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Once Again, Sorry San Diego!

Sep 02, 2014 -- 3:24pm

BY BILL JOHNSON

@bjohnson613

A tradition like no other, yes friends it's my annual NFL full season prediction.

 

Basically, I pick every regular season game and the playoffs which leads me to my predicted Super Bowl champ. I don't do much research into each game. I don't know what injuries will have done to each team by the time the game is played. It's just a feeling. Some of my predictions end up pretty close, and some end up way off base. I enjoy it every year and I hope you do too.

 

Without further ado….

 

NFC EAST: (4) Eagles 8-8, Washington 4-12, Giants 4-12, Cowboys 3-13

 

I'm not crazy about how this division turned out. I don't think they can really be this bad, but I do think the Eagles will be the only playoff team.

 

NFC NORTH: (3) Packers 11-5, Lions 10-6, Bears 6-10, Vikings 4-12

 

This is a little more realistic. The Lions could surprise and squeeze into a playoff spot. I really like Caldwell.

 

NFC SOUTH: (2) Saints 12-4, (5) Falcons 12-4, Panthers 10-6, Buccs 7-9

 

I really see a big bounce back for Atlanta is they're healthy. They really screwed up last year's prediction.

 

NFC WEST: (1) Cardinals 12-4, (6) Seahawks 11-5, 49ers 11-5, Rams 3-13

 

Niners miss the playoffs on head to head tie breaker after losing twice to Seattle. Harbaugh resigns after the season to take over at the University of Florida.

 

AFC EAST: (2) Patriots 13-3, (5) Dolphins 12-4, Bills 4-12, Jets 3-13

 

Big year for the Dolphins but in the end, the Patriots are still the Patriots.

 

AFC CENTRAL: (4) Bengals 11-5, Browns 8-8, Steelers 6-10, Ravens 5-11

 

The Dalton Era Who Deys with their usual season, or is it???

 

AFC SOUTH: (1) Colts 15-1, (6) Texans 12-4, Jaguars 9-7, Titans 4-12

 

The Luck Era begins in earnest. If Bradley stays, the Jags may contend as early as 2015.

 

AFC WEST: (3) Chiefs 12-4, Broncos 9-7, Raiders 4-12, Chargers 2-14

 

I always pick the Chargers to be awful and I'm always wrong. I don't really know why. I don't dislike them. Oh well, sorry Ron Burgandy. Meanwhile, the Broncos fail to overcome the Super Bowl hangover.

 

NFC WILD CARD: (3) Packers over (6) Seahawks, (5) Falcons over (4) Eagles

 

The January chill and Eddie Lacy prove too much for the champs. Falcons walk over weak Eagles in Philly.

 

AFC WILD CARD: (5) Dolphins over (3) Bengals, (3) Chiefs over (6) Texans

 

Yep, same old Dalton Era Who Deys. Not really his fault, but he'll get blamed. Arrowhead in January unfriendly to the indoor/warm weather Texans. Sorry JJ.

 

NFC DIVISIONAL: (3) Packers over (2) Saints, (5) Falcons over (1) Cardinals

 

Homer always says Aaron Rodgers is the best indoor turf QB and he proves it at the Dome. The Arizona heat proves the perfect environment for the Falcons high powered offense.

 

AFC DIVISIONAL: (2) Patriots over (3) Chiefs, (1) Colts over (5) Dolphins

 

Chiefs not ready to win in Foxboro quite yet. Luck looking like MVP in trouncing of Dolphins.

 

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: (3) Packers over (5) Falcons

 

The transition from 80 degree Phoenix to 10 degree Green Bay too much for the resurgent Falcons.

 

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: (1) Colts over (2) Patriots

 

Brady doesn't go down easy, but a pick in the final minute seals the deal for Indy.

 

SUPER BOWL XLIX

 

One of the great Super Bowls of all time featuring two quarterbacks that will be among the leagues best for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, an improved Packers defense that has been good enough to get them here can't stop Luck and the Colts when they need to. Luck's TD pass to TY Hilton with 38 seconds left proves to be the game winner. 

 

Final score: Colts 31 Packers 28

 

 

I'm interested in your thoughts and predictions. Email me at bjohnson@goodkarmabrands.com, tweet me at bjohnson613, and listen to Green and Gold Today weekdays at 9 am Central with me and Jason Wilde on espnwisconsin.com.

Agree With Us Or Else..

Jul 30, 2014 -- 10:34am

BY BILL JOHNSON

@bjohnson613

Domestic violence is a horrible thing. Violence against women is a horrible thing. Both should be vigorously discouraged, both by law and by employers, including our professional sports leagues.

 

With that, in the United States of America, there is no room for the mob to rule. There is no room for lynch mobs. There is no room for vigilante justice.

 

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was given a two game suspension by the NFL this week, and reaction was swift and severe. Angry talk show hosts, angry women, angry Cleveland Browns fans. Everyone was angry.

 

As angry as they were at the NFL, they were more angry at anyone that didn't completely agree with their point of view.

 

Domestic violence is a horrible thing. Violence against women is a horrible thing. Both should be vigorously discouraged, both by law and by employers, including our professional sports leagues.

 

With that, I can understand why the NFL did what it did.

 

I don't know every detail in this case. Neither do you. We shouldn't know every detail. Law enforcement should. The court should. The attorneys should. I believe they do.

 

With all of the details available, law enforcement, the court, and the attorneys decided to put Rice in a pretrial diversion program. It's a one year counseling program. If Rice completes it the charges against him will be dismissed. The arrest will remain on his record without conviction.

 

The details of the case convinced the court and the lawyers to go this direction.

 

What does this say?

 

Is Rice being given special treatment because he is a star athlete? I don't know that that really happens these days, but I especially don't think it happens in domestic violence. I think there's more of a chance that a prominent celebrity would be made an example of.

 

In this case, the prosecutor and the court decided that the details of the case dictated that Rice be given an opportunity through the diversion program to avoid conviction.

 

What can we surmise from this?

 

We can jump to a bunch of conclusions, depending on our own opinions. The one thing that we can all agree on is that this isn't an open and shut case. It sounds like there were, and still are, many questions as to what happened that night. After reviewing the evidence, the prosecution and the court decided that even though none of us will forget seeing the video of Ray Rice dragging Janay Palmer out of that elevator, the case was NOT JUST THAT.

 

Enter Roger Goodell, who I'm assuming is also one of the parties that knows all of the details of the case. In the past, Goodell's rulings have usually been considered tougher on players than those of previous commissioners. Goodell and his staff reviewed the evidence and decided that Ray Rice should be suspended for the first two games. (As it works out, the Ravens first two games are against AFC North opponents, though I don't think that was taken into consideration.)

 

In comparison, Goodell's punishment of Rice is much harsher than the punishment he received from the courts, yet after the suspension was announced, all Hell broke loose. 

 

It sounds to me like most of the outrage is coming from a poor comparison. Fans and media members are looking at some of the suspensions given out to players for use of recreational drugs and banned PEDs. Because the suspensions for those offenses are longer, the assumption is being made that the league regards those offenses as more serious than violence against women. This view is presumptuous and dangerous.

 

If a player is suspended for four games for use of recreational drugs, it is already at least that players second offense. After a first offense, players are entered into the league's Substance Abuse program without any public acknowledgment or suspension. Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon both face indefinite suspension, but after multiple violations and infractions. 

 

Violence against women is much worse than recreational drug use, but comparing a first time offender with a clean past to players that have violated league policy on numerous occasions isn't fair.

 

I believe that Roger Goodell's handling of the Ray Rice situation reflects the complicated nature of this specific case. 

 

Was the league's two game suspension of Rice without pay to lenient? Not according to Roger Goodell, or the courts, or the prosecuting attorney. 

 

I'd ask Goodell's critic's, what suspension would have been appropriate for Ray Rice? 4 games? 8? Life?

 

To answer the unfair question that will inevitably be asked: No, I do not condone violence against women. Only a monster would and I am not a monster. 

 

I also don't condone group think. "You're either with us or against us." It's not that easy, especially in a case like this.

 

From the sound of things this week this was the choice: "Either you agree with all of us that the NFL's two game suspension of Ray Rice was too lenient, or you hate women."

 

I have to believe there has to be some middle ground. It sure didn't sound that way.

The Skull and Crossbones Flies on Fourth

Jul 03, 2014 -- 8:19am

BY BILL JOHNSON

@bjohnson613

Well, they aren't boring.

 

New majority owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry have created a buzz since taking over the Bucks. "Buzz" isn't a word the folks on Fourth Street have been associated with since Sidney Moncrief and The Dobber inhabited the facility now known as Milwaukee Panthers Arena. (cool, huh?)

 

Edens and Lasry drew comparisons ranging from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to Captain Jack Sparrow with their aggressive acquisition of Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd. Depending on your perspective, they're either bold, forward thinkers or ham-handed newbies who entered the NBA like the Hell's Angels at a church picnic.

 

What will Bucks' fans think?

 

Like everything in sports, it all comes down to winning. 

 

The drafting of Duke's Jabari Parker was the first step in enfusing talent into a lifeless roster. Now Edens and Lasry believe that Jason Kidd is the right man to lead the Bucks out of the NBA wilderness. Kidd brings one 44-38 season in Brooklyn as a head coach and some seriously mixed reviews from fans, media, and former co-workers.

 

If the Bucks win, none of the questions will matter. If they win, Kidd won't be shady, he'll be a genius. If they win, Edens and Lasry won't be unscrupulous, they'll be firebrands.

 

If they win, attendance at the Bradley Center will skyrocket.

 

If they win, will it be enough to convince the good people of Southeastern Wisconsin (likely only Milwaukee and maybe Waukesha and/or Osaukee counties) to pony up for the rest of the money for a new Bucks facility?

 

I am still EXTREMELY skeptical that ANY public funding will ever be approved for a new Bucks facility. The only way, THE ONLY WAY, will be by hook or by crook.

 

The Bucks might finally have the right guys in place to get it done that way.

 

Yo ho, mateys!!! A green and growing pirates life for me!!!

No, I'm Not Dead...

Jun 16, 2014 -- 1:24pm

Sorry it's been so long. No excuses, but don't fret!!! Some good old fashioned hokum with a biased bitter tinge is in the pipeline. Until then, please get cranked up for the NFL season by looking at one of my favorite box scores of all time.

Both Namath and Old High Tops were on the downside of their careers in Week 2 of the 1972 season, but this was one of the great barnburners of all time. Check out the passing yards, especially Namath's yard per completion. Sick.

Don't Be Mad. You Don't. Just Face It

Apr 22, 2014 -- 2:51pm

BY BILL JOHNSON

@bjohnson613

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!"

 

When Rod Tidwell made Jerry McGuire scream this line over and over it had a different meaning, but there couldn't be a more perfect line to describe how I feel about the Bucks new facility.

 

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!"

 

This will seem incredibly ungrateful of me, but the $200 million donated by Herb Kohl and the Bucks new owners may as well be $2. As generous as those donations are, anything short of the full price is a waste of time.

 

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!"

 

A new facility for the Bucks, Marquette, the Admirals and events will cost at least $400 million. That's the bare minimum at today's prices. By the time all of the local blowhards are heard, we will be approaching the 2017 deadline. I have to believe that will inflate the price of the facility by at least $100-$200 million. Where's that money coming from? They don't want to build another facility that will be obsolete in five years. Anything other than the best, most visionary project is a waste. We'll be back in the same spot in 10 years, likely with an empty White Elephant in Downtown Milwaukee if the new arena is anything less than a vacation spot.

 

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!"

 

Someone please tell me where the private funding will come from for this project, because they can't sell seat licenses and it's NOT coming from the tax payers. There isn't a politician stupid enough to propose a referendum on this issue, and as much as everyone admires George Petak, the bloodletting at the State House would be much more thorough this time around. No politician in his/her right mind will voluntarily fall on his/her sword for the Bucks, especially in the suburbs.

 

LET'S GET SOMETHING STRAIGHT. I WANT THE BUCKS TO STAY. I WOULD WILLINGLY PAY A SALES TAX, BOOZE TAX, WEED TAX, BRAT TAX….whatever it takes. (sorry for the all caps, didn't want anyone to miss that part.)

 

The problem is that I'm severely in the minority. The Bucks problem is the NBA's problem in many places. The league seems to lose a lot of male fans once they turn 30. I can't explain it, but I've seen it happen. My own interest in the Association isn't what it once was. More sinister objection to the NBA often lies with demographic differences, objections never heard about the NFL ironically enough.

 

Maybe a referendum is the answer. The NBA and the Bucks could finally see how truly unwelcome they are in Southeastern Wisconsin. They could go somewhere like Kansas City, where the community built a brand new facility without any concrete promise of a team. They could go to Seattle, a great NBA town that has hungered for their team ever since they took their Durant and went to OKC. The league would love to get a team back in Seattle.

 

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!"

 

Well…Anyone…Bueller?

 

Unfortunately, this comes down to two inescapable facts.

 

MILWAUKEE DOESN'T WANT THE BUCKS.

 

MILWAUKEE DOESN'T DESERVE THE BUCKS.

 

 

Have a nice day.

 

How Do You Say Ogie Ogelthorpe in Spanish?

Apr 21, 2014 -- 11:47am

BY BILL JOHNSON

@bjohnson613

Carlos Gomez forgot one important detail on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

 

If you are the pest, the instigator, you don't start throwing punches. If you're the guy that rubs it in when you hit a home run, you do what Garrett Cole did. You enflame the situation with your mouth, then you walk away.

 

Sunday's fight in Pittsburgh was an IQ test. Garrett Cole passed. Carlos Gomez failed, along with Martin Maldanado, Russell Martin, Travis Snyder, even Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron (a guy that should know a lot better.)

 

I can't figure out why Gomez would be so pissed? He's having another good season for the most surprising team in baseball. Was he mad at himself for jaking it out of the box because he could've had an inside the park home run? Maybe. I just don't get why he would snap the way he did.

 

Because no matter what anyone else did, Gomez' snapage is what changed the nature of the altercation. His dumb move triggered a series of dumb moves, and I believe that his larger suspension will reflect that (and it should.)

 

Gomez has to realize that his role on this team has changed. When he first came to Milwaukee, he was a platoon player, a great fielder with an unreliable bat that played against lefties. Now, Gomez is one of the leaders, if only because of his production. His five tools appear to be at their peak. To be successful, the Brewers need him leading off and patrolling center field every day. He can't afford those old mental lapses that we all brushed off as quaint. He isn't a pleasant surprise anymore. He's a key component that is crucial to the success of a team that looks like it can make some noise.

 

 

To quote Red Forman, "Fun time is over." Carlos Gomez needs to have more fun winning and less fun showboating.

 

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