By Slams76

OK girls… Here goes my annual Irish forecast… And in keeping with tradition…YES…I have them flirting with the BCS again this year.
First things first… Brian Kelly has the goods. Kelly has been beating up the recruiting trails and Christmas came early with this year’s defensive recruiting class gems. Being able to play with big, physically dominant players up front and speed on the outside is essential to beating elite teams, a stark contrast from the undersized units of the past. Add to the mix, Kelly is a no bullshit guy. If you aren’t cutting it…He tells it like it is and demands the most of his teams. There is a respectful dislike amongst players who both fear him and love him for his ability to get the most out of them. His assistant coaching staff is highlighted by Bob Diaco who is the best recruiter on the staff and if I’m a Big East or ACC program looking for a head coach, he’s on my short list.  

Roll Call…
Defense… Continue Reading »


By The Lion

1.       Romney had a very good week.  With all of those guys dropping out of the race (literally and likely), he took a huge leap forward in the driver seat.  On top of that, Democrats are targeting him specifically, indicating they feel he is the biggest threat, which is more or less a complement, and his campaign blew right through that Health Care speech without missing a fundraising beat.  Pretty much his only hold up right now are left wing media types trying to find issue with someone who raised more in 12 hours than most raise in 3 months and right wing types who are hoping someone steps up that they can back that isn’t named Mitt Romney.  Meanwhile, the center and center right are all moving toward Romney at rapid pace.  Even if the far right doesn’t come aboard, the middle and right of center should be enough to drive Romney to the finish line, and he’s starting to pull away.  Daniels is fading in the rearview dragging his feet, but watch out for Palin who could decide that she was out, but the market for someone like her may never be this good again.

2.       Bill Burton is the CIA of the Obama Campaign.  They are certainly going to try and test the waters on a whole litany of issues with the hope of shifting the narrative.  If they can pull it off, based on what the Economy looks like, it will be just the 2nd time in the past 140 years that we’ve seen an economy in this bad a shape, relatively speaking, and had a President win re-election.  The narrative will be Medicare, Medicaid, entitlement cuts, and the lack of a quality candidate.  They may even play the “you might not like our guy, but their guy is worse” card.  It will be interesting.  Expect them to come up with probably 3-5 key issues that people are interested in and then trying to press on those issues in the coming months with an increasing direction toward Mitt Romney with these attacks. Continue Reading »

By The Lion

1. Panthers – Blaine Gabbert – QB

I’m still defaulting to Gabbert. The bottom line is that Carolina has to pull the trigger on a Franchise QB if they think there is any chance one is available in this Draft. They don’t seem to have on on the roster in Claussen. He could be serviceable for a season, if need be, but don’t expect significant improvement. Selecting Gabbert, especially with the benefit of a new rookie wage scale, dramatically reduces the risk to selecting a QB this high. It would give them a roster with two young QB’s and if they both have a 50/50 shot of panning out, then let them battle for it next season. As for Newton, this is just a recipe for disaster. You have a QB who is built in pretty much the exact same mold as Vince Young. Huge guy, freakishly athletic, huge arm, but coming from an Offense that was geared toward his physical skill sets and not his arm. Even if Newton is a more gifted thrower than Young, he’s still going to take years to transition from his limited passing Offense in College to the NFL game. Even career College throwers struggle with fitting the ball into the paper thin windows that Newton will have to throw through. He’s charismatic, but also a character liability. He’s joyful when he’s winning, but what happens when he’s losing? We don’t know and that’s likely to be what he’s doing for his first couple years in the League. On top of all of that uncertainty, you have the fact that his Wonderlic was rough (low 20’s compared to Gabbert’s outstanding score) and he has not done very well drawing up plays in NFL meetings on the black board. This has massive liability all over it for a team like the Panthers and their new young Coach. Better to go with the more likely success at this level and select Gabbert. Continue Reading »


By The Lion


According to Nate Silver from 538.com, since 1976, the person in 1st or 2nd place in the primary polling from January to June of the year preceding the election has been the nominee from that party.  In fact, only once in the past 25 years, was the person who finished June at #1 in the polling data the year preceding the election NOT held on to be the winner.  That person was Rudy Giuliani.  It is interesting to note that the person who finished 2nd that year actually won it (John McCain).   


Long story short, by June, traditionally, the person who is leading the polls for the Republican Primary has an 86% chance of being the nominee based on these numbers.  And based on this data, there is a 100% chance that the nominee will come from the two highest polling individuals.  The only years excluded were years where the incumbent President had no challenger (so obviously the #1 candidate won the nomination, but we didn’t include that in the percentages).  Those years were 1984 (Reagan) and 2004 (Bush 2.0). 


Here is the polling data.  The person in yellow was the winner.  Anyone in blue chose not to run.  Based on this data, as of April 1st, Huckabee and Romney have a commanding lead heading toward June.  Since the GOP race is off to a slow start, we may want to actually sample the data in July to be sure.  These two are separated by just 1.5% in the polling data, which also makes it the closest race ever charted with no presumptive nominee. Continue Reading »

By The Lion

Just a Thought…

The NFL Players Association, or what it now claims to be, which is some kind of trade group instead of a Union, is still doing an awful lot of puppet string manipulation behind the scenes here.  In this ongoing labor dispute between the Players and the Owners, popular sentiment is significant right now.  The bottom line is that the people simply want to be able to turn on the TV on Sunday and watch the sport that they love. One way or another, that has to happen.  If it doesn’t, the public backlash will damage both sides of this equation, but the one that has popular support will be damaged a bit less.

Keeping that in mind, it is quite hard to understand the decisions that are coming from the NFLPA.  In this situation, fans seem equally divided over who is at fault, but the more and more I talk to people, the more it seems like that sentiment is shifting to the owners, with more fans putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of the players.  Why?  There are a number of reasons, and to me, the typical fan, they don’t make sense from a strategic point of view. Continue Reading »

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March 12, 2011

Our goal during the ongoing labor situation is to keep you informed on the latest

from Halas Hall.  Below is a statement released this morning from President and

CEO Ted Phillips regarding the current lockout.  ChicagoBears.com will continue

to cover the latest developments regarding the Chicago Bears and the NFL labor

discussion.  Thank you for your continued passion and support.

Statement from Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips on lockout: Continue Reading »

By The Lion

That press conference was a train wreck and didn’t sway anyone into believing what he was saying.  It was odd seeing Tressel so out of his element, like he was.  He looked nervous and incredibly uncomfortable up there.  He spent the first 10 minutes looking like he was 10 seconds away from crying while rambling about having had former players die and all sort of strange incoherencies that seemed unrelated to this situation.  And that was right after saying  he had prepared statements so he didn’t stray.  That was the first sign this wasn’t going to be good. Continue Reading »