Friday - Apr 19, 2019

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The Prognosticator – Week 8

 

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it be as grand as a bunch of idiots.  The progno has been following the Red Sox win the World Series and didn’t miss a pitch of the Angels, Yankees or Cardinals series.  It’s been a long and exhausting road from that first game in Anaheim but it was all worth it.  The Boston Red Sox are World Champions.  You simply can’t say that enough.  The Boston Red Sox are World Champions.  

For those that aren’t Red Sox fans it is hard to explain.  I have read and heard so many people offer opinions about the Sox that aren’t fans and they clearly do not get it.  I’ve read things in our own forum, The Shark Tank, that offers opinions like how it’s not the team they dislike it’s the fans.  Or how they’re really glad the Red Sox won because now the fans can stop their whining.  I respect that not everyone in the universe has to, or really should like the Red Sox, as that is the way of human nature but to come at the fans as the problem, that is misguided judgment.  I don’t blame people for thinking the thoughts they do, they’re entitled to them, the problem is they get those thoughts from the media where misinformation and opinion runs rampant.  It is next to impossible for someone outside of the area to really assess an opinion if they form it by what the media reports.  So let me set some wrongs right.  

The knock that Red Sox fans are burning down the city and what idiots they are for doing so, from the outside is true.  The people rioting are certainly idiots but what folks outside of Boston forget is that this is the biggest college city in the country.  The Red Sox fans I know cried, hugged, celebrated, and savored the moment.  Did you know that the majority of arrests that have happened (a few dozen) have all been of people who don’t even live in the state?  20 year old kids around a keg and an excuse to take to the streets is all it takes and I can tell you straight up that the majority of “fans” who “burned down the city” weren’t Red Sox fans.  But the media doesn’t report that as it doesn’t tie into the story they are trying to sell.  

Let me enlighten you not in the know just who these Red Sox fans are.  My Father-in-Law has been a Red Sox fan since 1941 when he was 7 years old and discovered his passion for baseball.  He played baseball all his life through high school, college and in his later years went to Spring Training with the Red Sox in Fort Myers and participated in their Fantasy Camp.  He loves baseball.  He has had multiple heart attacks over the years, takes a nitro every other step and the surgeons have taken every vein they’ve been able to get out of his legs to keep his heart patched together.  He turned 71 this year after suffering his first heart attack at 40 and part of what kept him on this planet was his love for baseball and the Boston Red Sox.  

My son coincidentally is now 7 years old just like when his Grandfather considers to be his epoch as a Red Sox fan.  My boy breathes baseball.  He pitches, he leads off, he plays 1st base he has an arm and a bat and plays the game in the spring and in the fall.  We were at his sisters soccer game last Sunday and he brought a baseball and glove.  While my wife and I watched my daughter play soccer my son played with that ball for an hour just throwing it up and catching it.  He loves baseball.  This World Series started the next generation of Red Sox fans on their way to becoming lifetime fans and for some of them, the Red Sox will keep them young and keep them invigorated for the rest of their lives.

There is Guido Cimonetti who is 102 years old and followed the Red Sox from before 1918.  He has waited 86 years, never wavering, to see the Red Sox win another one.  He has lived through two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and on this day, after so much of the world’s history has been shaped, watched his Red Sox win the World Series.  

This Saturday the city of Boston is throwing a parade for the 2004 Red Sox and they are expecting five million people to show up.  If you want to see the real Red Sox fans, tune in and watch five million real Red Sox fans celebrate a much awaited World Series trophy in Boston and then pass judgment.

I want to share an Email exchange with a fellow shark today to maybe help put in perspective what we did, how we celebrated and some of the thoughts we had, to try and paint a clearer picture about what this means.  It is bigger than big.  It is bigger than anything any of us has ever been a part of.

Earlier today I sent a note to one of my good friends who helps with this site just to let him know that one of my many thoughts, standing, numb after Keith Foulke made the last out, was of him.

Him:

Awww…thanks for thinking of me!  I’m not sure what I was thinking, I do know that I was in nearly the same chair that I was when that Boone thing happened last year.  As Manny would say, “it was our destination” (destiny).  When the grounder went to Foulke, I literally lost my breath.  I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t speak, incredible.  I was holding Anthony so he could see the TV, I could feel the tears welling up.  Amazing.  After about 10 mins, I went out on my front porch since I was so hot from I don’t know what…my neighbors were in the street, just jumping, walking, yelling, stumbling around, doing whatever, all of us in a trance of sorts.  Outside, freezing cold, it didn’t matter.  Those that weren’t outside you could hear them screaming in their houses.  Dogs were barking.  The lunar eclipse was ending and a sliver of the moon was visible again, as if a veil had been lifted.  Fireworks were going off somewhere in the distance…or perhaps that was cheering and stomping coming from heaven, I don’t know.  Surreal.  Getting a wet eye just thinking about it all over again.  Wild.  The world has changed…for the better.

Me:

One of my baseball friends (was the Assistant GM for the Durham Bulls for years) called and said the Sox were going to win and according to him, that meant that we had to go out somewhere to watch the game.  He just wanted to be around people when this moment occurred.  If they didn’t win last night then we were to go out until they did win.  Our ladies had yoga last night and when they finally returned after the 3rd inning, we scooted up to the Ground Round where I proceeded to enjoy the Sam Oktoberfest.

Obviously the place went wild when the final out was made .. I think.  Not really sure, I remember knowing there was mayhem all around me but thinking about it now, I have no idea what one persons face looked like or what the celebration consisted of.  I was transfixed on the set, numb, with my thoughts racing about the moment.  Thinking of the people who have waited so long for this.  The people that deserve this so much more than me and thinking about the next generation of Red Sox fans that were at that moment, introduced to the world.  It was one of “those” moments where I felt like my mind and body weren’t one.  I’ll admit it, two wet eyes as I stood there in awe of the power of what just occurred.

Once my mind and body joined again I walked over to the barkeep, promptly ordered two shots of Jack, returned to my friend and put the shots on the table.  He said, “What’s this?”  I said, “Jack.”  He smiled but the shots remained on the table while we continued to soak in the moment.  About five minutes later we reached for the glasses, toasted the Red Sox, and cleansed the daemons once and for all.  It was a ritual that somehow seemed fitting.

On the ride home I called my Father-in-law because I knew he’d be up and congratulated him on the victory, as to me this win was for all of them.  The old timers that managed to hang on to see this day.  I can’t even pretend to know what being a Red Sox fan of 63 years means.  I then called another neighbor who I figured would be up, there is no way he would be sleeping after what just happened.  He was.  The three of us stood in his driveway, smoked a celebratory cigar, and talked about how our lives had changed and the history of how we got to this day.  We rehashed every Red Sox World Series, every dashed hope, every bad play like they were yesterday.  We had healed, we’ve finally found closure.

 

Team

Rushing

Passing

Against

ARI

Average

Cold

BUF

ATL

Cold

Frigid

DEN

BAL

Average

Frigid

PHI

BUF

Frigid

Warm

ARI

CAR

Average

Average

SEA

CHI

Average

Frigid

SF

CIN

Average

Average

TEN

DAL

Average

Warm

DET

DEN

Hot

Average

ATL

DET

Average

Frigid

DAL

GB

Average

Cold

WAS

HOU

Average

Hot

JAX

IND

Average

Average

KC

JAX

Average

Hot

HOU

KC

Warm

Hot

IND

MIA

Cold

Average

NYJ

MIN

Warm

Hot

NYG

NE

Average

Average

PIT

NYG

Average

Warm

MIN

NYJ

Average

Cold

MIA

OAK

Frigid

Warm

SD

PHI

Average

Average

BAL

PIT

Warm

Average

NE

SD

Hot

Average

OAK

SEA

Warm

Average

CAR

SF

Average

Warm

CHI

TEN

Warm

Average

CIN

WAS

Warm

Frigid

GB

 


Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills Sunday 1:00pm

Progno faithful, I wanted to get something out this week as I know many of you rely on this column for your office pools and you cross reference for your starting lineups.  Next week we will be back, into football 110% again with some hopefully amusing anecdotes and stories inside the NFL.  The progno is just a bit worn down after three playoff series and sleep is not something I’ve seen for three weeks.  It was a wild ride. 

Anquan Boldin is expected to play but I would only use him this week if you have to.  How about the rebirth of Emmitt Smith??!?!  Cardinals defense is playing extremely well and they are starting to believe.  Willis McGahee gets the start but contrary to what you’re reading, the Bills will actually have some decent numbers in the air and Eric Moulds makes a nice play.  Cardinals win the day but the Bills passing game is where the fantasy stats will be found.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 – Bills 17


Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 1:00pm

Upset special as the Eagles showed they weren’t super human against the Browns last week.  The Ravens Defense will come to play and they will swarm Donovan McNabb and company.  Expect some very average statistics from everyone involved in this contest as both teams will make wholesale halftime adjustments and use a variety of cast members to try and expose a kink in the other team’s armor.

Prediction: Ravens 30 – Eagles 28


Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins Sunday 1:00pm

The Packers won’t have the same statistical success they’ve been enjoying recently as they march into Washington.  They will win the game but it will be an ugly win.  Only real play in this contest is Clinton Portis as he will run well on the Pack and start his season rebound campaign.  If you can, trade for Portis now as you should be able to get him relatively cheaply compared to what you would have to give up.

Prediction: Packers 20 – Redskins 17


Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Sunday 1:00pm

The Lions have a lot of favorable running match ups coming up and this is one of them.  Kevin Jones will start to make some noise in fantasy land again.  It is possible you can get him for a song.  Start singing. 

Expect a solid day from Keyshawn Johnson and the Dallas passing game in general.  Play Key if you have him.

Prediction: Lions 27 – Cowboys 20


Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Sunday 1:00pm

This is going to be a shoot out as Byron Leftwich puts in a huge day at the office.  Expect Jimmy Smith to join in on the reindeer games.  The Texans though are suddenly a handful.  David Carr to Andre Johnson will be just as potent.  A lot of big numbers will come out of this one.  If you have Jaguars or Texans, play them!

Prediction: Texans 32 – Jaguars 20


New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings Sunday 1:00pm

The Giants are going to do just fine.  They’ll run well but pass better and they will need to pass to keep pace.  The problem here however is the simple fact that the Vikings offense is a juggernaut and while the Giants offense will over power the Vikings defense.  The Vikings offense will make the Giants defense look like they aren’t even on the field.  Big day on tap for all your Vikings but do not be afraid to start Tiki Barber, Kurt Warner or Amani Toomer if his hamstring holds up.

Prediction: Vikings 28 – Giants 18


Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans Sunday 1:00pm

Yes that was the Marv Lewis led Cincinnati Bengals you saw stick it to the Broncos on Monday Night Football.  Winning has a funny way of catching fire.  The Bengals will have average statistics across the board but serviceable if you need a start from one of them.  Chris Brown for the Titans will be the best fantasy player out of this contest if his toe cooperates.

Prediction: Bengals 24 – Titans 23


Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 1:00pm

The Colts are never out of any game but their defense is horrendous.  The Chiefs are fresh off a good old fashioned beat back and are looking to get something started.  The Colts D is the perfect place to sharpen up their skills.  Look of course for a solid day from Priest Holmes but also from Trent Green and Tony Gonzales.

The Colts will spread their offense around a lot which won’t help anyone statistically have a monster day.

Prediction: Chiefs 32 – Colts 27


Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos Sunday 4:05pm

The Falcons were exposed for the fraud that they are against the Chiefs last Sunday.  The Falcons are incapable of coming back from a deficit.  They weren’t able to stop Priest Holmes or Derick Blaylock, do you think they will be able to stop Reuben Droughns?  Huge day in the cards for Reuben. 

Prediction: Broncos 21 – Falcons 14


Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks Sunday 4:05pm

It has been a while since we have seen the Seahawks run Shaun Alexander like the mean it and this will be one of those games.  With dropped balls and bad route running in their passing game, this is a perfect place in the schedule to get the offense regrounded in a running game. 

Prediction: Seahawks 23 – Panthers 10


Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers Sunday 4:15pm

We were the lone guy clambering onto the very quiet Kerry Collins band wagon last week and we were rewarded with a monster day!  Look for a repeat and another good day for Jerry Porter.

The Chargers will run anyone they feel like running and they will have success.  LaDainian Tomlinson is hampered in this game due to a groin injury so look for some stats from him and some from Jesse Chatman who is also hampered with a toe injury.  Between the two of them however, they will put in a very solid day.

Prediction: Chargers 30 – Raiders 14


New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday 4:15pm

And so the magical mystery tour ends.  It was a great run while it lasted and my hat is off to the New England Patriots.  The Steelers just match up well against the Patriots and the Patriots are going to have a very difficult day trying to contain Duce Staley as they try and smother Big Ben, Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress.  It is like trying to fight a war on three fronts and this one they will lose.  If you own Duce Staley, put him in on your card. 

Prediction: Steelers 31 – Patriots 24


San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears Sunday 8:30pm

The 49’ers have found success upstairs with Tim Rattay and Brandon Lloyd and look for that connection to thrive.  An OK day for Kevan Barlow also.  The Bears have Thomas Jones and about 248 of their 250 plays designed to get him the ball.

Prediction: 49’ers 17 – Bears 14


Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Monday 9:00pm

Do not look here for a fantasy win on Monday Night.  The Dolphins D as promised is one of the better D’s in the NFL which showed last week.  The Jets D continues to be the Progno’s sleeper D of the season.  The Jets are sacking opposing QB’s lights out and that is a mark of a D that can cause turnovers plus they have a light schedule.  It will be tough going for both offenses though if you are desperate for statistics look at the Miami passing game for a little something and the Jets running game for a little something more. 

Prediction: Jets 17 – Dolphins 15


 

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