behind a dinger from J.J. Hardy, the Brewers won 5-1. McClung and Zito take the mound tomorrow at 6:05 CT.

Nick's Prediction: I really think the recent stuggles of the Brewers are due to the inability of NL pitchers to deal with AL hitters. Now that the Brewers are back to playing National League teams, they will start playing well again. The Brewers will win at home again by the score of 6-3, and Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder will have a home run.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: It feels good to be me, as I will take my second shot at that beautiful blue star. I have a streak of nine straight correct picks, with a 2-0-1 contribution today. The push was from the tennis match early in the morning that ended up being suspended and will be finished tomorrow. If I can win my blue star and reach double digit wins, it will mean I need to get a tennis pick correct, not my strongest sport. Chad made one golf pick that ended up as a push to put his record at 0-0-1. Joe made a incorrect boxing pick to go 0-1. Standings are as follows:

Nick 53 Wins
Chad 36 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big Cactus No More, Vince Goes Home, and A Lottery Recap!!!!

Big Cactus No More: Probably the biggest story outside of Michael Jackson's tragic death, the Suns traded Shaquille O' Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everyone talked about Kobe's inability to win a championship without Shaq, how bout Shaq not being able to win one without a major superstar. Shaq has had the opportunity to team up with A. Hardaway, K. Bryant, D. Wade, and S. Nash/A. Stoudamire and now Lebron James. Does this make Cleveland the favorite to win it all next year, and my answer is absolutely not, the Magic made a better deal today and I don't think Shaq answers the Cavs problems. Now if the Cavs somehow get Rasheed Wallace or Charlie Villanueva, i'll have to change my answer.

Vince Goes Home: I don't know about you guys, but I believe the Orlando Magic made the best deal of the day, props to GM Otis Smith. The blockbuster deal sent Vince Carter back to his home state of Florida (born and raised in Daytona Beach). The Magic did lose Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, but that's not a big deal if Jameer Nelson can stay healthy. As of right now, I like this team to win the East, Dwight Howard down low and Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter at the perimeter is scary!

Pick #1 (LA Clippers Select Blake Griffen) Grade: A+
Not much to say about this pick, Griffen is a beast and definitley the best player in the draft, good luck with the Clippers!

Pick #2 (Memphis Grizzlies Select Hasheem Thabeet) Grade: B
Not a bad pick, very understandable and I like the guy a lot. However, he lacks offensively, but now will be the best shot-blocker in the NBA other than Dwight Howard!

Pick #3 (Oklahoma City Thunder Select James Harden) Grade: A
I love this pick, Harden is probably the most ready of any player in the draft to jump right in and make an impact. He will definitely get minutes on a young and talented Thunder team.

Pick #4 (Sacramento Kings Select Tyreke Evans) Grade: B-
This one is tough, I thought Rubio would have been a better fit because he's a true point guard. Tyreke is talented, but more of a combo guard, not sure how this one will work out.

Pick #5 (Minnesota Timberwolves Select Ricky Rubio) Grade: B
Great pick for the T-Wolves, Rubio is a great passer, but has a horrible shot. HE'S ONLY 18!!!!

Pick #6 (Minnesota Timberwolves Select Jonny Flynn) Grade: D
I would never give an F, but i don't understand this pick, two true point guards. Nothing against Flynn, but I hope there's a trade involved. Update: Timberwolves take Ty Lawson at 18th overall, are they a point guard factory? (Lawson traded to the Denver Nuggets) T-Wolves do it again and select a fourth point guard, Nick Calathes who will play in Greece next year.

Pick #7 (Golden State Warriors Select Stephen Curry) Grade: B-
Could Curry be Nash's replacement with the Amare Stoudamire trade rumors flying around? Regardless, this was an alright pick and he would fit in well in Golden State's fast pace game.

Pick #8 (New York Knicks Select Jordan Hill) Grade: A-
Nice pick for the Knicks, I believe Hill will be hard-working player and will be a great rebounder!

Pick #9 (Toronto Raptors Select DeMar DeRozan) Grade: B+

The Raptors didn't go wrong with this pick, DeRozan has a great upside and could be a decent NBA player.

Pick #10 (Milwaukee Bucks Select Brandon Jennings) Grade: C
Nothing against Jennings, I think he could be a great player, but that's a BIG risk. I don't think the Bucks should be making that big of a risk at the moment, Ty Lawson or Holiday would have been less risky.

Pick #11 (New Jersey Nets Select Terrence Williams) Grade: B+
I know they lost Carter, but with the addition of Williams, this team has a solid point guard and a lot of talent. The East has gotten a lot better this year!

Pick #12 (Charlotte Bobcats Select Gerald Henderson) Grade: C
An average pick, don't worry there's no Duke bias here, haha. Henderson is a great defender, but thats about it.

Pick #13 (Indiana Pacers Select Tyler Hansbrough) Grade: B-
Not a huge fan of this pick, but he does fit if he can play in the NBA. Not surprised Larry Bird went with a physically and mentally tough player. Hope you guys can see the yellow text.

Pick #14 (Phoenix Suns Select Earl Clark) Grade: B-
A nice pick for a rebuilding team, only question I have is who else will be in Phoenix next year. Clark is a toss-up, he was kind of inconsistent at Louisville.

Nick's Prediction: I don't know why people were calling this a weak draft, probably because of all the point guards, but I think it's a decent draft, time will tell. I think the 2009-10 NBA rookie of the year will be Jordan Hill. I could have easily picked Blake Griffen, but i'll take a chance. I think Jordan Hill will work on his post game and hit the boards hard and help a decent New York Knicks team make the playoffs in a much-improved Eastern Conference. I probably should give myself a C grade for taking that kind of risk, but I think Hill has the potential and I have no idea why the Knicks fans were booing him, it's a better pick than Stephen Curry anyways.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: A wonderful performance for me today, thanks to some easy NBA draft props. There's an excellent chance I will get to 60 after my 5-0 day today. Chad and Joe both had bad days and went 0-2. Standings are as follows (5 more days to go):

Nick 51 Wins
Chad 36 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three Great Things and One Tragic Thing

Great Thing #1: The U.S. soccer team upsets the #1 ranked Spain who hadn't lost since a match with Romania in November 2006. Goals by Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore propelled the Americans to a 2-0 victory. However, the Spanish national team did outshoot the U.S. 11-4, but Tim Howard came through to hold them scoreless. I would like to say that I love watching Clint Dempsey play, he plays with a lot of heart and always looks like he's having fun. Next up for the U.S. is the Confederations Cup Final where they will see Brazil or South Africa.

Great Thing #2: My favorite current Green Bay Packer, Greg Jennings agrees to a contract extension with the team. Due to make $535,000 in 2009, his new contract will allow him to make as much as $30 million if he can perform at Pro Bowl level. Not sure how many years the new contract provides, but I'm sure we will find out soon.

Great Thing #3: Another sports miracle, the Brewers score two runs in the bottom of the 8th inning on a Jason Kendall double and error by the Minnesota Twins for a 4-3 win in Milwaukee. Trevor Hoffman notches his 17th save with two strikeouts in the 9th inning. The Brewers looked good with the bats, yielding 11 hits, however, they were not able to produce runs. The Twins gave this game away, maybe this will lead to the Brewers becoming hot!!!!

Tragic Thing: R.I.P. Ed Thomas, a legendary Iowa high school coach. He was tragically shot and killed inside the locker room of Aplington-Parkersburg High by one of his former students. Parkersburg is a small town 80 miles northeast of Des Moines. Ed Thomas coached four current NFL players; Casey Weigmann of the Denver Broncos, Jared DeVries of the Detroit Lions, Brad Meester of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Aaron Kampman of the Green Bay Packers. A truly sad day for Iowa high school football.

Nick's Prediction: The rolling U.S. soccer team will put up a decent fight against Brazil, but will fall just short and lose 1-2. Good luck, I would love you guys to prove me wrong!!!! Greg Jennings will have a Pro Bowl year (should of been there last year) and lead in one of the major NFC receiving categories. Ed Thomas will be remembered for some time to come.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Chad has a perfect day and makes up some ground by going 3-0. I got back to my winning ways and went 2-1. Joe didnt make a pick, standings are as follows:

Nick 46 Wins
Chad 36 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Bucks Deal Jefferson

My favorite NBA baskeball team that I really don't like makes another bad deal, but at least its expected and understandable. The Bucks sent Richard Jefferson to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. Oberto was sent to Detroit for 2nd year player Amir Johnson. Here's four reasons I don't like the deal:

1.) Why is it always about finances in Milwaukee? I know that they would like to sign Villanueva or Sessions who both are unrestricted free agents, but do we need them both. Losing Jefferson is already huge, besides Sessions, I thought he was the only reason we won any games.
2.) Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas, really? Do we need some more old players who are way past their primes.
3.) Richard Jefferson to the Spurs? I know the Bucks are in the East, but this doesn't help my boy Kobe one bit, this was a great trade for San Antonio.
4.) We finally signed a decent player in Richard Jefferson last year and we already shipped him away for some mediocre players and so that we could sign are already mediocre players to longer deals. I don't get it.

I know the Milwaukee Bucks think they are on the rise, but I can't see that happening anytime soon, even with how weak the East is, maybe they can sneak into the playoffs, but that's a very large maybe.

Nick's Prediction: The Milwaukee Bucks have another dissapointing season and miss out on the playoffs once again. Doesn't look good unless we can work a beneficial trade that has the motivation of becoming a better team and not freeing up money. Let me know what you think little man!!!!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: A horrible day for me as I went nowhere, an 0-2 day. Tennis lasted way too long and so did the delayed college baseball game, enough complaining though, my pursuit for 60 continues tomorrow, I have some ground to gain. Chad has a .500 day by going 1-1 with a correct tennis pick. Joe made that same tennis pick to go 1-0 on a very hot and muggy Tuesday in Madison, WI. Standings are as follows:

Nick 44 Wins
Chad 33 Wins
Joe 25 Wins

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Favre Will Be A Viking!

Alright, I know I predicted a few weeks ago that Favre would stay retired, but I don't think that's going to happen. It seems that his shoulder will be fine and his announcement to be a Minnesota Viking is imminent. That's all I can say for now :(

Nick's Prediction: Favre will sport the purple and gold, I will understand and continue to be his biggest fan, just not when HE plays the Packers. Don't get me wrong, I will not root for the Vikings, ONLY Favre. Chad will select Brett Favre in the 2009 Fantasy Football Draft and will become a Minnesota Vikings Fan.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Another winning day for me thanks to an unbelievable tennis and college baseball rally, as I went 2-1-1. Chad had an alright day at 1-1-1 and Joe went 0-1 once again to extend his losing streak to six. Standings are as follows:

Nick 44 Wins
Chad 32 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

Monday, June 22, 2009

Short and Simple Contest Update!!!!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Coming down to the end of the month, looks like I've pretty much wrapped up the contest as I went 3-0 today with a correct cricket, soccer, and nascar prediction. Chad went 1-0 with an WNBA pick and Joe was let down by his cricket prediction to go 0-1. One last thing, I better be able to purchase college football season tickets tomorrow morning or there will be a nasty post about it tomorrow night. Standing are as follows:

Nick 42 Wins
Chad 31 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Retro Baseball Player Day!!!!

Hey guys, I was trying to think about something new to post on the blog today and I came up with the idea of featuring a player from a major sport that most people have never heard off. Today's featured player is the all-time doubles and outfield assists leader in MLB history, Tris Speaker! Every couple of weeks I'll do this, just for fun, and in order to expand everyone's sports knowledge.

"Tristram E. Speaker
(April 4, 1888 - December 8, 1958), nicknamed “Spoke” (a play on his last name) and “Grey Eagle” (for his prematurely graying hair), was an American baseball player known as one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in history. Speaker was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame during the second year of voting, 1937." (

Website Update: If you take a look in the right corner, right above the gadget, you will see that I'm compiling the list of the 2nd Annual Madison Fantasy Football League. Please let me know if you want in as soon as possible, so I know how many teams to set up and try to arrange a draft time. The fee is $20 dollars, more details to come.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Almost a perfect day for me, if it wasn't for another Nationals walk-off win in D.C. Thanks to some improved soccer expertise, I went 3-1. Joe made one pick today, putting his trust in Tiger Woods, who let him down to go 0-1. Chad has another good day and goes 3-1 with a correct boxing pick. Standings are as follows:

Nick 39 Wins
Chad 30 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

September Contest Idea and Fantasy Football!!!!

It's only a few months away from the best time of the year, the beginning of the NFL football season. In September, I will be hosting a fantasy football league on ESPN and possibly another contest dedicated to the streak for cash game. Last year we had a $10 buy-in, this year I think we are going to push it up to $20 dollars, we may have a couple of spots open if anyone wants to join, otherwise we have almost everyone back from last year, I can add two more spots for sure. I was also thinking about breaking the fantasy football league into divisions, so each division winner would go to the playoffs instead of the four best records, but I'll wait on feedback to see if anyone wants to do that or not. Chad and I haven't talked about the September Streak For Cash Contest yet, but we were thinking we could have a $40-$60 buy-in to get a hefty pot, so that we could split it between best streak, most wins in a day, most wins for the month, and best overall winning percentage for the month. Also, I didn't know if Chad wanted to do this, but we could keep the contest exclusively college and NFL football picks to make it more even. If anyone has ideas, just let me know and join the fun!!!!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: An alright day for me, 2-2, I can never get the boxing matches correct. Chad has a streak of W3 and went 2-0, nice day! Joe didn't make a pick, but does have a pick in for tomorrow morning. Standings are as follows:

Nick 36 Wins
Chad 27 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Greatest Game Ever Made

I believe that ESPN's Streak For Cash online picking game is the greatest game ever made. Not only is the game an elaborate plan to get billions of hits on the website every day, it's a game that's a lot of fun. What makes it so fun to me is the way that I can get interested in sports I know nothing about, research is fun. It's also enjoyable to watch something I usually wouldn't watch. However, the game can eat up a lot of time. With school going on now, I've found ways to efficiently make picks, plan out your picks for the day and stick to that plan to get the most picks possible, do not pick favorite teams, always pick soccer and player props that involve only part of a game, they go very quick. Those small tips alone can build you a longer streak and bring you more wins. Another rule to live by is always pick against the girl who makes picks on the website, I think her name is Molly, haha. She doesn't have much going for her in her sports predictions, but she is hott!!!!

Nick's Prediction Or Hope: ESPN keeps the game going for as long as possible and makes improvements over the next couple of years, there are endless possibilites.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: I slowed down on my picks today, only planning out a three pick day where I went 2-1. I was very unmotivated to make a pick in the middle of the day, I almost picked the Cubs which would have been better than the soccer over/under goal prop since that was my only loss today. Joe made one pick, the Mets which lead him to a 0-1 record for the day. Chad follows up his slightly sarcastic comment with a 1-1-1 day, the Mets let him down for the 101th time. Chad has a great idea for a contest in September when the boards will be full of NFL and College Football picks. I can't wait and on that note, here are the monthly standings:

Nick 34 Wins
Chad 25 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chad Ochocinco guarantees playoffs!

What does everyone think about this one, most of you probably think he's crazy, the Bengals are terrible. Am I right? I'm here to tell you why he's right, the Bengals will make the playoffs. Coming off a 4-11-1 year, the Bengals didn't look very good, partly due to the injured Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson or whatever you want to call him). Not to knock Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Harvard grad, but he was barely mediocre at leading this team from the quarterback position last year. Cedric Benson had a decent year and most of you may not know this, their defense is a force to be reckoned with. The Cincinatti Bengals defense is very underrated, half of their opponents were held under 25 points while the other half scored a bunch mostly because of the less than stellar offense.

Nick's Prediction: Everyone will mock Chad Ochocinco about making this prediction, but they will be the surprise team of the AFC this year. They won't win the division (Pittsburgh Steelers), but will sneak into the last wild card spot.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Almost another perfect day for me, if it wasn't for that stupid Seattle soccer team scoring an own goal in the last five minutes, are you kidding me? Can't complain though, I went 4-1 and pretty much clinched the contest, Chad and Joe seem to be uninterested as we move on towards the end of the month. Chad went 2-1 while Joe went 1-1. Standings are as follows:

Nick 33 Wins (because of another win this morning)
Chad 24 Wins
Joe 24 Wins

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sammy's Surprise and Streak For Cash Milestone!

Really? I couldn't have guessed a player like Sammy Sosa was on steroids in a million years. I hope you readers are sensing my sarcasm, because in reality I don't know how this is a shock to the baseball world. As a little kid, I knew Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa were on steroids. How does a person go from 30-40 homeruns to 60-70 homeruns, not to mention the dramatic physical changes each one of these players went through. I think we need to move on from this dark era in baseball and enjoy whats going on now, especially this season. This season probably has the most evenly matched teams I've ever seen, there are no dominant teams except arguably the Dodgers in the NL West. Forget about all these steroid taking has-beens and focus on the up and coming great stars such as Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, the Upton brothers and many more.

Nick's Prediction: More players will be named as steroid users for years to come, what a shame. This negative news surrounding baseball does affect the current status of the game, which is very sad, seeing that the game has become so interesting. You never know though, maybe one day we can move on!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Some crazy picks for me today, the Mets bullpen almost blows their four run lead and they finished their game two minutes before the Dodgers-A's game locked. Luckily I was able to pick the Dodgers who won minutes ago with Matt Kemp's walk-off single. With those two correct picks, I had a 3-1 day. Not only did I have a good day, but I reached an important milestone, I received my 100th loss and 100th win on the same day, quite the accomplishment, haha. Chad had to wait forever to see the Texas Longhorns pull it out for him and contribute to a 2-0 day. Joe also had to wait through the delay in Cincinatti, but well worth the wait for a 2-1 day. Joe and Chad stay the same in the standings as I pull farther away in the lead, 14 more days of picking! Standings are as follows:

Nick 28 Wins
Joe 23 Wins
Chad 22 Wins

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Day of Classes, Kind of Tired, Only A Contest Update!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: How bout that crazy game in Cleveland? I made a new rule, I can't pick my favorite teams on streak for cash anymore, thus I went with the college baseball games being 10 runs or fewer (10 runs were scored, haha). With that correct pick, my record ended up being 2-2-1. Joe (a.k.a bada boom bada bing) had a great day coming in at 2-0-1 to take over sole posession of second place. Chad salvaged the day with the correct pick of the Angels to go 1-1-1 and is bringing up the rear, still 15 days of picks to go. Standings are as follows:

Nick 25 Wins
Joe 21 Wins
Chad 20 Wins

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What To Talk About Tonight?

Haha, you all know what I'm talking about tonight, my prediction of Lakers in six wasn't quite right. The Lakers blew out the Magic to take the series in five and became the 2009 NBA World Champions. I couldn't be happier for Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, and all of the rest of the Lakers who worked so hard throughout the year. However, I would like to say that I'm especially happy for Pau Gasol, one of the most underrated players in the NBA. The Spanish Gasol did an unbelievable job throughout the playoffs on big men, this coming after last years loss in the NBA finals where critics called him soft. Remember, this is the same guy who gave the Gold Medal USA team trouble in the final game of the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. Not only can he be proud of that well deserved silver medal, but now he has a championship ring. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lakers would have faltered earlier in the playoffs without the presence of Gasol who did an amazing job of containing Carlos Boozer, Yao Ming, Nene and Dwight Howard. Buen trabajo Pau. Now for Kobe, this is all I have to say, number four and 2009 NBA Finals MVP!

Nick's Prediction: Let's keep it simple, Lakers will be the favorites and make a push for another title next year. (Phil Jackson will coach another year)

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Not a great day for me because I stuck to my blog predictions of the Magic and Brewers with both teams letting me down (why so many sox fans?). I went 1-2 but still hold a comfortable lead. Chad continued to pick the higher percentages and went 1-2 (this is the 100th time the Mets have let him down). Joe comes in with another 1-2 record to keep standings virtually the same +1:

Nick 23 Wins
Joe 19 Wins
Chad 19 Wins

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why So Many Sox Fans?

Today I attended the second game of the Brewers-White Sox interleague matchup at Miller Park. The Brewers were able to take game one 7-2 behind lots of hitting. Today, the White Sox dominated and won 7-1. I would prefer not to talk about the game because there's not much to talk about, but I would like to talk about how many White Sox fans there were at the game. Every time the the Brewers host the Cubs or Sox, it seems like the crowd is 50:50 with fans of each team, how does that happen? I know the price of a baseball game is significantly lower in Milwaukee than Chicago, but you would think that Brewers fans could get their hands on these tickets and hold on to them. Usually it's not a big deal, but today I felt very overwhelmed by all of the Sox fans, that shouldn't happen at your home ballpark.

Nick's Prediction: I will be attending tomorrow's game where I think the Brewers will play well and take the series. Looper will pitch well, unlike Manny Parra, who is most likely heading to triple A after today's performance. Brewers win 5-2 and Ryan Braun has a homerun.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Another good day for me as I go 2-1 with a correct soccer and WNBA pick. Chad has a bad day and goes 0-2, while Joe finishes with a 1-1 day. I'm sitting fairly comfortably at the moment with some touch choices to make tomorrow, do I pick the Brewers and the Magic because I predicted their wins on the blog? Standings are as follows:

Nick 22 Wins

Chad 18 Wins

Joe 18 Wins

Favre To The Vikings and The End To A Great Streak

I bet you guys were wondering when I would finally talk about Favre to the Vikings on my blog. To tell you the truth, I've been avoiding the issue partly because it's such a sensitive topic and also because I don't want to make a prediction. As you all may know, Favre is my most favorite player of all-time. I'm not here to talk about the Favre family booking a hotel or some mystery deadline that Childress may have set or not set. I'm here to give you my honest opinion on the situation, Real Talk! Part of me wants to see Favre play again, but is it worth it if I have to see him in the hated purple and gold. I want to say yes because I respect Adrian Peterson and it would be an amazing offense to watch, especially with the addition of Percy Harvin. I can't even imagine the trick plays they will put together next year, regardless of who's behind center. But as a Packers fan, I have to say absolutely not, THE PACKERS WILL WIN THE DIVISION NEXT YEAR, and it would be way too hard to watch Favre vs. The Packers two times next year. Let me know what you guys think, I will definitely have a response, it's a touchy subject for me.

Nick's Prediction: Favre's shoulder will be fine where he could play, but he will choose not to play and avoid a nightmare atmosphere for us Packer fans in Wisconsin. One thing I could never understand is how Vikings fans could hate Favre so much as a Packer but welcome him with open arms now, hmmmm, doesn't seem right. Anyways, Favre will retire as a Packer this year and that is why the Favre family booked the hotel, not to see him play in the purple and gold, even though i have to admit, it would be exciting.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Alright, so I broke the group record with nine wins in a row, but was not able to obtain that blue star because of the Pittsburgh Penguins. What a game, the Detroit Red Wings can't always win, haha. On that note, I had an easy 1-1 day, didn't take many chances. Chad gained some ground today with a 3-0-1 day because the golf matchup was postponed, great picking Chad. Joe had a decent day too, ending at 2-0-1. Watch out guys, tomorrow I'm back to making as many picks as possible. Standings are as follows:

Nick 20 Wins
Chad 18 Wins
Joe 17 Wins

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reaction to the Amazing Game 4!

How bout that game? This series has definitely exceeded my expectations, I never expected to see two overtime games at this point in the series. I think everyone knows who deserves the MVP of this game, no doubt Derek Fisher. His calm and collected demeanor and veteran status is a huge lift to this Lakers team. I predicted earlier this week that Kobe would have the big shot in the last two minutes, but Orlando did a good job of putting bodies all over him, unfortunately for the Magic, Fisher was left wide open for two wide-open three pointers, one to force overtime and the other to win the game. I don't' think these shots outshadow the 0.4 sec shot in the Timberwolves-Lakers series from a few years back, but they do show that Fisher still has some clutch shots in him, especially after being criticized for bad shooting during this postseason. Lakers squeeked this game out, mainly from taking care of the ball and causing turnovers. The Magic need to emphasize taking care of the ball, hope you're listening SVG!

Nick's Prediction: The Magic are feeling very bummed because they really should have won Game 4, the Lakers did not look very good at all. To make up for that game, I feel that the Magic will come out strong in Orlando to win game 5 and go back to LA to face elimination again. Kobe will have another 30+ night, but the Lakers will be killed on the boards once again, due to the scary presence of Dwight Howard and the spreading of the Laker's defenders by all of the Magic's great shooters. Still staying true to my initial prediction of Lakers in six, but wouldn't be surprised with an early Lakers championship.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: I don't know if I can ever top today's performance, 6-0 to tie my longest streak ever at W8. Tomorrow morning, I'm going with a golf pick to try to extend it to a new group record of 9 and possibly go for my blue star if I can reach W10. With another correct pick, I will also be the first to reach 20 wins this month, a lot on the line during my next few picks. I also gained a comfortable lead with a 2-2-1 day from Chad, while Joe made up some room with a 4-1-1 day. I want to give props to the streakmaster for putting up those two track matchups, they were short and sweet! Standings are as follows:

Nick 19 Wins
Joe 15 Wins
Chad 15 Wins

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

John Settle?

John Settle was a NFL running back for the Atlanta Falcons from 1987-1990 and then went on to play for the Washington Redskins where he was part of a Super Bowl winning team. Settle was the first NFL running back to be undrafted and run for 1,000 yards in a season. He now serves as the running backs coach for the Wisconsin Badgers. You might be wondering why I'm bringing up this random player and the reason is because I work with his son Leighton Settle who happens to be a stud running back at Madison West High School. Little Man (Issac Lee) and I happen to be talking about his high school football team when watching the NBA playoffs, when I wondered if I had a John Settle football card. I've been collecting cards since I was a little kid, like 15 years now, and when I looked through them really quick, I did have one. Just thought I would share this little story with you and provide my readers with a little trivia on a former NFL player and where he's at now.

Nick's Prediction: Leighton Settle seems like he will get lots of attention from many schools, but I'll predict that he ends up in the white and red playing for his father at the great University of Wisconsin!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: What a big relief it is to end that seven game losing streak, one of my goals in life is to never have a losing streak longer than my longest winning streak (8). I had a mediocre day with a record of 2-2, terrible soccer picks and some savy baseball picks, what's new? Chad had a great day, 3-1 with the cricket match and a close one in New York as the Phillies pull away in extra innings. Joe had a 1-2 day, putting him two behind Chad and I for the lead. The Cubbies doomed Joe's chances at a winning day, standings are as follows:

Nick 13 Wins
Chad 13 Wins
Joe 11 Wins

Reaction to Game 3 of the NBA Finals

Hmmm, my prediction wasn't too far off, I said the Magic would take game 3 and that Dwight Howard would show up with a twenty plus night with double digit rebounds, exactly what he did. The Magic won game 3, 108-104, to force at least a game five on sunday. Kobe Bryant had a bad second half, which is going to happen once in a while, he's not perfect. Missing five free throws was huge, but he still put up good numbers with 31 points, most of them coming in the first quarter. I think the key for the Lakers are the play of Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, specifically their abilities to rebound the ball. In games 1 and 2, they were all over the boards, in game three they combined for only five rebounds. Kudos to the Magic for making this series a little more interesting.

Nick's Prediction: Odom and Gasol crash the boards hard and Kobe does what he does in a Lakers win for Game 4. The game will be the third straight close game and I think Kobe makes a huge shot in the last few minutes to remind everyone he's the best closer in the game.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Do I even have to talk about this today? I had the worst day ever, 0-4. Luckily Joe and Chad only picked up one win each, so I could stay in the lead for the month. Joe went 1-2 with a correct soccer pick in the morning, while Chad went 1-2 with his pick of the Orlando Magic, a pick I should of made since I predicted it on my blog. Anyways, the standings are as follows:

Nick 11 wins
Joe 10 wins
Chad 10 wins

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Groupbreak Results and Contest Update!

Every month or so, I enter a groupbreak on a forum that I use for trading and buying sports cards. Basically a groupbreak is a group of people that all split the cost of multiple boxes or a box of cards and either pick teams or obtain randomized teams. Every card from your teams are sent to you in the mail. This particular break was 6 boxes of 2009 UD Draft Edition and had random teams. My random teams were the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. Going into this break, I was looking for a P.J. Hill auto to go with my Wisconsin Badger collection, unfourtunately that didn't happen, I did get two Aaron Curry autos though. There were a total of 30 hits, a hit is an autograph or game-used card. I received two of the thirty and feel that I recieved my value in this break because Curry was the 4th overall pick and seems like he will be a great linebacker in the NFL. Linebackers are not a very marketable position when it comes to football cards, but I'm sure I can get something for them on Ebay or trade them to some wake forest or seahawks fans. Stay tuned for updates on my other groupbreaks, I'm currently involved in three more of them in the next month.

1 Box 2007 National Treasures (Vikings/Bills/Falcons) $30 ($400 box)
6 Boxes 2009 Donruss Elite & 6 Boxes 2009 Topps Magic (Giants/Jags) $60
12 Box Case 2009 Donruss Classics (Giants/Random) $85

You may be wondering why I don't have the Packers in any of these breaks and that's because a guy has snagged them before me in each of these breaks (first come first served basis). He's a nice guy though and letting me have the Packers in later groupbreaks. The 1 Box of National Treasures had randomized teams where I was lucky enough to get the Vikings and Bills (lets all pray for some Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch or Trent Edwards!!!!)

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: My two day streak of great picks ends today as I go 1-2. I started out the day with a cricket matchup and picked the loser Australia. Even though I incorrectly picked the matchup, I had a lot of fun learning how to follow the sport or cricket, very bizarre, but interesting. Chad gains some ground today by going 2-1, with his pick of the Padres, I went with the losing Diamondbacks. Joe didn't keep up with the 3 pick pace and went 1-1. All three of us picked Texas, who eliminated TCU for their ticket to Omaha and the NCCA College World Series. Standings are as follows:

Nick 11 Wins

Joe 9 Wins

Chad 9 Wins

Monday, June 8, 2009

Reaction to Game 2 and Contest Update

I kind of feel stupid for saying the Magic had no chance at taking a game in LA after that game. I thought that Orlando had many chances to pull away and steal Game 2. However the Lakers were poised enough to take game 2 and head to Orlando with a 2-0 series lead. Orlando could make this a very tight series if Dwight Howard would show up, he's only made six field goals in two games, where is he? He also committed seven turnovers, if Orlando wants to make a comeback, they need to take care of the ball, the Lakers are way too tough to beat if you're giving them extra possessions. Rashard Lewis looked great, with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists, I miss the Seattle days when he put those numbers up every night.

Nick's Prediction: Magic win game 3 in Orlando, Dwight Howard will be a beast and bring his best game, scoring twenty plus with double digit rebounds. The game will be close for the most part with the Magic pulling away late in the game.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Another great day on ESPN Streak For Cash. I had a 3-1 day again thanks to two correct college baseball predictions. That makes me the first to double digit wins! Joe has another winning day at 2-1, thanks to his Nascar roots. Chad also sees his record on June 7th reach 2-1, thanks to Tiger Woods and the San Francisco Giants. June standings are as follows:

Nick 10 wins
Joe 8 wins

Chad 7 wins

Sunday, June 7, 2009

June Contest Update

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Everyone had a great day yesterday. Joe and I went 3-1 while Chad had a 2-1 day. Chad and I faulted with a tennis pick early in the morning. Joe put his trust in Mine That Bird to finish first or second and was let down by the horse. Joe had an excellent day on the golf course, correctly picking two golf matchups. The standings are as follows:

Nick 7 wins
Joe 6 wins

Chad 5 wins

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Little Man as The Next Sports Guru In Training!!!!

Watch out for this guy in four or five years, the name of my blog might have to be changed to Little Man Knows Best. Graduating from high school next weekend, Issac Lee is going to attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall. Right now, he's a NBA basketball predictor with great upside, but I think he has what it takes to spread his gift to many other sports. Once in a while on the blog, after Nick's Prediction, you may see Little Man's Prediction. He likes to use his sports knowledge at, but hasn't tried the intense challenge of ESPN's Streak For Cash Challenge.

Nick's Prediction: Little Man becomes a great sports predictor and realizes that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world after the NBA Finals!!!!

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Once again, not a very good day for anyone involved in the challenge. I had a 1-2 day with Shamrock getting the draw in Irish soccer. Chad had a 0-2-1 with the Florida State-Arkansas game being suspended due to rain. He should consider himself lucky because Arkansas went on to win the game 9-2. Joe had a decent day, going 1-1 thanks to Ole Miss and his college baseball expertise. Here are the standings:

Nick 4 wins

Chad 3 wins

Joe 3 wins

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reaction To Lakers Game and June Contest Update!!!!

I think there is no doubt that Kobe showed the world why he should still hold the title as best player in the world. He looked downright dominant, Orlando had no answer for the man. 40 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in Game One of the NBA Finals, I think your right Kobe, you want it "really bad." Did anyone hear Jeff Van Gundy say Kobe just looked mean, I've watched him for a long time and never seen that look on his face. I won't ease up on my prediction because I believe the Lakers will lose at least one in Orlando, I don't think there's a chance the Magic can ever take a game in LA, at least not if the Lakers look like they did tonight, straight solid offensively and defensively.

Nick's Prediction: Kobe has another great game Sunday for game 2, not quite as dominant but still solid in another Lakers lopsided win (8-15 points), I hate to see it, but this series will not be very close.

Streak For Cash June Contest Update: Joe has a 1-1-1 day with a correct tennis pick. Chad goes 1-1 thanks to Randy Johnson and his 300th win. I have a horrendous day and fell to 0-4 on June 4th picks, only thing I can be happy about is that I had four picks. I can only go up from here, the monthly standing are as follows:

Chad 3 wins
Nick 3 wins
Joe 2 wins

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Need Some Streak For Cash Help

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Does It Matter If Jameer Nelson Plays?

Hey guys, the latest rumor to come up in NBA news is that Jameer Nelson may be back from his season ending injury to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. You're probably wondering if this changes my prediction. During the regular season, Nelson averaged 27.5 points in Orlando's two wins against the Lakers. Lakers have had problems dealing with talented point guards and Nelson would be another scoring weapon they would have to worry about However, it's hard for me to believe that he's entirely healed from his "season-ending injury" and if he does play, I can't see him playing significant minutes. Thus, I still believe the Lakers win in six.

Nick's Prediction: If Nelson does play, he plays twenty minutes at the most and doesn't reach double digit totals in Game 1 or Game 2, different story for another post in Orlando.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Where's The Sportsmanship?

Shouldn't we all be preparing for the Magic/Lakers series on Thursday? Instead, the big news in the NBA is the lack of sportsmanship that Lebron James displayed after losing the Eastern Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic in six games. Lebron James has exceeded expectations and lived up to all the hype out of Akron's St. Mary high school. He's no doubt on the way to being or arguably the best player in the world, but in his young career, he has shown some very faulty judgement. From wearing the New York Yankees cap at an Indians game to an absent handshake, LBJ needs to take a look at his image. As the face of the NBA and the Cleveland Cavs, LBJ needs to show sportsmanship for the league and all of the young basketball players using him as an idol in their lives. Lebron has no problem shaking hands and answering questions after winning a game, he should be able to do the same after losing a game.

Nick's Prediction: LBJ doesn't do this again