Saturday, October 29, 2011

What a week

I can't get a fully detailed post out right now because I had 3 midterms this week and guests visiting for Halloween weekend, but my goodness, what a week. Cardinals are World Series champs! I'm still amazed how epic of a series it was.
For now, though, I'll just write about my Week 8 picks quickly before celebrating the championship some more. And Halloween, too, I suppose.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good thing my teams are doing well...

...since I can at least somewhat distract myself from the mess called the NBA lockout, which had a disastrous end of meetings today once the owners refused to negotiated without getting a guaranteed 50-50 on the BRI first. Alas, at least the 49ers are 5-1 and on their bye week, and the Cardinals were up 1-0 in the World Series before blowing it in the 9th tonight to even it at 1-1....Onto Week 7!
Last week: 7-6
Overall Season: 54-36

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 6 Lines

Funny story about my cousin asking me to pick parlay cards for her when she was in Vegas: out of 11 picks I made, we got 8 right. The thing was, I thought I was off by one game on each of the three cards and was pretty bummed out. Turns out, my cousin had picked the cards in a different order than I thought and suddenly had came up big on one of the 4 team parlays. Vegas 2012 here I come baby!

In the meantime, I've been picking against the spread on ESPN's Pigskin Pick'em and am 47-30. Here are the lines this week on there and brief explanations for my picks:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MLB Postseason

I didn't get a chance to write a preview for the MLB Postseason, but it's a good thing since I probably would have picked the Phillies to win it all and not get ousted in the first round. In all honesty, I would have picked the winners of the Cardinals/Phillies and Rays/Rangers series to meet in the World Series. Of course, the Cardinals are my favorite team, so it would have been difficult to keep my bias out of the choice when considering their potential. The Rays, on the other hand, aren't my favorite team, but I've always liked them and wanted to ride their momentum despite not fully believing in their lineup.

Now? I'm going with my Cards all the way after seeing them consistently battle this past month. Simply put, Chris Carpenter is the man, throwing a 3-hit shutout in the deciding Game 5 in Philadelphia after a 2-hit shutout on the last day of the season to claim a playoff berth. The rest of the pitching staff was solidified by the Rasmus trade, as I described here, and the lineup led the league in runs, hits, AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Albert Pujols is the anchor of the lineup, of course, and he has been outstanding.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Not-So-Exclusive Interview with Kobe Bryant

I haven't been able to write posts nearly as much as I would like since school has started, but a special event has warranted this one. On Wednesday, October 5th, I entered my Current Issues in Sports Management class to the news that we, along with a Sports Psychology class, were going to have a special guest speaker for the day. After a delay in his flight arrival due to the weather and class discussions of the NBA lockout, the guest finally appeared 35 minutes into the lesson. Kobe Bryant was at UCSB.

My professor, Jim Romeo, and Jon Spaventa, director of the Rec Department, have known Bryant from his past events here on campus, so they were able to set up this last minute "interview" upon his arrival from labor meetings in New York with the help of his PR guy Jerry, a Santa Barbara native. Spaventa asked Kobe a variety of questions during the period before a student Q and A session, and I took as many notes as possible along with a picture of Bryant with UCSB's own, Big West Player of the Year Orlando Johnson after the class.
I had a couple of questions in mind but made my choice because he had just answered a question saying he was not aware of the Drew League-Goodman League rematch since he was in Italy the previous week. I asked him about the reports that he was "95% done" towards a deal to play professionally in Italy for a period of time. He looked me in the eye with a completely serious look on his face when responding that he does his business behind closed doors, so anything in public is BS. If anything happens, it will be announced, and that is when anything is official. He spoke with such intensity when discussing this that I could only nod my head in understanding and sheepishly thank him for his response.

Overall, he was pretty entertaining with his genuineness, jokes, and willingness to discuss a variety of topics. This is my second time seeing him here in person in the past 3 months, and he seems like a cool guy (although he hasn't stuck around long enough for many autograph or picture opportunities either time). I saw Orlando Johnson by the bike racks afterwards, and he told me that he had met Bryant once before over the summer playing for Team USA. Orlando said that Kobe even joked about talking to Coach Mike Brown to get him a roster spot next year on the Lakers. Here are some other highlights from Bryant's responses: