Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Week 8: I'll Rochambeau ya for it!

Here's your "World Series" MVP, folks, hard at work already on preparing for next season. Did you know if you drink tequila you grow bigger and stronger? I can't wait to have kids of my own to impart knowledge like this to.

Since my Redskins are mercifully off this week, I'll take some time to say Welcome to another semi-exciting and semi-conscious episode of ATNFLWM. Today I'm going to give you a break from my usual attempted humor.

Today's topic: Wow that World Series sucked. I mean Sucked (in a capitalized sense). FOX can't figure out why their ratings are down, but it doesn't sound very complicated to me. First, take two mid-western teams, add some mediocre playing, a dose of terrible weather, and then throw in Tim McCarver and Joe Buck and you've got what we here at ATNFLWM HQ call a recipe for "disaster." (We came up with that on our own. Yes, we're pretty proud.)

But it’s more than the fact that the World Series wasn't very compelling or well played on the field. The Cardinals, the team that won, had no business even being there. None. Zero. Zilch. (This is an old Bad Columnist trick. You take one word, capitalize it, add a period after it and it passes for its own paragraph.


[See what I did there?]) Anyway, here are the records for Cardinals teams this century:

2001 St. Louis 93 69 .574
2002 St. Louis 97 65 .599
2003 St. Louis 85 77 .525
2004 St. Louis 105 57 .648
2005 St. Louis 100 62 .617

With the exception of the 2003 team who won only 85 games, they have all been serious World Series contenders. The '03 team, by the way, is the only one on that list not to make the playoffs. Lets contrast this with the 2006 World Champions.

2006 St. Louis 83 81 .512

This is a team with such talent, grit, togetherness, and closing speed that they went 12-17 (.413) to close the regular season in September and October. I won't belabor this point any more than I have to, so in the interest of expediency, let me say it straight. The '06 Cardinals suck, and the fact that they made the playoffs at all is a disgrace to baseball and proves 1) what a joke the post-season is, and 2) how useless the regular season is. In fact, I’m so pissed off about this, that I'm actually going to waste your time explaining what I think should be done to fix this. Here are Matty's easy steps to fixing baseball's postseason:

1. Get rid of the six division alignment.
I understand why in theory having so many divisions is good for the game (keeps interest up, allows for less travel, creates more rivalries), but six divisions is just too many. If they won't get rid of divisions all together, which they won't, then they need to consolidate the six into four, two for each league. They can be North and South, East and West, Coasts and Land-Locked, Cream And Sugar and Black, Boxers and Briefs, or Goats and Monkeys. It doesn't matter, just so there are more teams per division. If this had been the case this year your World Champion Cardinals would have rightfully missed the playoffs.

2. Reorganize the post-season.
The playoffs are too equal right now. A team that won 100 games should enter the post-season with a huge advantage over a team that has won just 83. Performing better in the regular season should have be a benefit in the post-season, but now it doesn’t. The teams that play well in the regular season should be rewarded with a higher chance to win in the post-season. At the end of the year, you have four teams that make the playoffs in each league. Because of the division re-alignment, there are two division winners (ranked #1 and #2 based on record) and two Wild Card teams (ranked #3 and #4, again based on record).

The two Wild Card teams play each other in a one game playoff (#3 gets the home game). The loser goes home and the winner plays a five game series against Team #2 (the division winner with the worse record). Games 1, 2, 4 and 5 are at the home of Team #2. The Wild Card team only gets one home game. The winner of this series goes on to play a seven game series against Team #1.

Team #1 gets to choose four out of the seven games that they want to play at home. The winner of this series then plays a nine game World Series against the winner of the other league. The team with the better regular season record gets to choose the five games they want at home before the series.

The enlarged World Series format accomplishes two things. The first is makes up for the lack of a five game division series by potentially adding two or more games to the playoffs. It allows the ‘better’ team more time to emerge in World Series. The winner is the World Champion. I actually made a jpeg of one of the league’s playoff formats but for some reason blogger is refusing to download it as anything other than a giant white blob.

There are numerous but not insurmountable advantages for the team with the better record here. Team #1 with the best overall record in the regular season gets an automatic 'bye' all the way to the Championship series. They were the best team in their league and they shouldn't have to play a crappy team in a five game throw of the dice. The other division winner has the advantage of playing the Wild Card team who presumably just spent their best pitcher in the Wild Card single elimination game, so they're facing a team who isn't as good and can't stack their rotation with their best pitcher throwing a ton of games. Also, Team #2 gets four of the five games at their stadium, another advantage that they earned in the regular season. Finally, Team #1 gets to choose which games they want at home, and they get to face a more tired team coming off of a seven game series. Each round has serious obstacles to overcome for the team with the worse regular season record, but each round also has fewer obstacles for them to overcome too. By the time they reach the World Series there is a nine game series, which again favors the better team.

Structuring the divisions and playoffs in this manner will favor the better regular season (and presumably just better) teams, and keep lousy teams from A) making the playoffs, and B) winning the World Series. If they do make it and win the World Series there won’t be many people who claim they didn’t earn it.

So, that’s about it for baseball this year. On to Week 8 of Hot Steamy Naked NFL Action here with ATNFLWM!!

This week’s games are sponsored by… The Albert Haynesworth Laser Eye Institute! Located on the field at Texas Stadium’s 30 yard line. We honor all coupons!

And now, in deference to the Man, this week’s picks are for enjoyment only, and not intended to foster a belief in the occult. Let the picking begin!!!

Arizona at Green Bay
-Congrats to the Cardinals on their World Series victory!
-Dennis Green is the NFL’s version of the Titanic. Not because the Cardinals season is sinking, but because he’s huge.
-Historically the more horrific events that have happened to Brett Favre the better Favre has played. Better hope the Packers don’t ever figure that out. I hear Favre has a few prized horses that might not survive that information, if ya know what I mean.
Pick: GB

Atlanta at Cincinnati
-Michael Vick has best sub-50% completion percentage in NFL history.
-Watch out. The Bengals will actually kill you.
Pick: Cincy

Baltimore at New Orleans
-If Brian Billick really wants to fix the Raven’s offense he should fire himself.
-Everyone is so surprised that the Saints are playing well, but when a team replaces crappy production at their skill positions of RB and QB with pro-bowl players it makes improvement much easier. No joke here, sorry.
Pick: NO

Houston at Tennessee
-The Redskins loss to Tennessee has many speculating that if Joe Gibbs steps down this off-season, Jeff Fisher will take his place. Because right now the Redskins problem is their coaches aren’t good enough. Clearly.
-Houston. Theres yr joke right there! HA HA HA HA!!!!
Pick: TN

Jacksonville at Philadelphia
-If Andy Reid keeps expanding at this pace he’ll actually explode in the year 2012.
-Jack Del Rio only coach in NFL to allow his players to stop practicing when the Ice Cream Man comes by.
Pick: Philly

Seattle at Kansas City
-Boy do the Chiefs miss Al Saunders now, and the real irony is, the Redskins would gladly give him back.
-It looks more and more like Mike Holmgren blew his shot with this team, huh?
Pick: KC

San Francisco at Chicago
-The 49ers can win if:
1) the Bears never show up
2) only the Bear’s offense shows up
3) the 49ers are traded straight up for the Bears before game time
4) the game is moved to a different site and the NFL only tells the 49ers.
5) a meteor hits the Bear’s bus on the way to the stadium.
6) all the Bears eat bad ham the night before the game
Pick: Chicago

Tampa Bay at NY Your Job Is Your Credit Giants
-Fortunately for the Bucs, Bruce Gradkowski has taken time off from gay porn to lead them to a few wins.
-Tiki Barber’s post NFL plans reportedly include opening up his own rib joint.
Pick: NY Its My Birthday Giants

St Louis at San Diego
-That naked man waiving the dead rat in the stands is former head coach Mike Martz.
Pick: SD

Indianapolis at Denver
-I can’t believe I’m about to put actual money down on a team with Jake Plummer as their quarterback…
Pick: Denver

NY Jets at Cleveland
-Ever the master motivator, Jets coach Eric Mangini has threatened his players that if they lose this game they’ll be forced to watch “Yentil” starring Barbara Streisand, from beginning to end.
Pick: NY Jets

Pittsburgh at Oakland
-Steelers have as much chance to win the Superbowl this season as St. Louis does to win the
Pick: Pittsburgh

Dallas at Carolina
-Rumor is that Tony Romo is starting this game because he, like Bill Parcells, has man-boobs.
Pick: Carolina

New England at Minnesota
-New England head coach Bill Belichick named “Best Dressed” by Hobo Illustrated.
Pick: N.E. (27)

Next Week: I serenade you with songs from the hit movie “Top Gun”! Stay tuned!

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